14 August 2023

Rock star Mick Fleetwood on the ‘complete devastation’ of Maui wildfires

14 August 2023

British rock star Mick Fleetwood has described the “catastrophic” effect of wildfires on the Hawaiian island of Maui, where he lives.

The 76-year-old said the natural disaster has left “complete devastation” in the town of Lahaina as well as destroying his restaurant Fleetwood’s On Front Street.

On Sunday, the death toll from the wildfire reached 93, making it the deadliest US wildfire in more than a century.

Fleetwood, who was in LA visiting family when the fires broke out, immediately chartered a plane and flew back to Hawaii bringing with him relief supplies.

He told Sky News: “These hills were ablaze and I wasn’t there.

“Selfishly I haven’t lost a family member, I didn’t lose my house. It could have happened, but it didn’t happen.

“But you immediately go ‘I’m really lucky now what the hell can I do?'”

He continued: “Over those mountains is complete devastation….The whole town of Lahaina is no more.”

The veteran drummer, of British-American rock band Fleetwood Mac, which formed in 1967 and are known for songs such as Everywhere and Go Your Own Way, moved to Hawaii 25 years ago.

The logo for his restaurant, which Fleetwood launched more than a decade ago, is a sketch of the drummer taken from the cover of the band’s 1977 album Rumours, after achieving phenomenal success.

Addressing the possibility that the town of Lahaina where his restaurant is situated could be taken over by property developers, he said: “The thought of it becoming some sort of playground with no reference to the dignity of that town, to me, would be abhorrent.”

Fleetwood also spoke about the issue of climate change, adding: “I think there are always lessons to be learnt and they are all about personal experience and a quiet reverence to keeping our eyes and ears open to the world that we live in.

“And for too long not living with a continuum of regret, regret, regret.”

It comes after he posted on social media saying he was “heartbroken” to announce his restaurant had been lost to the fires, describing the wildfires as a “devastating moment for Maui and many are suffering unimaginable loss”.

Similarly, Fleetwood Mac star Stevie Nicks also posted on Instagram saying “Lahaina is not gone, it is just away”.

The 75-year-old musician said: “My house and the surrounding area was not burned. The wind took the fire in a different direction. It was all about the wind…The end result could have been very different.

“The Lahaina that we knew, the Lahaina that in many ways connect Fleetwood Mac and our music to the world, is gone. But my memories of everything that happened to me there is clear as a bell.”

She added that her niece Jessi, her husband Alec and their six-year-old son who had been holidaying on the island had “escaped a bullet” and made it back home.

Meanwhile, US actor Dwayne Johnson also sent a message amid the wildfires in Hawaii.

In a video posted on Instagram, the 51-year-old, who voiced the character of demigod Maui in Disney film Moana, said: “I know that by now all of you around the world have seen the complete destruction and devastation that has hit our Hawaiian islands – our island of Maui.

“And I’m completely heartbroken over this and I know all of you are too.

“Everything that I’ve seen transpire over these past couple of days, everything that continues to transpire hour-by-hour, minute-by-minute, it’s all heart-breaking.”

The actor said he had been speaking with organisations on the ground and will continue to get as much information as possible, as “there’s so many needs” to meet.

He captioned the post: “Heartbroken but our faith and mana is strong.”

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