Vintage Guitar - September 2018 - Open - 20

IN MEMORIAM

DANNY KIRWAN
Danny Kirwan, who joined
Fleetwood Mac in 1968 at age
18 and appeared on six albums
before leaving in '72, died
June 8. He was 68 years old.
Few guitarists have an
identity strong enough to
be recognized with a single
note, but Kirwan was one
of them thanks to his exaggerated, aggressive vibrato.
"Danny possessed one of the
most wicked vibratos of anyone I ever heard," said Blues
Music Hall of Famer Joe Louis
Walker. "And, he was the guy
who, in Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac, seemed to be the
catalyst for the iconic songs
'Oh Well,' 'Rattlesnake Shake,'
and 'Albatross.' In 2002, I
recorded his tune 'Like It This
Way' as an homage to him."
Indeed, Green once declared, "I would never have
done 'Albatross' if it wasn't
for Danny. I would never
have had a #1 hit record."
After playing on Mac's Chess
Sessions alongside blues legends Willie Dixon and Walter
Horton, Kirwan contributed
"Coming Your Way" and
"One Sunny Day" to the classic Then Play On. English Rose
featured him on "Something
Inside Of Me" and his reworking of "Jigsaw Puzzle Blues,"

Stacy Phillips

recorded by the Joe Venuti
and Eddie Lang in 1933.
For Kiln House, he wrote
"Tell Me All the Things You
Do" and co-wrote "Station
Man" with Christine McVie.
Future Games contained his
angelic "Woman Of 1,000
Years," and he penned "Child
Of Mine" and the title tune
of Bare Trees. He also appeared on albums by Otis
Spann, Tramp, and bluesrock singer Chris Youlden.
"When I saw the band in
'68, I was attending solely
to see the magnificent Peter
Green, but was surprised to
see this young guy playing
lead along with Peter," said
Rick Vito, who played lead in
Fleetwood Mac from '87 to
'91. "Kirwan more than held
his own - a remarkable feat
considering Green's prowess. Green deferred some
of the lead to Danny in his
own songs, like 'Oh Well,'
which told me Green was a
very generous, selfless man,
and thought a lot of Danny
as a guitarist. That in itself
is a large part of his legacy."
Kirwan's solo albums after
leaving the band enjoyed
little success, and he reportedly suffered from mental
illness and alcoholism. He
was inducted to the Rock and

VINTAGE GUITAR

Roll Hall of Fame in 1998,
but was unable to attend the
ceremony. - Dan Forte

STACY PHILLIPS
Stacy Phillips, Grammywinning Dobroist, passed
away June 5. He was 73
and suffered a heart attack after a show in Hartford, Connecticut.
Phillips, whose birth name
was Melvyn Marshall, was
born September 29, 1944,
in Washington Heights,
New York. He entered the
bluegrass-revival scene
in the early '70s using the
stage name Stacy Phillips.
Also a gifted fiddle player,
Phillips was recognized as
a Dobro virtuoso and performed unique versions of
gospel, country-western,
jazz, New Orleans rock and
roll, and klezmer music. He
authored numerous books on
Dobro playing, most notably
Mel Bay's The Complete Dobro
Player, long considered a
staple in slide-guitar instruction. - Thomas Guerra

EDDY "THE CHIEF"
CLEARWATER
Edward Harrington, a
renowned Chicago-blues
guitarist and showman
whose stage name was Eddy

20

September 2018

Eddy Clearwater

"The Chief" Clearwater,
died June 1. He was 83 and
suffered heart failure.
Harrington was born in
Mississippi and taught himself
to play guitar at age 13 before
the family moved to Alabama,
where he began performing with gospel groups in
Birmingham, including the
Five Blind Boys of Alabama.
In 1950, he moved to
Chicago and, with help from
an uncle who owned a record
label, connected with Magic
Sam, Otis Rush, and others.
He began to perform using
the name Guitar Eddy until
his manager suggested he use
"Clear Waters" as a play on
Muddy Waters. He soon after
adapted it to Eddy Clearwater
and enjoyed modest success
through the '60s and '70s
while becoming a regular
at the famed Chicago club
Kingston Mines. "The Chief"
nickname was given due to his
penchant for performing with
a Native American headdress.
Clearwater continued to
record through the '80s, '90s,
and 2000s; in '04, he was
nominated for a Grammy for
best traditional blues album for
his work with Los Straitjackets
on Rock 'n Roll City. Clearwater
is survived by his wife and six
children. - Ward Meeker

Danny Kirwan: W.W.Thaler/Wikimedia Commons. Stacy Phillips: Marcia Goodman. Eddy Clearwater: Jeff Ziff/Wikimedia Commons.

Danny Kirwan


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