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Watch a Band Perform After 20, 40, and 80 Beers

Watch a Band Perform After 20, 40, and 80 Beers

Moones decided to shoot their music video for 'Better Energy' while downing beers like no other

Honestly, sometimes we think we write better with a beer in hand, but after 20 or so we would probably be done for the day and on the struggle bus. So props to indie band Moones for pulling this off.

The U.K. band debuted the music video for "Better Energy" by making a "Drunk in Session," in which the band performs their latest song completely sober, then after 20 beers, then after another 20, and another until they reach 80 beers (split between the band, of course). As expected, the performances get sloppier and sloppier, the performers get drunker and drunker, and by the end of it the poor guys are so wasted they had to get a chair for the lead singer.

Watch the shenanigans below and applaud the band for their perseverance. If it were some of us, we'd call it quits by beer number six (and then lie down for a nap). Do not try at home, as drinking tons of beer isn't particularly safe, and definitely isn't good for your liver.

Shillin’ Out: 15 Huge Musicians We Can’t Believe Sang Commercial Jingles

Companies are always approaching rock stars to lend street cred and coolness to their products. It’s an uneasy alliance, but it does mean serious exposure…and a serious paycheck. Hey, those private jets aren’t going to pay for themselves! Sometimes it’s a passive partnership, with the musicians handing over their classic songs for use in television commercials. But other times the star plays a more active role -singing a jingle, or even penning a whole new song!

Recently, Frank Ocean very nearly became the spokes-singer for Chipotle, but pulled out of the deal before he recorded the tune. Honestly, we had kind of a hard time imagining the rapper shilling for a burrito chain (although we love the guac, don’t get us wrong). Although we guess it wouldn’t have been any weirder than these 15 OTHER megastars who turned jingle-singers…

15. Jack White For Coca-Cola (2006)

14. David Bowie and Tina Turner for Pepsi (1987)
Pepsi really pulled out all of the stops in the 󈨔s, first landing the King of Pop for a famous (and highly flammable) ad in 1983. Then they tapped the Thin White Duke to re-write the lyrics to his contemporary hit “Modern Love” a few years later. Add a little Tina Turner, some weird faux sci-fi sets, and voila: an thoroughly confusing multi-media experience that would have made Ziggy Stardust proud.

13. John Lydon for Mountain Dew (1996)

12. Mary J. Blige for Burger King (2012)

11. Ted Nugent for Energizer (1993)

10. The Rolling Stones for Rice Crispies (1963)

9. The Flaming Lips for Hyundai (2013)

8. Tegan and Sara for Oreos (2014)
We never saw this coming from the former folky duo. Copywriters penned the lyrics to “Dare To Wonder”, and tapped the sisters to bring a healthy dose of bouncy pop to their latest ad campaign for new flavors “cookie dough” and “marshmallow crispy.” Like the song, those sound like delicious guilty pleasures.

7. Ray Charles and Aretha Franklin for Coca-Cola (1969)

For the first time in 16 years, the American IPA is not the most-entered Great American Beer Festival competition category. Entries in the Juicy/Hazy IPA category surpass it in the new category’s first year as a competition style. You can see all the GABF 2018 medal winners here.

2018 marks a new milestone as the number of craft breweries operating in the U.S. reaches more than 7,000, according to the Brewers Association.

Here are 20 bands from the ’90s you probably forgot about

The 1990s started out with DS-1 distortion pedal grunge bands viciously stomping on the global spandex-wearing hair-metal movement from the decade before and ceremoniously ended with the rise of the baggy-pant rockers of nü metal and bleached-blond boy bands with chiseled faces, courtesy of TRL . However, some incredible acts and songs fell under the radar during this time. These 20 underrated ’90s bands should’ve gotten some Times Square love as well. Check them out below.

As blink-182 would say, pop punk wouldn’t exist at all without Descendents , and ALL are The Godfather Part II -esque quality sequel to themselves with a different singer but the same amount of power and grit. ALL would forever be mentioned in the same breath and compared to Descendents, and they released nine sonically consistent full-lengths that sold respectable amounts. But the band never truly climbed to the heights of their predecessor. It’s a shame, as ALL were a more than solid pop-punk group in their own right.

Dance Hall Crashers

Two frontwomen who sing in perfect harmony? Check. The best punk-ska songs that you never heard? Check. The sad truth that Berkeley, California’s Dance Hall Crashers never got as big as ’90s ska superstars the Mighty Mighty Bosstones , Reel Big Fish and Less Than Jake is an abomination. Fun fact: The original version of DHC had ex- Operation Ivy guitarist Tim Armstrong and bassist Matt Freeman in it just before the two of them formed a band you never heard of called Downfall and a band you most certainly love called Rancid .

Stop what you’re doing right now and spend the next 41 minutes in total bliss while listening to Far ’s now-classic fourth LP, Water & Solutions . The Sacramento quartet were the perfect combination of the beauty of Jimmy Eat World and the aggression of Deftones but released an emo classic a few years too early to be a part of the genre’s global boom taking place in the next century. We never underestimate the destructive power of change.

The Gadjits

Searching for perfect ska-punk from the Midwest, specifically Kansas City, Missouri? Well, pick up the Gadjits ’ 15-song sophomore album, At Ease , and marvel at the incredible musicianship of the uber-young band whose average age upon signing was 17 years old. Also, you can smile at the fact that they were a family band. Fun fact: At Ease was their debut release for the legendary Tim Armstrong of Rancid’s Epitaph Records subsidiary label Hellcat Records , which hit it big with Los Angeles’ the Interrupters .


Possibly the biggest band on this list, New York City’s alternative-metal rockers Helmet seemed to constantly be on the possible brink of a grunge-like movement. But sadly, it never happened for ’em. They definitely had the industry cred, as they were critical darlings for both journalists and fellow musicians, but it’s speculated that they may not have been metal enough for metalheads to truly embrace or were too metal for alternative kids to latch on to. Catch-22. Either way, you have four ’90s LPs (and four post-’90s albums) to keep you company in the meantime.

The Hippos

While frontman/guitarist Ariel Rechtshaid would eventually go on to be an A-list producer/songwriter for such acts as Adele , HAIM and Vampire Weekend , his ska-punk band the Hippos were superstars in their own right. Releasing their debut album, Forget The World, on formerly underground label Fueled By Ramen in 1997, the Los Angeles group almost hit the big time when they signed to Interscope Records in 1999. For their sole major-label outing, Heads Are Gonna Roll , they ditched many of their ska-punk influences for keyboards and released the minor hit single “Wasting My Life” only to break up in 2002.


Washington, D.C.’s Jawbox were unsung legends in their own right. The band had the distinct honor (or scorn, depending upon who’s talking) about being one of two Dischord Records groups ( Shudder To Think were the other) to make the leap to a major label after fanfare on an indie and released two solid full-lengths for Atlantic Records before calling it quits in 1997. Thankfully, they’re playing Riot Fest next year.

Jets To Brazil

Indie/emo supergroup Jets To Brazil (featuring members of Jawbreaker , Handsome and Texas Is The Reason) never climbed to the heights and lore of Jawbreaker but released three superb full-lengths before breaking up in 2003. Reunion show, pretty please? Until that event happens or doesn’t, we’ll always have the 11 beautifully verbose songs on late-’90s classic Orange Rhyming Dictionary to rock the fuck out to.


Here’s an extremely bold opening line: Sonically and artistically, Jellyfish are the ’90s’ answer to Queen . We said it. Sadly, the San Francisco group only lasted for five years, making two epic musically intoxicating albums that the band’s cult-like superfans cling to like their lives depend on it. And we have a super-special soft spot for lead singers who also drum like the prolific Andy Sturmer . So join the fan club, and all will be forgiven.

Kara’s Flowers

Say what you want about Maroon 5 , but you can’t deny singer/guitarist Adam Levine ’s talent and musicianship. Why do we bring up the ginormous pop act known as M5 ? Well, 100% of Kara’s Flowers is fourth-fifths of the original Maroon 5 lineup. What do the band sound like? Well, they signed a deal with Reprise Records before every member could legally drink and wrote songs in the youthful power-pop genre, easily fitting in with mainstream ’90s rock superstars such as Green Day , Weezer and Third Eye Blind .

Nada Surf

If Helmet are in fact the biggest band on this list, then Nada Surf are likely the group with the biggest hit single listed here. “Popular” was a post-grunge tune that some would argue delved into novelty territory, but it completely and totally dominated MTV in 1996. Regardless of your take on the song (we love it), few ’90s fans could have foreseen that they would be around for eight more full-lengths and have an extremely ardent fanbase.

The Pietasters

Washington, D.C. has no shortage of people fueled by booze, and ska-soul pioneers the Pietasters are no exception. Like they did with the Gadjits, Hellcat Records also hit the mark on this one. Motown certainly got a ’90s party and a resurrection on 1997’s Willis .

Rocket From The Crypt

Horns, but no ska! Just sweaty, greasy, good old fashioned rock ’n’ roll from San Diego’s finest and most legendary band, Rocket From The Crypt . RFTC seemed on the brink of radio success with “ On A Rope ,” but it just never got past 120 Minutes . Still, they have enough cult fans to justify free lifelong admission for those with RFTC tattoos on their body. Runner-up to this list: Drive Like Jehu (which also features RFTC frontman John Reis).

Sense Field

Southern California’s Sense Field released five powerful full-lengths and eight EPs over the course of their prolific 14-year career. During the ’90s, they experienced a lot of love from the emo underground with three perfect LPs, and the band eventually had a taste of mainstream pop-alternative success with 2001’s “ Save Yourself .” Sadly, singer Jon Bunch passed away in 2016. What a voice.

Santa Barbara’s Snot released their funky and punky metal debut record, Get Some , in 1997, and it seemed like everyone in the Ozzfest circuit went crazy for the group. They were definitely on the verge of getting huge outside of the metal world, but tragically singer Lynn Strait and his iconic dog Dobbs (who lives on forever on the album cover for Get Some) were killed in a car accident when the band were working on their second album in late 1998. Snot then called it quits for 10 years after Strait’s death and reformed for two separate reunions, one of which featured future Bad Wolves vocalist Tommy Vext as the new frontman.


Less Than Jake have gone on record saying that they wouldn’t exist without Snuff . It’s hard not to hear their influence on the legendary Florida ska-punk band. If you take a listen to the British act, you will hear the sounds of a punk band getting into a drunken bar fight with an intense horn section, and the listeners are the true winners. Fat Wreck Chords ruled the ’90s with acts such as No Use For A Name , Lagwagon and Strung Out , but Snuff definitely fell under most Fat Wreck fans’ collective radars. Change that shit now.

Teen Heroes

And now we’re onto the smallest band on this list: Orange County’s Teen Heroes . If you’re from Orange County and you went to rock shows in the late ’90s, you likely saw this band at Anaheim’s Chain Reaction . And they weren’t ska in any way, shape or form. If you caught Reel Big Fish on tour with Zebrahead in 1999, you may have seen them outside of California. But they weren’t rap-rock in any way, shape or form, either. Honestly, they took more cues from Weezer and Elvis Costello than the Warped Tour world. If only they had more radio listeners.

Texas Is The Reason

Contrary to popular belief, New York City (not good old Texas) gave birth to Texas Is The Reason in 1994, and the five boroughs haven’t been the same since. The emo band broke up shortly after their first and only album, Do You Know Who You Are? , was released on Revelation Records , on the eve of signing a major-label deal with Capitol Records on tour in Germany in 1997.

The East Bay had no shortage of solid punk rock in the ’90s, and Tilt , with vocalist Cinder Block at the helm, were a welcome addition to the male-dominated scene. Fun fact: The band opened for Green Day from February-April on the 1994 Dookie tour. Fun opinion: Tilt should’ve been a lot bigger than they were, as they have a series of consistent LPs for your listening pleasure.

The Urge

St. Louis, Missouri’s the Urge formed in 1987 while their members were still in high school. The band played their own original blend of funky metallic reggae ska and released three full-lengths for Immortal Records before splitting up for the first time in 2001. Thankfully, they reformed after another sabbatical and still play shows in the Midwest area. Jump right in.


Danny Kirwan was born Daniel David Langran on 13 May 1950 in Brixton, South London. [1] His parents separated when he was young. [2] His mother, Phyllis Rose Langran, married Aloysious James Kirwan in 1958 when Danny was eight. [3] Kirwan left school in 1967 with six O-levels and worked for a year as an insurance clerk in Fenchurch Street in the City of London. [4]

Early career Edit

Musical influences and first band Edit

Kirwan's mother was a singer [5] and he grew up listening to the music of jazz musicians such as Eddie Lang, Joe Venuti and Django Reinhardt and 1930s–40s groups such as the Ink Spots. [5] He began learning guitar at the age of 15. [5] He was an accomplished self-taught guitarist and musician and was influenced by Hank Marvin of the Shadows, Belgian gypsy guitarist Django Reinhardt, Jimi Hendrix, and particularly by Eric Clapton's playing in the Bluesbreakers. [2] [6] He was 17 when he came to the attention of established British blues band Fleetwood Mac in London while fronting his first band, Boilerhouse, a blues three-piece with Trevor Stevens on bass guitar and Dave Terrey on drums. [7]

Kirwan is said to have persuaded Fleetwood Mac's producer Mike Vernon to watch Boilerhouse rehearse in a South London basement boiler-room, after which Vernon informed Fleetwood Mac founder Peter Green of his discovery. Vernon was impressed by Kirwan's guitar playing and subtle vibrato and thought he sounded like blues player Lowell Fulson. [8] Vernon said, "Danny was outstanding. He played with an almost scary intensity. He had a guitar style that wasn't like anyone else I'd heard in England." [9] Kirwan's band began playing support slots for Fleetwood Mac at London venues such as John Gee's Marquee Club in Wardour Street and the Nag's Head in Battersea, [8] which gave Kirwan and Green the opportunity to jam together and get to know each other. [10]

Joining Fleetwood Mac Edit

Green briefly took a managerial interest in Boilerhouse, but Stevens and Terrey were not prepared to turn professional, so an advertisement was placed in the weekly music paper Melody Maker to find another rhythm section to back Kirwan. Over 300 hopefuls were said to have applied but none was deemed good enough, [2] so another solution was found. Fleetwood Mac had been constituted as a quartet, but Green had been looking for another guitarist to share some of the workload because slide guitarist Jeremy Spencer did not contribute to his songs. [11] The band's drummer Mick Fleetwood, previously a member of John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers (as were Peter Green and bass player John McVie), suggested that Kirwan could join Fleetwood Mac. Although the rest of the band were not entirely convinced, [12] Fleetwood invited Kirwan to join the band in August 1968. [13] [14] Kirwan's reaction was described as "astonishment and delight." [14]

Green had wanted to move Fleetwood Mac away from pure blues and needed a new musical collaborator and backing guitarist to work with. [8] "Which is how Danny Kirwan came into our lives," Fleetwood recalled. "Danny was a huge fan of Peter's. He would see us every chance he got, usually watching in awe from the front row." [15] Kirwan would often turn up at gigs during the afternoon, help to carry the gear in [8] and jam with Green after the soundcheck. [10]

Fleetwood said, "Danny was an exceptional guitar player. [8] It was clear that he needed to be with better players . In the end, we just invited him to join us. It was one of those 'ah-ha' moments when you realise the answer is right there in front of you." [15] Kirwan's arrival expanded Fleetwood Mac to a five-piece with three guitarists.

Green described Kirwan as "a clever boy who got ideas for his guitar playing by listening to all that old-fashioned Roaring Twenties big-band stuff." [16] Kirwan was known to be "emotionally fragile", [17] and Green said that in the early days, Kirwan "was so into it that he cried as he played." [16]

Fleetwood Mac Edit

The early days Edit

Mick Fleetwood described the early Fleetwood Mac as it was when Kirwan joined the band. "We were a rude, wild, fun-loving bunch of people . Fleetwood Mac never wanted to be pure blues like John Mayall, or rock like Hendrix or Cream. We were a funny, vulgar, drunken, vaudeville blues band at that time [1967–70], playing music as much to amuse ourselves as to please an audience." [8] [12]

Guitar style Edit

A year after forming Fleetwood Mac, Peter Green was looking for ways to extend the band and perhaps change its direction. [18] He wanted to be open to other musical styles and bring in more original material. [18] Kirwan was the ideal foil for Green's new approach he played gentle, supportive rhythm guitar to Green and Spencer's fiery solo work and introduced vocal harmonies to some of the songs. [18] Spencer said, "Peter and I had seen Danny play and thought he was very good. Peter and Danny worked well together." [19]

Fleetwood said, "Danny worked out great from the start. His playing was always very melodic and tuneful, with lots of bent notes and vibrato. [8] Danny's style of playing complemented Peter's perfectly because he was already a disciple. His sense of melody on rhythm guitar really drew Peter out, allowing him to write songs in a different style . Playing live, he was a madman." [15] Fleetwood Mac biographer Leah Furman said Kirwan "provided a perfect sounding board for Peter's ideas, added stylistic texture, and moved Fleetwood Mac away from pure blues." [20]

Kirwan was interviewed by the British weekly music paper Melody Maker soon after joining Fleetwood Mac and gave the first indication of the breadth of his musical influences. He told Melody Maker, "I'm not keen on blues purists who close their ears to all other forms of music. I like any good music, particularly the old big band-type things. Django Reinhardt is my favourite guitarist, but I like any music that is good, whether it is blues, popular or classical." [18]

The band's manager Clifford Davis, himself a musician, [2] remembered Kirwan as "a very bright boy with very high musical standards. When we were on the road he was constantly saying 'Come on, Clifford, we must rehearse, we must rehearse, we've got to rehearse'." [2] Davis said Kirwan "was the originator of all the ideas regarding harmonies and the lovely melodies that Fleetwood Mac would eventually encompass." [2]

First gigs and tours Edit

Kirwan progressed from being an 18-year-old guitarist in a small pub band in south London to being a member of an internationally known touring band in one move. [21] He played his first gig with Fleetwood Mac on 14 August 1968 at the Nag's Head Blue Horizon Club in Battersea, London. [12] Ten days later he was on stage with them at the Hyde Park Free Concert in London, performing on the same bill as Family, Ten Years After and Fairport Convention. Two days later he was in the BBC radio studios in London with the band, recording a session of 12 songs for broadcast on John Peel's 'Top Gear'. [22] Three days after that they began a 50-date tour of the UK and Scandinavia, and at the end of November they were in Paris, [8] performing in a New Year's Eve show for French television [ORTF 'Surprise Partie'] with The Who, Small Faces, Pink Floyd and The Troggs. Two days later, on 1 December 1968, Kirwan was in New York City at the start of an almost sold-out, 30-date Fleetwood Mac US tour [8] which would include performances at major venues such as the Fillmore East in Manhattan, the Fillmore West in San Francisco, [8] the Boston Tea Party, and an appearance before 100,000 fans at the three-day Miami Pop Festival in Florida [8] alongside, among others, Chuck Berry, Muddy Waters, BB King, and The Grateful Dead.

In April 1969, Kirwan played at the Royal Albert Hall in London when Fleetwood Mac supported BB King on the opening date of his first UK tour. The band had opened a show for BB King in Chicago in January, [8] and played support on the eight-date UK tour. [23]

Kirwan toured several times with Fleetwood Mac in Europe. Fleetwood said in his autobiography, "We were huge in Europe. Even a simple blues track like "Shake Your Moneymaker" went to the top of the charts in Scandinavia. Every place we played was sold out and raving." [8]

First recording: "Albatross" Edit

Kirwan's first recorded work with Fleetwood Mac, in October 1968, [21] was his contribution of the second guitar part to Green's instrumental hit single "Albatross". [22] Green had been working on the piece for some time, and Kirwan completed it by adding the counterpoint harmony in the middle section. [9] Green said, "Once we got Danny in, it was plain sailing [9] . I would never have done 'Albatross' if it wasn't for Danny. I would never have had a number one hit record." [12] Kirwan said Green had told him what to do and all the bits he had to play. [6]

The band spent two days recording and mixing the track at CBS studios in New Bond Street, London, [24] and when they listened to the final mix, everyone agreed it was "a beautiful record". [24] "Albatross" was released in November 1968 on Mike Vernon's Blue Horizon label. It reached number one in the UK singles charts in December 1968 [8] and sold nearly a million copies. [25]

The B-side of "Albatross" was Kirwan's first published tune, the instrumental "Jigsaw Puzzle Blues". This was an old clarinet piece, written by Joe Venuti and Adrian Rollini and recorded by the Joe Venuti / Eddie Lang Blue Five in 1933. Kirwan worked out the piece from the record [6] and adapted it for Green and himself to play on guitar, but Green remembered, "I couldn't do it properly. I can't play that sort of big-band type thing. My style wasn't all that satisfactory to Danny, but his style wasn't all that satisfactory to me." So Kirwan played all the guitar parts himself. [12]

The Beatles were said to have admired "Albatross", and to have been inspired by it to create the slow, melodic, harmonised track "Sun King" on their 1969 album Abbey Road. [8] In the spring of 1969, after Fleetwood Mac's manager had removed the band from the Blue Horizon label, John Lennon was reported to be interested in signing Fleetwood Mac to the Beatles' new Apple Records label. [8] The band eventually signed to Warner Bros. Records.

Blues sessions at Chess Edit

In early January 1969, Kirwan was on his first tour of the United States with Fleetwood Mac, and they opened for Muddy Waters at the Regal Theatre in Chicago. While they were there, producer Mike Vernon heard that Chess Records was about to close its famous Chicago studio and suggested recording a Fleetwood Mac blues album in the home of Chicago blues before it disappeared. [8] He and Marshall Chess arranged a two-day recording session [8] in which Kirwan, along with Green, Spencer, McVie and Fleetwood, played with legendary blues musicians David 'Honeyboy' Edwards, Walter 'Shakey' Horton, J.T. Brown, Willie Dixon, Otis Spann, Buddy Guy, and S.P. Leary. Willie Dixon organised the sessions. [8]

The recordings made at Chess Studios were judged "a great success" and were released by Vernon in December 1969 as a double album on the Blue Horizon label, originally entitled Blues Jam at Chess and later reissued as Fleetwood Mac in Chicago. [26] Fleetwood said later that the sessions had produced some of the best blues the band had ever played, and ironically, the last blues that Fleetwood Mac would ever record. [8] Two of Kirwan's songs, "Talk With You" and "Like It This Way", were included on the album.

Then Play On, 1969 Edit

Kirwan's skills came further to the forefront on the mid-1969 album Then Play On, recorded at Kingsway Studios in Holborn, London. Green had told Kirwan when he joined the band that he would be responsible for half of the next album, [8] and the songwriting and lead vocals on Then Play On were split almost equally between Kirwan and Green, with many of the performances featuring their dual lead Gibson Les Paul guitars. Fleetwood said that Kirwan, asked to write his first songs for the band, "approached his assignment very cerebrally, much as Lindsey Buckingham would do later, and came up with some very good music." [8] [Fleetwood later said in an interview that Buckingham had "a huge regard for Danny".] [27] Kirwan's input drew on material he had written over the previous two years in his first band. [28]

Green took a back seat during the recording sessions and left most of the guitar work to Kirwan. [29] Spencer did not play guitar or sing on the album [8] and Kirwan had a significant role in the recording. He composed seven of the 14 tracks [9] and his "Coming Your Way" opened side one of the album. His varied musical influences are evident throughout, from the flowing instrumental "My Dream" to the 1930s-style "When You Say", which Green had earmarked to be a single until his own composition "Oh Well" took shape and was chosen instead. [12] "Coming Your Way" was a full band performance and "Like Crying" was a Kirwan duet with Green. Kirwan played all the guitar parts on "Although the Sun is Shining". [12] Mike Vernon noted that Kirwan's presence and his eclectic musical influences "were already beginning to take the band out of mainstream 12-bar blues and into blues-rock and rock ballads." [28]

The UK release of Then Play On featured two extra earlier Kirwan recordings, the sad blues "Without You" and the heavy "One Sunny Day", which was later covered by American blues musician Tinsley Ellis on his 1997 album Fire It Up. Then Play On was released in September 1969 and reached number five in the UK album charts. It was the band's first album to sell more than 100,000 in America. [8]

In December 1969, 16 months after Kirwan joined the band, Fleetwood Mac were voted the UK's number-one progressive group in Melody Maker's end-of-year polls. The band had also outsold the Beatles and the Rolling Stones in Europe in record sales and concert tickets. [8]

US releases Edit

The US-only release English Rose from the same era included Kirwan's "Without You" and "One Sunny Day", plus his tense blues "Something Inside of Me" and "Jigsaw Puzzle Blues", both also dating from earlier sessions. [ citation needed ] Fleetwood described the album as "a sort of pastiche" consisting of the best cuts from their second studio album, Mr Wonderful, plus "Black Magic Woman", "Albatross", and the four new tracks from Kirwan. [8] English Rose was Fleetwood Mac's second album release in the US. Kirwan began a two-month tour with the band to promote English Rose at the Fillmore East in New York on 1 February 1969. [8]

The US track-listing of Then Play On was reordered to allow the inclusion of the full nine-minute version of Green's hit single "Oh Well", and two of Kirwan's songs, "My Dream" and "When You Say", were dropped. Only "Coming Your Way", the wistful "Although the Sun Is Shining" and his duet with Green, "Like Crying", appeared on all the later non-UK vinyl releases.

On the 1990 CD release, Kirwan's two dropped songs were reinstated, although "One Sunny Day" and "Without You" were now absent from releases in all territories, including the UK. The 2013 CD release restored the original UK track order, with "Without You" and "One Sunny Day" included.

Archival packages Edit

Archival packages from this era such as The Vaudeville Years and Show-Biz Blues double sets include several Kirwan songs and show his blues influences, as well as the more arcane tastes that led to songs such as "Tell Me from the Start", which could have been mistaken for a song by the 1920s-style group The Temperance Seven. Kirwan's unusual musical interests are said to have prompted band leader Green to dub him "Ragtime Cowboy Joe". [12]

The track listing on The Vaudeville Years contained five of Kirwan's songs: "Like It This Way", "Although the Sun Is Shining", "Love It Seems", "Tell Me from the Start", and "Farewell", plus his joint composition with Green, "World in Harmony". His songs on Show-Biz Blues were "Mind of My Own" and a live version of "Coming Your Way". Kirwan's up-tempo blues "Like It This Way" was recorded during the "Man of the World" sessions early in 1969. It was the first Fleetwood Mac recording to feature Kirwan and Green's duelling twin-lead guitars, which later became part of the band's live performances. [12]

Singles 1968–1970 Edit

Fleetwood Mac's hit singles from 1968 to 1970 were all written by Green, but Kirwan's style showed through, thanks to Green's desire not to act as the band's main focus. Kirwan joined Green in the dual guitar harmonies on "Albatross", contributed to "Man of the World" and took the solo on "Oh Well Pt. 1". Mike Vernon recalled "considerable input" from Kirwan in the making of "Man of the World", [28] which was released in April 1969 and reached number two in the UK charts. [8]

The final hit single from this line-up, "The Green Manalishi", was recorded in April 1970 [12] in a difficult night-time session after Green had announced that he was leaving the band. Producer Martin Birch recalled Green growing increasingly frustrated at the results of the session because he could not get the sound he wanted, and Kirwan reassuring him that they would stay there all night until they got it right. [12] Green said later that although it had left him exhausted, making "Green Manalishi" was one of his best musical memories. "Lots of drums, bass guitars . Danny Kirwan and me playing those shrieking guitars together . I thought it would make number one." [30]

The track was recorded at Warner-Reprise's studios in Hollywood on the band's third US tour. [31] "The Green Manalishi" was released in May 1970 and reached number 10 in the UK charts. It was the band's fourth consecutive hit single, and Fleetwood Mac's last in the UK for six years. [8]

The B-side of "The Green Manalishi" was the instrumental "World in Harmony", the only track ever given a "Kirwan/Green" joint songwriting credit. In March 1970, Green said that he and Kirwan were planning an album based around their two guitars, [32] and Spencer recalled later that Kirwan and Green had begun to piece their guitar parts together "almost like orchestrally layered guitar work." [19] Kirwan and Green had already worked on melodic twin guitar demos that had sparked rumours in the music press in late 1969 of a duelling guitars project, but ultimately nothing came of it. [12]

Kirwan and Green Edit

Despite the closeness of their musical partnership, Kirwan and Green did not always get on well personally, which was at least partly due to Kirwan's short temper. [16] Kirwan had high musical standards and concentrated more on rehearsing than the other members of the band, with Green recalling that Kirwan always had to arrive anywhere an hour early, [12] but Green was more talented when it came to improvisational skills. [16]

One of the band's roadies, Dennis Keane, said Kirwan began to clash with Green, and suggested that the success of "Albatross" and the follow-up single "Man of the World" had gone to Kirwan's head and he had become more confident, to the point of trying to pressure Green and compete with him. [12] Producer Martin Birch, however, remembered that Kirwan was often seeking reassurance from Green and that he was always in awe of him. "I often got the impression that Danny was looking for Peter's approval, whereas Peter wanted Danny to develop by himself." [12]

Departure of Peter Green Edit

After rumours in the music press in early 1970 that Kirwan would leave Fleetwood Mac, it was Green who departed in May of that year. Kirwan later said that he was not surprised. "We just didn't get on too well basically . We played some good stuff together, we played well together, but we didn't get on." [6] Brunning said in his 1998 history of the band that Green left because of personality clashes with Kirwan and musical and personal differences with the other band members. He said Green wanted to be free to play with other musicians and not be tied down to a particular musical format. [33]

Sessions away from Fleetwood Mac Edit

Otis Spann, Spencer, McVie Edit

In January 1969, Kirwan made his first musical appearance outside Fleetwood Mac when he contributed to Otis Spann's blues album The Biggest Thing Since Colossus with Green and John McVie. After Then Play On had been completed, Kirwan worked on Christine McVie's first solo album, titled Christine Perfect (McVie was then still using her maiden name). She included a version of Kirwan's "When You Say" on the album, which was chosen as a single. Kirwan arranged the string section and acted as producer. [34]

Kirwan worked with Fleetwood and John McVie on the first solo album from a then-current member of Fleetwood Mac when Spencer recorded his album Jeremy Spencer, released in January 1970. Kirwan played rhythm guitar in various styles and sang backing vocals throughout. The album was not commercially successful, but Spencer discovered that he and Kirwan worked well together without Green. He said later, "In retrospect, one of the most enjoyable things was working with Danny on it, as it brought out a side of him I hadn't seen." [35]

Blues band Tramp Edit

In 1969, Kirwan contributed as a session guitarist to the first album by London-based blues band Tramp, titled Tramp, which was recorded at DeLane Lea Studios in Soho. [36] The album featured an uptempo guitar instrumental, "Hard Work", from Kirwan. Mick Fleetwood played drums on the recording. [36]

Tramp's bass player Bob Brunning, Fleetwood Mac's first bassist, [37] said he had "thoroughly enjoyed" working with Kirwan during the Tramp sessions and remembered him being "extremely friendly and cooperative." [38] In his 1998 history of the band, Brunning said Kirwan was "a talented and soulful musician" who had contributed much fine work to Fleetwood Mac's repertoire. [39] He recalled that when his bass amplifier was stolen in 1969, Kirwan had given him a vintage Marshall amp as a replacement. [36]

Kiln House, 1970 Edit

Arrival of Christine McVie Edit

After Green left in May 1970, the band considered splitting up. [40] Kirwan and Spencer were now having to front the band and their morale was low. [8] Fleetwood said Spencer was terrified of being a front man on his own, "and the pressure on Danny's sensitive temperament was tremendous." [15] He recalled, "There was one terrible night when everybody decided they wanted to leave . but one by one, I talked them all back in." [8] They continued briefly as a four-piece and were rescued after the recording of Kiln House by the arrival of keyboard player Christine McVie, described by Fleetwood as "the best blueswoman in England", [8] as a fifth band member. Fleetwood said, "Christine became the glue . she filled out our sound beautifully." [15]

The new line-up included some of McVie's songs, introduced vocal harmonies, [19] continued to showcase Spencer's talents [15] and allowed Kirwan to develop more melodic rock. [15] McVie played her first official gig with Fleetwood Mac on 1 August 1970 [41] at The Warehouse in New Orleans, Louisiana, at the start of a three-month US tour. [8]

Kirwan compositions Edit

Kirwan and Spencer handled the guitars and vocals together on the Kiln House album, released in September 1970, and continued the working relationship they had started during the recording of Spencer's solo album the previous year. [35] Kirwan's songs on the album included "Station Man", co-written with Spencer and John McVie, which became a live staple into the post-1974 Buckingham-Nicks era.

His other songs were "Jewel-Eyed Judy", dedicated to Judy Wong, a friend of the band from San Francisco the energetic "Tell Me All the Things You Do" and "Earl Gray", an atmospheric instrumental that Kirwan had largely composed while Peter Green was still in the band. [12] Kirwan also sang distinctive backing vocals on some of Spencer's numbers, such as the 1950s-flavoured album opener "This Is the Rock". [ citation needed ] Christine McVie played keyboards and sang backing vocals, uncredited, on the album. [8]

Other Kirwan compositions from the second half of 1970, such as those which eventually surfaced in the 2003 Madison Blues CD box set, included "Down at the Crown". The lyrics referred to a pub near the band's communal house, 'Benifold', in Headley, Hampshire. The unsuccessful single "Dragonfly", recorded late in the year, was also written by Kirwan and included lyrics adapted from a poem by W. H. Davies. This was not the last time Kirwan used a poem as lyrics for a song and may have been a solution to his apparent occasional lack of inspiration when writing lyrics. [35] The B-side of the single, "The Purple Dancer", written by Kirwan, Fleetwood, and John McVie, featured Kirwan and Spencer duetting on lead vocals. [ citation needed ]

Departure of Jeremy Spencer Edit

Two tours of the US followed in support of Kiln House, but the second, in February 1971, was blighted by Jeremy Spencer's bizarre departure from the group. He disappeared from the band's hotel in Los Angeles on the afternoon of a sold-out gig at the prestigious Whiskey A Go Go, which had to be cancelled, [15] and after several days of searching was discovered to have joined the California-based religious cult the Children of God. [8]

Spencer was a devout Christian, and away from his rock 'n' roll stage persona he was said to read the Bible and pray every day. [8] When he was finally tracked down by the band's manager, his wild curly hair had been cut off and he was wearing shabby clothes. [8] He said he had been approached by members of the cult in the street, he had joined them of his own free will, and he had no further interest in Fleetwood Mac. [8]

Spencer recalled in later years that at the age of 22 he was questioning everything, he had become dissatisfied with his life, and he no longer enjoyed playing. He regretted not having gone about his departure in a more thoughtful way, but said "that's just the way it happened . I needed to get away." [19] In an interview in 2006, he said, "I knew I had left them [the band] in the lurch, but I prayed desperately for them." [35] Spencer played what turned out to be his last gig with Kirwan, Fleetwood, and John and Christine McVie at the Fillmore West in San Francisco on Sunday 14 February 1971. [8]

Return of Peter Green Edit

The band had an uncomfortable time completing the tour without him. Spencer had been an essential part of the Kiln House material they were performing, and his Elmore James blues set and his rock 'n' roll Elvis act had been vital parts of the show. They had another six weeks of contracted gigs to do that could not be performed with only one guitarist, and they would face financial ruin if they cancelled the tour. [8] In desperation, manager Clifford Davis phoned Peter Green in England and asked if he would temporarily rejoin the band to save them from disaster. [8] [42]

Green had left Fleetwood Mac nearly a year previously after becoming disillusioned with the music business and had given away all his guitars, [43] but "in a spirit of friendship" he agreed to do it, [8] on condition that each show would consist mostly of improvisation and free-form jamming. [44] Fleetwood recalled, "We had no choice. We were absolutely shattered by Jeremy's defection." [8] The next day, Friday 19 February 1971, [45] Green arrived in Los Angeles after a 14-hour flight from London and was taken straight to Swing Stadium in San Bernardino, California, where he played his first gig of the tour with his old band after a half-hour rehearsal in the dressing room. [44]

Fleetwood commented later that jamming and improvising a show each night "made for an interesting six weeks, because not once did we take the stage knowing what the set was going to be." [15] In later years, bassist John McVie would remember that kind of performing as "invigorating", but at the time, he said, "We were scared stiff. We would go on stage every night, look at the audience and not have a clue what we were going to play." [44] The band's jamming was received enthusiastically by the American audiences. Fleetwood recalled, "The whole act seemed to go down pretty well. We were always called back for encores." [8]

Once they got into their stride, Kirwan is reported to have felt annoyed and overshadowed because Green was taking a leading role in their guitar playing on stage. [44] After one show at which Fleetwood Mac were the headliners, he is said to have thrown a bottle of beer over Green in the dressing room. [44] Green's biographer Martin Celmins said Green had not been trying to put Kirwan down. "[Peter] just played around him, trying to egg him on, but Danny didn't have the fire or the skills of improvisation, so he got very frustrated." [44]

The final concert of the tour was in New York on Saturday 27 March 1971, [46] the second of two nights at the Rock Pile on Long Island. [47] [48] Until then Green had kept a relatively low profile, but in his last ever performance with Fleetwood Mac, he and the band "took the place by storm" with a four-hour improvised version of "Black Magic Woman". [49] Promoter Bill Graham almost started a riot when he tried to end the show at midnight and Green finally ran out of ideas at 4am. [44] Fleetwood reflected later that, in the end, the tour had been a success and those six weeks were the most lucrative run they had ever had. [43]

Bob Welch Edit

Welch and Fleetwood Mac Edit

Californian guitarist Bob Welch was recruited to replace Spencer in April 1971, [50] without an audition, after a few weeks of getting to know him. [40] Welch arrived in London from Paris, where he had been stranded after his previous band fell apart. [2] Fleetwood said later, "We tried a few others, but Bob was the perfect fit. [43] We loved his personality. His musical roots were in R&B instead of blues [and] we thought it would be an interesting blend. He had a precise sense of phrasing and timing and he was well-trained, as opposed to us, who had just wandered into it." [8]

Welch recalled, "Immediately I began to discover Fleetwood Mac's unusual organisational methods. I was expecting they'd tell me to learn these songs and sing this way, but it was nothing like that. We just jammed and played some blues on the side." [8] Welch was "put to work right away" in a summer 1971 tour of the British circuit and some European dates [8] and he remembered, "Mick ran a loose ship. Most of the time it was jam city. We basically got drunk and had a good time." [8]

Welch later described what it was like working with the band. [51] "Touring was a lot of fun. We played with Deep Purple, Savoy Brown, Van Morrison, Alice Cooper, and others, only it was exhausting, because we would have ridiculous itineraries, like going from Tampa to Seattle and back in 36 hours. Fleetwood Mac used to rock pretty hard opening for Deep Purple. As I remember, we always got a couple of encores. Their crowd seemed to like us. An abiding memory would be 'really getting into it' on stage, jamming at the end of a song and making things up as we went along, not knowing how it was going to come out or how it was going to end." [52]

Welch described Fleetwood as "a gifted drummer" and said John McVie was one of the most inventive bass players he had ever worked with. [51] He remembered Kirwan's lead guitar style as mature and economical.

"Danny was a very meticulous guitar player. The notes had to be exactly right. He didn't play any twiddly licks just to fill time. Danny's style, which he modelled after Pete Green's, was a 'make every note count emotionally' style. No wasted notes, no flash fooling around just to impress. This was actually a very mature style to have at [that] young age . I learned a lot from Danny about economy of notes, and really trying to say something in a guitar lead." [51]

Welch and Kirwan Edit

Welch's contrasting attitudes towards Kirwan – on one hand, a difficult personal relationship, and on the other his respect for Kirwan's musicianship – were a point of focus during the 16 months they were together in Fleetwood Mac. Fleetwood remembered, "The two of them were very different as people and as musicians." [53] A "personality clash" developed [8] and by 1972, under the strain of touring, Kirwan was arguing with Welch and "picking fights". [53]

Welch commented later, "Danny was a brilliant musician [but he] wasn't a very lighthearted person, to say the least. He probably shouldn't have been drinking as much as he did, even at his young age. He was always very intense about his work, as I was, but he didn't seem to ever be able to distance himself from it and laugh about it. Danny was the definition of 'deadly serious'." [52]

Welch recalled, "I thought he was a nice kid, but a little bit paranoid, a little bit disturbed. He would always take things I said wrongly. He would take offence at things for no reason . I thought it was just me, but as I got to know the rest of the band, they'd say 'Oh yes, Danny, a little. strange'." [54] Welch also suspected that Kirwan did not appreciate his musical style. "I think Danny thought I was too clever a player . too jazzy, too many weird notes. I don't feel he loved my stuff to death." [51]

In a Penguin Q&A session in 1999, Welch said, "Danny Kirwan was a very innovative and exciting player, singer, and writer. He was a very intuitive musician . he played with surprising maturity and soulfulness. I always loved Danny's playing in Fleetwood Mac and on his solo work. His Second Chapter is one of the sweetest albums I have." [51]

"He was a talented, gifted musician, almost equal to Pete Green in his beautiful guitar playing and faultless string bends. The sessions with him in the band were always intense, in a fun way. As a musician, he was developed way beyond his years and he had a sensitivity to match. Danny was definitely in tune with 'other worlds'. When he left, Fleetwood Mac lost a certain lyricism that they wouldn't get back until Stevie Nicks." [51]

Future Games, 1971 Edit

On the last two Fleetwood Mac albums which featured Kirwan, his songs occupied about half of each album. His guitar work was also evident on songs written by Welch and McVie as they developed their own songwriting techniques. Future Games, recorded at Advision Studios in London in the middle of a hectic tour schedule [8] and released in September 1971, was a departure from the previous album with the absence of Spencer and his '50s rock 'n' roll parodies. Welch brought a couple of new songs, notably the lengthy title track, which featured Welch and Kirwan playing long instrumental sections. Welch recalled later, "I mostly did the rhythm guitar parts. Danny and I worked together pretty well." [55]

Kirwan contributed the album's opening track, "Woman of 1000 Years", which, according to one unknown critic at the time, "floated on a languid sea of echo-laden acoustic and electric guitars". [56] His other songs were the melodic "Sands of Time", which Warner Bros. Records chose as a single in the US, and the country-flavoured "Sometimes", which suggested the route he would later take during his solo career. Kirwan's influence can also be heard on the two Christine McVie songs, "Morning Rain" and "Show Me a Smile". [ citation needed ] McVie later described "Woman of 1000 Years" and "Sands of Time" as "killer songs". [57] Welch said "Woman of 1000 Years" was "Danny at his best." [58]

Future Games sold well in America. Fleetwood Mac were given top billing at the Fillmore East in New York and broke house records for sellouts at other venues. [8] Kirwan began an 11-month tour of America and Europe with the band, opening a couple of dozen shows for Deep Purple and for several months playing second on the bill to Savoy Brown. [8] In a rare week off, early in 1972, [8] they returned to London and recorded their next album, Bare Trees, in a few days. Fleetwood said the songs on the album reflected the band's "jaded road-weariness and longing for home." [8] Christine McVie wrote in "Homeward Bound", "I don't want to see another aeroplane seat or another hotel room." The pressure and strain of life on the road, of constant travelling and performing, was increasingly affecting Kirwan. As the tour progressed he became withdrawn and isolated from the rest of the band, got into arguments with Welch, and was drinking heavily [8] to the point where, Fleetwood said, "alcoholism began to take hold." [53]

Bare Trees, 1972 Edit

Bare Trees was recorded at DeLane Lea Studios in London and released in March 1972. The album contained five new Kirwan tracks, including another instrumental, "Sunny Side of Heaven". The lyric for the album-closer, "Dust", was taken from a poem about death by British war poet Rupert Brooke, although Brooke was not credited. "Danny's Chant" featured heavy use of the wah-wah guitar effect and was essentially an instrumental piece, except for Kirwan's wordless, rhythmic scat vocals.

"Bare Trees" and "Child of Mine", which touched upon the absence of Kirwan's father during his childhood, opened each side of the LP, and under Welch's influence [51] showed funk and slight jazz leanings. An unissued Kirwan track, "Trinity", was played live for a period during 1971–1972 and the studio version was eventually released on the 1992 box set 25 Years – The Chain. [ citation needed ]

Welch commented later, "There was no overall plan to make Bare Trees sound bleak, it just happened. I think a lot of that mood comes from Danny's angst in his writing. His songs always had a kind of loneliness and forlornness about them." [51]

The American music magazine Rolling Stone published a review of Bare Trees in the issue dated 8 June 1972. Reviewer Bud Scoppa said how much he had liked the previous albums, Kiln House and Future Games. He found Bare Trees "more introspective", but harder-hitting and he said, "As before, it's Danny Kirwan who makes the difference." He likened "the kind of music the new Mac plays" to "the moody rock of the middle-period Beatles" and commented on the resemblance of Kirwan's style, with his "deft melodic touch", to Paul McCartney's. He noted that after Spencer had left the band, Kirwan had become "the sole focal figure". He said Kirwan's "Jewel-Eyed Judy", "Tell Me All the Things You Do", and "Station Man" were "among the best examples of the soft-hard rock song, with their silky vocals and smoking guitars." Scoppa ended the review by saying:

"With his multiple skills, Kirwan can't help being the focal point. It is his presence that makes Fleetwood Mac something more than another competent rock group. He gives them a distinctiveness, a sting. He makes you want to hear these songs again." [59]

Firing from Fleetwood Mac Edit

Pressure and stress Edit

By the summer of 1972, Kirwan had been writing, recording, touring, and performing continuously for nearly four years, since the age of 18, as a member of a major international band. [8] He had shouldered much of the songwriting responsibility during the band's recent troubled and uncertain period and through changes in line-up and musical style. He had also found himself pushed into the spotlight as lead guitarist and front man to replace Peter Green. [8] The pressure eventually affected his health he developed serious problems with alcoholism, and stories were told of him not eating for several days at a time and living mostly on beer.

The pressure and stress of life as a professional musician, of constant travelling and performing and exhausting schedules, particularly affected him. As the band's 1972 tour progressed, he became increasingly hostile and withdrawn and was drinking heavily. [8] Fleetwood said, "On that long tour in 1972 Danny became quite volatile [8] . He just got more and more intense. He wouldn't talk to anyone. He was going inside himself, which we put down to an emotional problem that we had no idea about. We thought he was just being awkward. I had no idea he was struggling at that level." [27] He said,

"Danny had been a nervous and sensitive lad from the start. He was never really suited to the rigours of the business. Touring is hard and the routine wears us all down . Our manager kept us touring non-stop and we were being stretched to our limits . and the pressure was obviously taking its toll. He simply withdrew into his own world." [8] [15]

Backstage incident Edit

Kirwan became estranged from the other members of the band, [8] [15] and things came to a head in August. [15] Backstage before a concert on the 1972 US tour to promote Bare Trees, he argued with Welch over tuning their guitars and suddenly flew into a violent rage, [15] banging his head and fists against the wall. He smashed his Gibson Les Paul guitar, trashed the dressing room [15] and refused to go on stage. Kirwan watched from the mixing desk as the rest of the band struggled through the gig without him, and offered unwelcome criticism afterwards. [60]

Other members of the band recalled the incident. Welch said, "We had a university gig somewhere. Danny started to throw this major fit in the dressing room. He had a beautiful guitar . [a vintage Les Paul Black Beauty. [51] ] First he started banging the wall with his fists, then he threw his guitar at the mirror, which shattered, raining glass everywhere. He was pissed out of his brain, which he was for most of the time. We couldn't reason with him." [61]

Fleetwood said, "We all felt a blow-up was brewing, but we didn't expect what happened. We were sitting backstage waiting to go on. Danny was being odd about tuning his guitar. He went off on a rant about Bob never being in tune . He got up suddenly . and bashed his head into the wall, splattering blood everywhere. I'd never seen him do anything that violent in all the years I'd known him. The rest of us were paralysed, in complete shock. He grabbed his precious Les Paul guitar and smashed it to bits. Then he set about demolishing everything in the dressing room as we all sat and watched. When there was nothing left to throw at the wall or overturn, he calmed down. Five minutes to showtime and there was blood everywhere. Danny said 'I'm not going on'. We were already late to the stage and we could hear the crowd chanting for us. We had to go on stage without him." [15] [62] [8] [63]

The band struggled through the gig without a lead guitarist, with Welch trying to cover Kirwan's lead parts. [8] Welch remembered, "I was extremely pissed off and the set seemed to drag on for ever. To do a whole set without Danny was tough, because all the band arrangements depended on him being there for a guitar part or a vocal part or whatever. I think we told the audience Danny was sick, which I guess he was, in a way." [58]

Sacking from the band Edit

After a conference between the other band members back at the hotel, Kirwan was sacked. Fleetwood, who had been the only member of the band still speaking to him, said later,

"In essence, he had a breakdown. [27] . The rest of us were so hurt and insulted by what Danny had done we didn't know what to do. I was loath to fire him because he played so well . [Firing him] would mean pulling out of two weeks of gigs and cancelling the tour [8] [64] . [but] there was no other option. Danny had to go." [15] [65]

Fleetwood said in 1976, "It was a torment for him, really, to be up there [on stage], and it reduced him to someone who you just looked at and thought 'My God'. It was more a thing of, although he was asked to leave, the way I was looking at it was, I hoped it was almost putting him out of his agony," [40] adding later, "I don't think he's ever forgiven me." [66]

Welch said that until then the band had remained loyal to Kirwan, even when he became impossible to work with. "I would say, 'the guy doesn't show up to rehearsals, he's embarrassing, he's paranoid, we've spent five hours dealing with him', but Mick, John, and Christine remained loyal to him because he was Peter's protége." [55]

Kirwan said in an interview in 1993, "I couldn't handle it all mentally. I had to get out." [67]

His reaction after being sacked was initially one of surprise, and it seemed he had little idea of how alienated from the other band members he had become. [40] Shortly afterwards, he met his replacement, Bob Weston, in a musicians' bar in London. Weston described the meeting: "He was aware that I was taking over and rather sarcastically wished me the best of luck – then paused and added, 'You're gonna need it.' I read between the lines that he was pretty angry with the band." [68]

Fleetwood justified the decision to fire Kirwan as a way to put him out of his misery. [66] In 1993, Kirwan looked back at his time with the band and his departure without any resentment. He said,

"I was lucky to have played for the band at all. I just started off following them around, but I could play the guitar a bit and Mick felt sorry for me and put me in. I did it for about four years, but I couldn't handle the lifestyle and the women and the travelling." [69]

Solo career and beyond Edit

Hungry Fighter, 1974 Edit

In early 1974, Kirwan and another recently departed member of Fleetwood Mac, guitarist Dave Walker, joined forces with keyboardist Paul Raymond, bassist Andy Silvester, and drummer Mac Poole to form a short-lived band called Hungry Fighter. [70] [71] This group played only one gig, at the University of Surrey in Guildford, England, which was not recorded. Walker remembered, "Danny was an incredible talent . At this time [his] guitar playing was still superb, but he was becoming increasingly withdrawn." [71]

Walker said the band did not function properly because "perhaps we were not focused enough musically, and in addition, Danny Kirwan's problems were just starting and this made communication extremely difficult." [71] He said Kirwan's alcoholism had been a factor, "although in fairness to Danny the rest of the band drank a fair bit themselves," and while some interesting stuff was going on, the focus of the project left a bit to be desired. [71] He said later, "Danny Kirwan, bless him, had already started his downward spiral, and it was so painful and sad to watch that I think it permeated the band's optimism and vision." [72]

Walker had previously been a member of UK band the Idle Race, who opened a show for Fleetwood Mac at the Lyceum Theatre in London in 1970. [71] In a Penguin Q&A session in 2000 he recalled Kirwan's guitar playing being "very classy". [71] He commented,

"Fleetwood Mac's original line-up [Green, Spencer, Kirwan, Fleetwood, McVie] were the most impressive group I had had the privilege of sharing a stage with since the Beatles." [71]

Other sessions: Chris Youlden, Tramp Edit

After leaving Fleetwood Mac, Kirwan worked with Chris Youlden of Savoy Brown on his 1973 solo album Nowhere Road. [73]

In 1974, Kirwan worked again with Mick Fleetwood at Southern Music Studio in Denmark Street, London, [39] in recording sessions for the second album of London-based blues band Tramp. The band's bass player, Bob Brunning, said Kirwan seemed to have recovered from his Fleetwood Mac traumas. He remembered him being "extremely friendly and cooperative" and said he was a pleasure to work with. [38] Kirwan played with Tramp in a 1974 BBC Radio One live broadcast to promote the album. [39] Tramp later performed a few live shows with Kirwan on guitar and Fleetwood as one of the drummers. [38]

Solo albums, 1975–1979 Edit

Guided by ex-Fleetwood Mac manager Clifford Davis, Kirwan recorded three solo albums for DJM Records between 1975 and 1979. These albums showed a gentler side of his music, as opposed to the blues guitar dynamics of his Fleetwood Mac years. The first of these, Second Chapter [1975], exhibited various musical influences, including a style close to that of Paul McCartney later in his Beatles career. [74] Many of the songs were very simple musically, with little more than infectious melody and basic lyrics to sustain them. Lyrical themes rarely ventured beyond love. [ citation needed ] A Rolling Stone review of Bare Trees in 1972 commented on the similarity of Kirwan's musical style to Paul McCartney's. [75] Kirwan said in 1997 that McCartney had been one of his early influences. [6]

Midnight in San Juan [1976] featured a reggae-inspired cover of the Beatles' "Let It Be", which was released as a single in the US. Otherwise, Kirwan tended towards simpler tunes and dispensed with the heavy production that had dominated his previous album. The lyrics were still mostly about love, but were less cheerful than before, with growing themes of loneliness and isolation, such as on the closing track, "Castaway". One song, "Look Around You", was written by fellow Mac refugee Dave Walker, with whom Kirwan had worked in Hungry Fighter a couple of years previously. [71]

Kirwan's last album, Hello There Big Boy!, recorded in London in January 1979, featured guitar contributions from his Fleetwood Mac replacement Bob Weston on two tracks, "Getting the Feeling" and "You". [68] Weston said later, "As an experience it was difficult. Danny was barricaded in a womb of studio baffle boards much of the time. He had become totally reclusive. Danny appears to have played rhythm guitar on that album, but he couldn't handle the lead guitar work. It was evident he'd fallen totally apart." [68]

Kirwan was not well at this time and it is not clear how much, if any, guitar work he contributed to the recording, although he did sing on all the tracks. Fewer of the songs were self-penned and one song, "Only You", was retrieved from his Fleetwood Mac days. Backing vocalists were used for the first time, and the musical style was much less distinct. A record-company press release stated that producer Clifford Davis had added contributions from 87 musicians to the final recording. [76] Davis later described the album as "so bad". He said, "[Kirwan] had to finish it for contractual reasons, but I had to put down the acoustic guitar parts and the vocals and everything else. I even picked the songs." [60]

None of Kirwan's solo releases was commercially successful, which could be attributed to his reluctance to perform live. Kirwan did not play any live gigs after a few shows with Tramp and a single performance with Hungry Fighter, all in 1974. This left all three of his solo albums unsupported by any form of extra exposure or active promotion, apart from an irregular string of equally unsuccessful singles. None of his singles were released in continental Europe, where he might have enjoyed some success given Peter Green's resurgence there, particularly in Germany. [77]

Kirwan married Clare Stock in 1971 they divorced a few years later. [76] They had one son, Dominic Daniel, born in 1971. [78]

Mental health Edit

Fleetwood Mac period, 1968–1972 Edit

Kirwan was described by those who knew him in Fleetwood Mac, between the ages of 18 and 22, as a brilliant and exceptionally talented musician, but also as nervous, sensitive and insecure. Christine McVie said in an interview in 2018, "Danny was a troubled man and a difficult person to get to know. He was a loner." [79] John McVie recalled, "Danny was a very nice guy, nervous and shy . he had a lot of insecurity." [80] Fleetwood remembered Kirwan as "nervous and sensitive" and commented, sympathetically, that he had "carried all his emotional baggage around with him". [8] Spencer said, "He was jittery and nervous . the pressure became too much for him." [81] A member of the band Kirwan was in briefly in 1974 recalled, "Danny had a touch of genius, but the poor fellow was a bag of nerves." [79] Fleetwood said in 2014, "Danny was wonderful, but he couldn't handle the life." [82]

In 1969, Peter Green described Kirwan, then aged 19, as neurotic and prone to worrying. He said, "[Danny] has done some incredible things on the new LP and we're proud to have him with us, [but] he's neurotic and worries about everything. He even worries about simple things like catching a bus. He bites his nails until they bleed. He's either right up or right down, either raving or worrying." [12] In a Melody Maker interview in 1969 Kirwan described himself as "nervous" and "highly strung". He said, "I just can't relax." [83]

Bob Welch worked with Kirwan in Fleetwood Mac from April 1971 to August 1972. He and Kirwan shared a productive musical partnership, but Welch, an outgoing Californian, found Kirwan to be withdrawn and difficult to communicate with. Welch recalled, "I thought he was a nice kid, but a little bit paranoid, defensive, a little bit disturbed. He would always take things I said wrongly . He would take offence at things for no reason. He'd play something and I'd say, 'That's kinda nice' and he'd say, 'Kind of nice? You mean you don't like it?' I thought it was just me, but as I got to know the rest of the band they'd say, 'Oh yes, Danny, a little. strange'." [54]

In Penguin Q&A sessions in 1999 and 2003, Welch said, "Danny Kirwan was a wonderful musician, and we had no problems there at all. It was just his personality . he was 'ill' even then, I think . he acted paranoid, like people didn't mean it when they complimented him. He was suspicious of people's motives. I would try to have rational conversations with him but he always seemed to respond with suspicion, as if there was some kind of subtext to what I was saying. In the end, he was making us all feel uncomfortable. He didn't have a real easygoing manner or, as I recall, much of a sense of humour. He was a sort of 'moody genius' type to work with. I didn't understand Danny at all […] But he was such a sweet and charming singer and writer. The contrast couldn't have been greater between what he sounded like and what it was like to be around him." [51] [52] Welch said,

"Danny was one of the strangest people I've ever met, very nervous, hard to establish a rapport with . [but] he was also a very intuitive musician . he played with surprising maturity and soulfulness. There was something idealistic and pure about him." [84]

Kirwan's mental state appears to have been fragile before he became involved with Fleetwood Mac. The band's manager, Clifford Davis, said Kirwan's mother had split from his father "and Danny was always trying to find him. He had a lot of problems with self-confidence and security . Hurled into the Fleetwood Mac circus in his teens, he found the fame hard to cope with." [85] In his song "Child of Mine", evidently dedicated to his infant son, which opened Bare Trees in 1972, Kirwan wrote "I won't leave you, no not like my father did."

Alcohol and drugs Edit

Alcohol and drugs appear to have contributed to Kirwan's decline. Green's biographer Martin Celmins said that by the age of 21, after two and a half years as a professional musician, Kirwan was "lost in a drink and drugs wasteland." [49] A lot of pressure and responsibility had fallen on his shoulders after Green left the band in 1970 and he had found it difficult to cope. [49] By the end of 1970 his excessive drinking was causing concern. [2] By 1972 he was drinking heavily and showing signs of alcoholism, [53] and he had experimented with LSD and mescaline. [8] [15] Celmins quoted Fleetwood's first wife, Jenny Boyd, who knew Kirwan, as saying, "I think drugs and alcohol got Danny totally nuts in the end. He was just too sensitive a soul." [49] In the late 1970s Kirwan's mental health deteriorated, and after a difficult time recording his final solo album in January 1979, [86] he played no further part in the music industry.

Homelessness Edit

During the 1980s and 1990s, Kirwan endured periods of homelessness in London. [87] In 1980 Fleetwood Mac, then based in Los Angeles, were in London for a concert and Kirwan turned up at their hotel. Fleetwood recalled later, "It was heartbreaking . he looked derelict . he'd slept on a park bench the night before." [88] In 1989 Fleetwood Mac's first bass player, Bob Brunning, wanting to interview Kirwan for a book he was writing about the band, tracked him down to the St Mungo's Community Hostel for the Homeless in Covent Garden in London's Soho district. Brunning said Kirwan was "still slim, but puffy-cheeked and highly agitated. He couldn't talk coherently, just said, 'Can't help you Bob. Too much stress'." [89]

In 1993, Fleetwood contacted the Missing Persons Bureau in London from Los Angeles and Kirwan, then aged 42, was traced to a hostel for the homeless [88] where he had been for the past four years, "carrying all his worldly goods in a rucksack" and living on social security and small amounts of royalties. [88] Interviewed by the The Independent newspaper, Kirwan said, "I've been through a bit of a rough patch, but I'm not too bad. I get by. I suppose I am homeless, but then I've never really had a home since our early days on tour." [84] [88]

In 1994 he was said to be "a homeless alcoholic, divorced, with a son he hardly ever sees." [90] In March 1996 he was reported to be sleeping on park benches, and was a semi-permanent resident of a hostel for the homeless. [84] Around this time his ex-wife was quoted as saying, "[Danny] lives a very simple life and is pretty much disconnected from what you or I would call reality." [27]

In July 2000, a few weeks after his 50th birthday, Kirwan was settled in a care home for alcoholics in south London. Martin Celmins, who had interviewed Kirwan in 1996, said he was now looking "fitter, stronger, and more together" and kept a guitar in his room. He noted, "[Danny] remains a very private person who keeps himself to himself." [91] In 2002, Jeremy Spencer visited with Kirwan's ex-wife and son. Spencer said later that the meeting had been pleasant, although Kirwan was "in his own world". [92] Kirwan was said to be well looked after, and was visited by family and friends. [79]

Final interview Edit

Music writer Martin Celmins met Kirwan in the hostel where he was staying in London and managed a brief interview, which was published in The Guitar Magazine [UK] in July 1997. Celmins said Kirwan was "mostly cheery . and able to express his views forcefully and articulately." Celmins asked how he had come to play the blues. Kirwan said, "I was around and gathered it all up and got involved. I didn't think 'I want to be a musician'. It just kind of happened . I got into the blues and it got into my system." His favourite bluesmen were Albert King and Otis Rush. Rush "had this nice sting in his playing . that was his stamp."

Celmins asked about big-band music and Django Reinhardt. Kirwan said, "Those were the kind of records I'd buy. I worked out 'Jigsaw Puzzle Blues' from that stuff and then played the signals to the rest of the band. John McVie knew every signal you could give out – signals to say, 'You do this' and 'You do that', and they'd do it and it would all come together. That band was so clever – they knew all the signals and could do it." Celmins asked how he had joined Fleetwood Mac. Kirwan said, "Mick Fleetwood asked me . I didn't know what to think once I'd joined because . then I was on stage and there were television cameras and I got a bit paranoid." [6]

Kirwan said, "I always liked Mick Fleetwood – he was like family. I still think of them as friends. John McVie is the cleverest person. A nice bloke and highly intelligent. He was my best friend in the band at the time . Jeremy Spencer was a bit sarcastic. And although I used to get on with John and Mick, it got very cliquey . So I wasn't actually a part of them really. I only got mixed up with them . [Peter and I] played some good stuff together, we played well together, but we didn't get on. I was a bit temperamental, you see." [6]

Munich commune incident, 1970 Edit

In a 2009 BBC documentary about Peter Green, and in Bob Brunning's 1998 history of Fleetwood Mac, [93] the band's manager, Clifford Davis, blamed Kirwan's mental deterioration on the same incident in March 1970 that is alleged to have damaged Green's mental stability: a reaction to LSD taken at a hippie commune in Munich in the middle of a European tour. Davis said, "Peter Green and Danny Kirwan both went together to that house in Munich, both of them took acid as I understand it, [and] both of them, as of that day, became seriously mentally ill." [94]

Other sources, however, say that Kirwan was not present at the commune in Munich. Fleetwood Mac roadie Dinky Dawson remembers that only two of the Fleetwood Mac contingent went to the party: Green and another roadie, Dennis Keane. Dawson states that Kirwan did not go to the commune, and that when Keane returned to the band's hotel and told them that Green would not leave the commune, neither Kirwan nor Davis went to fetch him, leaving the task to Keane, Dawson, and Mick Fleetwood. [95]

Keane agrees with Dawson's account, except for the details that he phoned Davis from the commune and did not physically return to the hotel to fetch help, and that Davis accompanied Dawson and Fleetwood to fetch Green. [90] Green said of the incident, "To my knowledge, only Dennis and myself out of the English lot went there." [90] Jeremy Spencer has suggested that he was also present at the commune and arrived later with Fleetwood. [96] Neither Keane, Dawson, Green, nor Spencer mentioned Kirwan being present at the commune.

LSD and mescaline Edit

Kirwan appears to have taken LSD before the Munich commune incident. Fleetwood stated in his autobiography that the band took LSD together when they arrived in New York in December 1968 at the start of a US tour. [8] They opened for the Grateful Dead at the Fillmore East, [8] and after the show they were offered "the best, most pure LSD available." [8] Fleetwood said, "We all wanted to try it . We all had a go." [8] They took the LSD in a hotel room in New York, "sitting in a circle on the floor, holding hands", [15] and later took more acid trips together as "a bonding experience." [15]

Mescaline also featured. Green had experimented with both LSD and mescaline: [90] he said his tortured song "The Green Manalishi" was the result of a mescaline nightmare. [90] Fleetwood remembered Kirwan and Spencer taking mescaline when the band arrived in San Francisco at the start of a US tour in February 1971. He said, "It really did a number on them, Jeremy [Spencer] in particular. The effects seemed to last far longer than they should have." [15] Spencer walked out of the band soon afterwards. [8]

Later developments Edit

Kirwan was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1998, for his work as part of Fleetwood Mac. He did not attend the induction ceremony. [97]

Peter Green said in a Penguin Q&A session in 1999 that all the [early Fleetwood Mac] musicians were receiving their share of royalties, although there had been difficulty over the years in collecting some of them. He said, "Danny Kirwan is still receiving his and is doing OK." [98]

Kirwan's three solo albums were given a belated CD release in February 2006, but only in Japan. A limited edition of 2,500 copies of "Second Chapter" was issued by Repertoire Records in early 2008. The rights and royalties situation regarding these releases was such that it was not known whether Kirwan's estate would receive any income from them. Prior to this, only Second Chapter had been available on CD, for a brief period in Germany in 1993. The rights were owned by Clifford Davis. [ citation needed ]

During the mid-2000s there were rumours of a reunion of the early line-up of Fleetwood Mac involving Green and Spencer. The two guitarists apparently remained unconvinced about a reunion, [35] and Kirwan made no comment. In April 2006, during a question-and-answer session on the Penguin Fleetwood Mac fan website, John McVie said of the reunion idea, "If we could get Peter and Jeremy to do it, I'd probably, maybe, do it. I know Mick would do it in a flash. Unfortunately, I don't think there's much chance of Danny doing it. Bless his heart." [99]

One of Kirwan's songs, "Tell Me All the Things You Do" from the 1970 album Kiln House, was included in the set of Fleetwood Mac's 2018–19 "An Evening with Fleetwood Mac" tour, [100] with guitarist Neil Finn and Christine McVie sharing vocals.

Date, place and cause Edit

Danny Kirwan died in London on 8 June 2018, aged 68. [101] An obituary in The New York Times quoted Kirwan's former wife as saying that he had died in his sleep after contracting pneumonia earlier in the year and never fully recovering from it. [78]

Tributes Edit

In a statement posted on Facebook, Mick Fleetwood said, "Danny was a huge force in our early years . Danny's true legacy will forever live on in the music he wrote and played so beautifully as a part of the foundation of Fleetwood Mac that has now endured for over fifty years. Thank you, Danny Kirwan. You will forever be missed." [102]

Fleetwood had previously said in an interview, "I cared for Danny a lot and I care for his legacy. Danny was a quantum leap ahead of us creatively. He was a hugely important part of the band." [27]

The music magazine Mojo, in a two-page tribute to Kirwan's life and music, quoted Christine McVie as saying: "Danny Kirwan was the white English blues guy. Nobody else could play like him. He was a one-off . Danny and Peter gelled so well together. Danny had a very precise, piercing vibrato – a unique sound . He was a perfectionist . Listen to "Woman of 1000 Years", "Sands of Time", "Tell Me All the Things You Do" – they're killer songs. He was a fantastic musician and a fantastic writer." Jeremy Spencer said, "Danny brought inventiveness and melody to the band . I was timid about stepping out with new ideas, but Danny was brimming with them." [79]

Former Hungry Fighter guitarist Dave Walker said in 2000 that Kirwan was "a great loss to music." [71] Bob Welch said in 1999 that Kirwan had been "a talented and gifted musician an innovative and exciting player, singer, and writer. As a musician, he was developed way beyond his years." [51] Mick Fleetwood said in 1990, "Danny was an exceptional guitar player who inspired Peter [Green] into writing the most moving and powerful songs of his life." [8]

Watch a Band Perform After 20, 40, and 80 Beers - Recipes

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Watch a Band Perform After 20, 40, and 80 Beers - Recipes

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Remember This: For 20 years, Timberwolf Amphitheater provided the soundtrack to our summers

MASON, Ohio -- On summer evenings, visitors walking in to Kings Island are awash in the sounds of the season: the splash of water slides, peals of laughter, the unmistakable belly-rattling roar of roller coasters barreling down towering hills.

For many years, there was another layer to that symphony of sound: Songs from some of the biggest names in pop, rock and country music as they entertained crowds at the Timberwolf Amphitheater. With a capacity of 10,000, the outdoor facility played host to a Who's Who of musicians for more than 20 years.

It started on July 9, 1982, with chart-topping soft-rock group Air Supply. Over the years, everyone from the Beach Boys to Britney Spears, Duran Duran to Eric Clapton, James Taylor to the Pointer Sisters took the stage.

"That was really the place to go," said Louise Bruening McGuffin of Western Hills, who spent much of the 1980s jamming out to shows. "Everyone you knew went there -- lots of my friends."

McGuffin worked for Kings Productions from 1984-89, making costumes for Kings Island shows and characters. Although outfitting Fred Flintstone, Barney Rubble and their ilk was a pretty cool way to make a living, attending concerts by artists like the Moody Blues and Chicago made the summers.

No concert at Timberwolf was more memorable than Jimmy Buffett and the Coral Reefer Band. Buffett's shows at Riverbend Music Center have been the stuff of legend for many years, drawing national attention for the creativity, wild costumes and fanaticism of Parrotheads.

What many people don't know is that Parrothead fervor got its start at Timberwolf in 1985, as documented in "Escape to Margaritaville: The Musical."

McGuffin can still recall the sea of craziness: Partiers in parrot headgear, Hawaiian shirts and leis on every person, beach balls and beers and a 6-foot blow-up Gumby. One of the people in her group of friends that night was Kadir, a new acquaintance from Turkey whom she invited to experience an American concert.

"He was floored by it, totally in awe," McGuffin said. "He was like, 'Americans are crazy!' "

For Julia Hayes of Morrow, Buffett was also one of the concerts that she'll never forget. Working as a buyer at the time for Kings Island, Hayes got to enjoy Timberwolf shows with her colleagues, many of whom she still keeps in touch with decades later.

The Beach Boys concert was her favorite -- ‘I remember it like it was yesterday!" -- but she and her friends also saw everyone from Tears for Fears to Kenny Loggins. One of her funniest memories of those times came when a colleague brought her elderly mother to a country show and took pains to score seats right in front of the stage.

"But her mom was so mad because the sound system was so loud her pants legs vibrated the whole time," Hayes said.

Probably her coolest memory: As a buyer, she picked out and purchased all 10,000 of the numbers that were affixed to the venue's seating benches.

The music hasn't totally stopped at Kings Island, but it certainly is playing a different tune. Judging by social-media posts and chats with local music fans, many people thought Timberwolf closed years ago. That's not the case.

The venue still occupies the same footprint it has since 1982, said Chad Showalter, director of communications for Kings Island, but it no longer competes in the world of big-name popular music. Instead, the facility hosts many cheerleading and dance competitions, is rented for private events and, for 25 years, has been home to the popular three-day SpiritSong, a Christian music festival. (It will be held June 21-23 this year.)

Timberwolf's focus changed in the 1990s as more venues popped up in Cleveland, Indianapolis, Detroit and Columbus offering a similar feel and higher seating capacity, Showalter said.

The music has mellowed, but the memories live on for countless Cincinnatians. Toni Wright of Hyde Park can still hear the excited screams and see the frenzied sea of teen girls at a New Kids on the Block concert -- quite a heady experience for a Donnie Wahlberg superfan who was not quite 10 years old.

And at least seven times, Wright was able to attend Raven-Symone's annual Raven's Slumber Party, even meeting the then-Disney Channel star and Cheetah Girls singer a couple times.

Like Hayes and McGuffin and, well, frankly, seemingly half the population of Cincinnati, Wright once worked at Kings Island -- for six years, in fact -- which afforded her the chance to catch plenty of Timberwolf shows. To her surprise, she discovered that she loved country music after catching a Faith Hill appearance, and she found herself loving the country music festivals most of all.

Those shows were always sellouts, the music was catchy, the overall vibe was laid-back and fun, and the people-watching was endlessly entertaining.

Host a “Downton Abbey” party with these Edwardian-style recipes

Sophie McShera plays Daisy Mason, a kitchen maid on "Downton Abbey."” Removable wall tiles let the camera crew get good angles in the kitchen.

The romance. The intrigue. The big, beautiful country house.

We can analyze the recipe for success of “Downton Abbey,” the British television import whose Season 3 made its breathlessly anticipated debut on PBS this month, until our cups of tea go cold. But one element that can’t be overlooked, especially for those of a culinary bent, is the food.

Rather than letting it serve as mere eye candy, creator and writer Julian Fellowes has worked crepes, puddings, roast chicken and other edible props into some of the series’ most memorable plots.

Who can forget Mrs. Patmore’s disastrously salty raspberry meringue pudding? How many fans fell hook, line and sinker for the implication that Branson the chauffeur would off the famous British general with a poison-laden soup?

The lavish spreads enjoyed by the aristocratic Crawley family in early-20th-century England are enough to inspire envy in those who might be watching with a microwave dinner in their laps. The show has revived an interest in British food, particularly that of the 1910s and 1920s, that could easily fall prey to stereotypes: Aspic! Haggis! Puddings! Instead, viewers have embraced the comestibles they’ve seen on the small screen, with spinoffs including Pinterest boards, blogs and a recently released unofficial cookbook.

“Because they love the show, it makes them more interested in the history of the food that was on the show,” says Pamela Foster, a Toronto marketing professional who has put her history degree to good use on her Downton Abbey Cooks blog. “It’s sort of a teaching point to connect people to history.”

There’s no getting around the fact that there were lots of jellied molds, some of which were very attractive, and, we dare say, tasty. The cuisine received an extra surge of elegance thanks to the influence of King Edward VII, who had an affinity for French food.

“He loved a good time and a good laugh and a good meal,” says Foster, who just released a self-published e-cookbook, “Abbey Cooks Entertain,” with plenty of dishes inspired by France.

Some noble families employed French cooks on the weekend &mdash “What is a weekend?” as the Dowager Countess of Grantham might say &mdash when they did a lot of entertaining, according to the Countess of Carnarvon, who, with her husband, the Earl of Carnarvon, lives at the 50-plus-bedroom Highclere Castle, where “Downton Abbey” is filmed.

“There might be a Mrs. Patmore, perhaps, but over the top of her there might be a more highly paid chef to impress the guests,” the Countess says. Even without today’s technology, “they produced absolutely beautiful food, beautifully set up.”

At Highclere Castle, the downstairs area once included marble tops in a pastry area and separate preparation spaces for different types of food to avoid cross-contamination, says the Countess, who is also addressed as Lady Carnarvon.

Replicating that setting for the show requires a tremendous amount of research and logistics. Because the downstairs portion of Highclere couldn’t stand in for the servants’ quarters on “Downton Abbey,” the production team built a kitchen set at London’s Ealing Studios, about 60 miles from the castle.

Production designer Donal Woods says research conducted through visits to nearly 40 English country houses helped inform what the kitchen should look like. The cast-iron range, which in its heyday would have run on coal, is modeled after one in a home in Leeds.

“You can actually cook on top of the range,” Woods says. “It can sizzle and steam.” Removable tiles behind the range allow for a camera to run on a track and film what Mrs. Patmore and kitchen maid Daisy are doing.

While the range may be the centerpiece, a host of other equipment is needed to fully bring to life a working kitchen. Thanks in large part to the inventory available on eBay, Woods helped acquire original tools such as copper molds, bowls, mixing machines, mincing machines and stone-glazed sinks.

“Probably about 60 to 70 percent of the stuff in there is from that period,” he says.

Fellow production designer Charmian Adams says one of her favorite antique pieces is a wall-mounted board with flaps that fold back to indicate what supplies need to be restocked. She was initially perplexed by a tab for bricks, until she learned about Bridgwater bricks. They served as a sort of kitchen scouring pad, and Adams was able to get one from a building that had started to collapse.

It’s the kind of creative sourcing that the “Downton Abbey” crew does a lot of. Food economist Lisa Heathcote consults her library of historical cookbooks as well as her own knowledge of period food to decide which comestibles will appear. “Mrs Beeton’s Book of Household Management” is an important guide for her, as it is for Foster. Handwritten menus in French from grand country homes, similar to what Lady Carnarvon has collected at Highclere, are other good references.

Of course, the food has to be cooked and plated &mdash twice, in some instances. A dish may be shown in the kitchen in one scene, then in the dining room in the next scene. Making the transition seamless requires that Heathcote defy the space-time continuum, because filming on each set occurs miles and weeks apart. She takes many photographs and tries not to make the dishes so overly complicated that they would be impossible to reproduce.

For scenes in the dining room, Heathcote prepares food off-site and then warms and plates it in a field kitchen. She tries to steer clear of too many foods that need to be served hot, though, because it’s difficult to keep them that way. Filming a dining scene can take 10 to 12 hours, and multiple takes mean plates are constantly being refreshed.

“It’s a bit like running a restaurant,” Heathcote says, no easy feat since she’s essentially a food department of one.

Saute Chicken Lyonnaise

As the “Downton Abbey” series first opens, the Titanic has just gone down at sea, taking with it the heir of the elegant Yorkshire estate. French food &mdash or at least food with French names &mdash was quite popular in England in the early 1900s. We don’t know the exact recipe of the dish served on the Titanic, but food cooked “a la Lyonnaise” probably would have included onions, tomato and vinegar. Adapted from “Abbey Cooks Entertain” by Pamela Foster (Pamela Powered Inc., 2012). Makes 6 servings.

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons fresh thyme, finely chopped (may substitute 1 tablespoon dried thyme)

6 (about 2½ pounds total) boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (tenderloins removed), patted dry

3 tablespoons vegetable or olive oil

1 large clove garlic, minced

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1 cup homemade or no-salt-added chicken broth

Preheat the oven to 170 degrees or to the lowest possible temperature.

Place the flour, salt, pepper and 1 tablespoon of the thyme in a sturdy plastic food storage bag, seal and shake to combine. Beat the egg in a medium bowl. One at a time, dip the chicken pieces into the beaten egg, letting the excess drip back into the bowl, then transfer to the bag. Seal and shake to coat the chicken in the flour mixture. Transfer the chicken to a plate.

Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, place the chicken pieces in the pan, smooth side down, working in batches if necessary. Cook for 5 minutes, until golden brown, then turn the pieces over and cook for 5 minutes, until golden brown on the second side. (The chicken will not be cooked through.) Transfer to an ovenproof platter and place in the oven to keep warm. (If the oven can’t be set as low as 170, place the platter in the oven, turn the oven off and keep the oven door closed.)

Reduce the heat to medium and add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil to the skillet. Stir in the onions, garlic and remaining 1 tablespoon of thyme. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 7 to 10 minutes or until the onions are translucent. Increase the heat to medium-high and cook, stirring often, for 10 minutes or until a light golden brown.

Add the wine and vinegar cook, stirring to scrape up any browned bits, for about 3 minutes or until the liquid has reduced by half. Stir in the tomato paste, then the broth and sugar. Bring to a boil and cook for 2 minutes or until the sauce is slightly reduced. Return the chicken to the skillet, along with any accumulated juices. Turn the chicken pieces to coat them with the liquid, then cover, reduce the heat to medium and cook for 5 minutes or until the temperature of the thickest part of a chicken piece registers 165 degrees on an instant-read thermometer.

Transfer to a serving platter or individual plates and spoon the sauce over the chicken.

Per serving: 310 calories, 42 g protein, 8 g carbohydrates, 10 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 140 mg cholesterol, 260 mg sodium, 0 g dietary fiber, 2 g sugar

A 1920s cookery book recommends these potatoes as a side dish for a pre-theater dinner. They would accompany a green vegetable, such as peas or green beans, on a serving platter.

In Edwardian times, there were no Yukon Gold potatoes &mdash they weren’t widely available until 1980 &mdash but because they perform so well with this treatment, we don’t feel guilty about being historically inaccurate.

Adapted from “Kitchen Essays,” by Agnes Jekyll (first published in 1922 by Thomas Nelson & Sons, reprinted in 2008 by Persephone Books). Makes about 21 small puffs (5 to 7 servings).

1 medium onion, cut into 8 wedges

2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into quarters, or into sixths if the potatoes are large

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 large egg yolks, plus 1 whole egg

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream

⅔ cup plain fine dried bread crumbs (may substitute finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese for half of the bread crumbs)

¼ cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley

Line a work surface with a few layers of paper towels.

Fill a large pot with several inches of water, add the onion wedges and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and cook until the onion is very soft, about 40 minutes, keeping the water at a low boil. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the onion to a colander and allow to drain for several minutes, then transfer to the paper towels. Use more paper towels to press on the onion, extracting as much of the moisture as possible. Transfer to a blender and puree until smooth.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a baking sheet with nonstick cooking oil spray.

Add the potatoes to the water in the pot add water if needed to cover the potatoes by 1 inch. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium and cook uncovered for 12 to 15 minutes or until the potatoes can be easily pierced with the tip of a knife. Drain in a colander.

Return the empty pot to the stove over medium heat. Return the potatoes to the pot and cook, tossing, for 1 to 2 minutes or until their moisture has evaporated.

Use a potato ricer to shred the potatoes into a large mixing bowl, or place the potato pieces in the mixing bowl and mash with a potato masher.

Add the pureed onion to the potatoes and combine, then quickly beat in the butter and egg yolks. Add the salt and pepper. Beat in 1 to 2 tablespoons of cream, keeping the mixture thick enough to hold its shape if it is too thin, return the mixture to the pot over medium heat and cook, stirring constantly, to dry it out a little.

Use a fork to beat the remaining whole egg in a small bowl. Spread the bread crumbs on a small plate. Use your hands to form the potato mixture into 21 golf-ball-size balls (about 1½ ounces each). Brush the balls with the beaten egg and sprinkle with a little parsley, then dip them in the crumbs, rolling to coat evenly. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet.

Bake for 20 minutes, until heated through. The potato balls will brown slightly. Serve hot.

Per serving (based on 7 servings): 200 calories, 4 g protein, 32 g carbohydrates, 7 g fat, 4 g saturated fat, 80 mg cholesterol, 240 mg sodium, 3 g dietary fiber, 3 g sugar

Easy Apple Charlottes

This simple, yet elegant English dessert is noted for not having been served on “Downton Abbey” in Season 1: Mrs. Patmore, the cook, didn’t want to make it because she couldn’t read the recipe due to her failing eyesight.

The crust is made of sliced bread &mdash possibly more healthful than pie pastry, and much tidier to put together. That makes it ideal for novice bakers. Adapted from Foster’s “Abbey Cooks Entertain” (Pamela Powered, 2012). Makes 4 servings.

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for greasing the ramekins

2 medium cooking apples, peeled, cored and diced

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

3 tablespoons light brown sugar

1 tablespoon superfine sugar, plus more for sprinkling

10 slices stale challah or raisin bread, ½ inch thick (about 12 ounces), crusts removed

Confectioners’ sugar (optional)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Generously grease four 5.4-ounce ramekins with butter.

Melt the 2 tablespoons of butter in a medium saucepan over low heat. Add the apples, vanilla extract, lemon juice, brown sugar and cinnamon, and mix well. Cook on medium-low heat until the apples are tender and any liquid has evaporated this should take 15 to 25 minutes, depending on the variety of apples you are using. Stir occasionally to avoid burning. The mixture should thicken and turn a medium caramel color.

Combine the eggs, milk and 1 tablespoon of superfine sugar in a shallow dish. Mix until fully combined.

Use a 2½-inch round cookie cutter to cut out four circles from the bread these will serve as the base of each portion. Alternatively, use a clean ramekin and a sharp knife to trace and cut your circles. Cut the remaining bread into rectangles about 1 inch wide. Cube, dry and store any excess bread scraps in an airtight container for another use.

Quickly dip each bread circle in the egg mixture and place one in the bottom of each ramekin. Then dip the rectangles, standing them upright around the inside edge of each cup, extending above the rim so you can fold them over later to make a lid. Each ramekin will use 6 or 7 strips.

Fill each ramekin with the apple mixture. Add a piece or two of bread to the top and fold over the rectangular pieces of bread so the package is sealed completely. It should look like a little crown. Sprinkle each top with a little superfine sugar. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown and puffed. Allow to cool slightly, then run a knife around the edges and turn them out onto individual plates.

Use a fine-mesh sieve to dust each portion with confectioners’ sugar, if desired. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Raspberry Meringue Pudding

This recipe makes 12 large meringue cookies. We like the appearance of one meringue on top of each serving, but if you want to go all out, by all means include a second one. If not, enjoy the extras with a cup of tea.

Make ahead: The meringues must be made at least 2 hours and up to 2 weeks in advance. They can be stored in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks. The pudding needs to chill for at least 4 hours it improves in texture after an overnight rest in the refrigerator. Adapted from “Abbey Cooks Entertain,” by Pamela Foster (Pamela Powered, 2012). Makes 6 servings.

4 large egg whites, at room temperature

½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Unsalted butter, for greasing the casserole dish

4 large egg yolks, plus 1 whole egg

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1¼ cups plain fresh bread crumbs

Finely grated zest of 2 lemons (about 2 tablespoons)

¾ cup seedless raspberry jam

Superfine sugar, for sprinkling

For the meringues: Place racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat to 300 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone liners.

Beat the egg whites on high speed in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Once the egg whites are foamy, add the cream of tartar and beat until the whites hold soft peaks, about 3 minutes. Add the sugar a little at a time, beating until the meringue is shiny and holds very stiff peaks, about 5 minutes. Beat in the vanilla extract.

Test to make sure the meringue is ready by rubbing a little between your thumb and finger. When it is no longer gritty, you are good to go.

Create six equal-size mounds of meringue on each baking sheet. You can swirl the tops with a spoon or pipe the meringue through a bag fitted with a large star tip.

Transfer the baking sheets to the oven, reduce the heat to 275 degrees and bake for 60 minutes, rotating the baking sheets from front to back and top to bottom halfway through. The meringues are done when they are pale and fairly crisp and sound hollow when gently tapped on the bottom.

Turn off the oven, open the door a crack and leave the meringues in the oven for at least another hour to dry.

For the pudding: Boil a kettle of water. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Grease a large casserole dish with butter.

Pour the milk into a medium saucepan and slowly bring it to a boil over medium heat.

Combine the sugar, 4 egg yolks and 1 whole egg in a medium bowl, whisking until the mixture is light and creamy. Temper the egg-sugar mixture by adding a little bit of the hot milk while whisking constantly, to keep the eggs from scrambling. Gradually whisk that egg-sugar mixture into the hot milk. Strain the hot milk mixture through a fine-mesh sieve, discarding any solids. Stir in the vanilla extract, fresh bread crumbs and lemon zest, and combine well.

Pour the pudding mixture into the casserole dish, place in a roasting pan and transfer to the oven. Fill the roasting pan with enough boiling water to reach halfway up the sides of the dish. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes. Keep checking until the pudding is almost set, yet still slightly wobbly in the center. Remove the dish from the water bath and place it on a wire rack to cool. Cover the cooled custard with plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled, at least 4 hours and preferably overnight.

For assembly: Melt the jam in a small saucepan over low heat. (Alternatively, place the jam in a medium microwave-safe bowl and microwave on MEDIUM for 30 seconds. Stop and stir well. If necessary, continue to microwave the jam on MEDIUM at 10-second intervals until it has reached a fluid consistency.)

Just before serving, place scoops of the pudding on six individual serving plates. (You can use a ring mold or biscuit cutter for a cleaner round shape.) Top with the melted jam, the 6 most presentable-looking meringues and fresh raspberries. Sprinkle the superfine sugar over each portion.

Per serving (using one meringue per pudding): 380 calories, 8 g protein, 79 g carbohydrates, 5 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 175 mg cholesterol, 160 mg sodium, 4 g dietary fiber, 64 g sugar

45 Celebrity Weight Loss Transformations That'll Seriously Inspire You to Get in Shape

Stars gets scrutinized (and often criticized) for their size all of the time. And many of them have worked hard to lose weight for multiple reasons&mdashto improve their health, to feel better in their bodies, the list goes on. Lots of celebrities have made transformations through diet and exercise over the years, and we're here to draw inspiration from them&mdashbecause after all, eating nutritiously and moving more should be a top priority for everyone.

Throughout 2020, Rebel Wilson's weight loss made headlines as she lost over 60 pounds after declaring it her "Year of Health." Adele also showed off a noticeably toned figure during an appearance on Saturday Night Live , and Jessica Simpson, Ayesha Curry, and Simon Cowell all overhauled their diet and fitness routines to live healthier lives. But no two of them took the same route.

Some cut down on alcohol, dairy, sugar, and gluten, others upped the intensity of their workouts, and some took on plant-based diets. Others focused on portion control, balance, and moderation of their favorite sweets, and some turned to cardio, yoga, walking, or strength training, finding new ways to sweat. Others turned to weight loss surgery to get the head-start they needed.

They all took very different approaches, but they prove one thing to be true: consistency and dedication pay off. So, without further ado, read on for 45 celebrity weight loss transformations from stars like Tim McGraw, Al Roker, and Jennifer Hudson that may motivate you to start making healthy changes today.

Watch the video: Κουάκερ. πόριτζ με ταχίνι και ξηρούς καρπούς, σουσάμι, κουκουνάρι και ρόδι (December 2021).