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Fleetwood 's back; Music.

Byline: Jade Wright

MICK Fleetwood may spend his days in Hawaiian sunshine, but in his dreams he's strolling down Mathew Street in the swinging sixties.

"When I was a boy, Liverpool was the place to be if you were in a band," says the 6'6" drummer and co-founder of Fleetwood Mac.

"The first time I came to Liverpool it would have been 1968 and we drove around town in a big old Daimler limousine, pretending we were somebody.

"We had this manager who told us if we came to Liverpool, we could make it like The Beatles.

"So he drove us up in this massive car. Except we had nowhere to play, so we just went round and round the streets.

"We went to The Cavern and said we were friends of The Beatles and we wanted to play a gig. They gave us 20 minutes.

"It was a disaster.

"In the tiny dressing room - it was like a cupboard - there were about 20 people in there. The local bands could see we weren't from Liverpool and they didn't like us much.

"Just before we went on, we picked up our guitars and our little piano. They'd de-tuned everything. We did our best, but it was terrible.

"The audience were very kind to us. It was back in the days when the girls would scream at anything. It was our first experience of being screamed at and we felt like The Beatles. Apart from the fact that we sounded terrible.

"We were sabotaged at The Cavern and went home with our tails between our legs."

Mick is back in Liverpool to celebrate his blues heritage with his new band, The Mick Fleetwood Blues Band.

Performing classic original songs like Oh Well, Rattlesnake Shake, Albatross, Black Magic Woman and many more, Rick Vito, Lenny Castellanos and Mark Johnstone will join Mick Fleetwood for what promises to be a musical experience that combines 40 years of excellence in blues and rock.

"I'm coming all the way from paradise to be with you," laughs Mick, 61. "It's a long way to swim."

What can we look forward to from the show?

"You won't be hearing Rhiannon or Dreams. This is about my early days. It's blues with a splattering of rock'n'roll.

"Back in 1968 when Fleetwood Mac started that was the music that we played."

Mick says he's looking forward to a return to Liverpool. "I know Liverpool fairly well," he explains. "My father was brought up and spent his early life there.

"His father was an Irish merchant seaman, a bit of a wayward fella. He brought the family over from Dublin when my father was very young and they lived there for years. He was always very fond of Liverpool. I think he passed that on to me.

"I've always loved the city, and Scousers in general. My favourite, of course, was George."

Mick was, for a time, George Harrison's brother-in-law. He married (and divorced and remarried and redivorced) Pattie Boyd's little sister Jenny, who had been the inspiration for Donovan's song Jennifer Juniper.

"George was the best man you could meet," says Mick. "As a musician, an artist, a man, you couldn't wish for more."

THE Mick Fleetwood Blues featuring Rick Vito play Liverpool Philharmonic Hall on Tuesday October 28. For tickets and information, see www.liverpool phil.com

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Sep 19, 2008
Words:565
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