Best Classic Bands will have more on the life and death of Kirwan on Saturday.
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A 2015 piece on Kirwan from the Observer calls him "one of the great lost figures in rock history", citing him as integral to "the transition from the Blues Mac of the 1960s to the mega-selling FM pop machine of the mid-1970s".
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Fleetwood later commented in the 1995 film Rock Family Trees: The Fleetwood Mac Story that he did not think Kirwan ever forgave him for the firing. The tormented Green left the act soon thereafter, and the quartet lineup (augmented by keyboardist Christine McVie, who soon joined the band as a full member) issued "Kiln House" in the fall of 1970. He went on to release four solo albums, but his once-bright career was dimmed by years of mental illness and homelessness. The collection was highlighted by Kirwan's rolling composition "Station Man".
Kirwan contributed guitar and vocal work in addition to songwriting while he was with the band, and his talents were first featured on the band's 1969 effort, "Then Play On". Mac co-founder Peter Green offered Boilerhouse the opportunity to open for the band and ultimately Mick Fleetwood persuaded Green and bandmates John McVie and Jeremy Spencer to add Kirwan to the Blues band's lineup in August 1968. After Welch's departure in 1974, Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks joined, creating the best-known lineup of the group.
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Reports suggest Brixton-born Kirwan leaves behind a son.