How Neil Finn’s Friendship With Mick Fleetwood Led to a Gig With Fleetwood Mac
Crowded House frontman Neil Finn's surprise appearance in Fleetwood Mac's touring lineup seemed to come out of left field, but it really didn't. In fact, Finn has been close with Mick Fleetwood, Fleetwood Mac's co-founding drummer, for years.
Fleetwood called Finn a "new music friend" in 2016, and both took part in the recent Concert for Our Lives, which followed the student-organized March for Our Lives, in Maui. Fleetwood sat in with Finn on a cover of Crowded House's "Don't Dream It's Over," according to Setlist.fm, while Fleetwood also earlier teamed with Neil's son Liam Finn for a rendition of the Little Willie John classic "Need Your Love So Bad," from Fleetwood Mac's early repertoire.
"Two weeks ago, I received a wonderful invitation to be a part of a truly great band," Finn said in a statement. "A few days later, I was standing in a room playing music with Fleetwood Mac. It felt fresh and exciting, so many great songs, a spectacular rhythm section and two of the greatest voices ever. Best of all, we sounded good together. It was a natural fit. I can’t wait to play."
"Don't Dream It's Over," a No. 2 Billboard smash, helped propel Crowded House – and Finn – to international fame in 1986; they also had a Top 10 hit with 1987's "Something So Strong" before splitting in 1996. Crowded House then reformed between 2006-10, in a reunion that followed the suicide of the band's original drummer, Paul Hester.
Fleetwood specifically mentioned being a fan of Crowded House as far back as 1989, and the group later tapped longtime Crowded House producer Mitchell Froom to oversee three of the four cuts on Fleetwood Mac's 2013 Extended Play EP – including "Sad Angel," "It Takes Time" and "Miss Fantasy."
Fleetwood traveled to Finn's native New Zealand in 2016 (not long after Finn's most recent stint leading Crowded House) for a studio collaboration. Fleetwood and Finn were also spotted palling around in the studio while Monkey Majik were at work on new music back in 2015.
Finn's latest solo album, 2017's Out of Silence, was recorded via an internet live-stream. He would presumably take over the now-departed Lindsey Buckingham's role on vocals, while Mike Campbell will handle guitar duties.
"Fleetwood Mac has always been about an amazing collection of songs that are performed with a unique blend of talents,” Fleetwood told Variety. “We jammed with Mike and Neil and the chemistry really worked and let the band realize that this is the right combination to go forward with in Fleetwood Mac style. We know we have something new, yet it’s got the unmistakable Mac sound."