ET’s Kevin Frazier spoke to the Fleetwood Mac drummer, who lives on the Hawaiian island, about the benefit concert and the healing power of music.
“I’ve already got a lovely sort of catalog of people that are concerned. I will remain mute on who they are, but I will either become part of something that we can do on a grand scale, which is great,” Fleetwood said of the concert, currently in the works. “Anything is great, and playing in Honolulu, about 2 weeks from now, and that concert’s becoming — Henry Kapono who lives in Oahu, was celebrating the 50th anniversary of his career — well, I’m going to be doing that show, supporting.”
“So, all of this is unfolding is something I feel I can be apart, or really be spearheading,” the famed drummer continued. “And it’s not now, but music heals, and music does its version of what I’m doing now.”
For Fleetwood, the tragedy hits home even harder, with Maui the place the 76-year-old musician calls home, and a place where he once owned a restaurant. The Front St. property was one of the many establishments lost in the blaze.
“I happen to live here. This is my home. I’m not passing through. People think, ‘Oh, how many times do you come here and see your restaurant?” I say, ‘No, no, no. I live here. This is the only home I have,'” he stressed. “And so all of that is something — not to jump too far ahead, but the intention would be absolutely to be part of, or to be right shaking the flag, to rally around and put on a great incredibly beautiful show. Which I know can be done.”
The wildfires were first reported on Aug. 8. Fires began to ravage Maui as a result of drought conditions and hurricane weather. At least 99 people have been confirmed dead, making it the deadliest wildfire in the United States in more than a century. The entire town of Lahaina has been left in ruins.
“Well, the enormity is still of what happened, which is absolutely beyond belief, is that in a very, very short space of time over those hills, I can hardly look around, in Lahaina town, and that area around Lahaina town, disappeared within minutes with a wildfire which has been credited as being one of the most vicious if not the most catastrophic wildfires in the country,” Fleetwood said of the devastation the wildfires have caused. “And that you can’t comprehend, but I can tell you, we in Hawaii have a word which is Ohana, which is family, and that’s the reason people come, and I believe, come to these lovely islands where there’s a sense of that, it still exists. So, that home, that Ohana was destroyed within minutes, and we’re still finding out how catastrophic it still continues to be.”
He continued, “Having something happen, and be completely in shock and for those drastic amounts of time, no one knew what was going on and no one had a clue where anyone was. All the communications broke down, and so the family, the community that survived as in real time there, amazingly you more than myself maybe, but I’ve certainly heard of such heroic deeds, which is a testament not only to what happened here, but you most often hear that the human condition comes through in these awful situations all over this planet, and of course in our own United States of America you see people coming and doing things that are beyond belief extraordinary to help.”
In addition to putting on a benefit concert, Fleetwood’s foundation will direct any donated funds to organizations to help survivors, with the directed funds to Maui Food Bank, Hawaii Community Foundation – Maui Strong Fund, and Maui Humane Society — all of which are helping the island and its residents rebuild after the wildfires.
“I have a foundation here now, The Mick Fleetwood foundation — Mick Fleetwood Foundation.Org will lead you to several really, really Bonafide organizations that are right here feet, on the ground already doing it, and we are adding to that dialog through the foundation, the mickfleetwoodfoundation.org will lead you to that,” Fleetwood explained. “The fact is, there is a whole load of wonderful places you could go. That’s me doing something I have a comfort with, really knowing what we are already affiliated with, are people that really know what they are doing.”
As for what people need, Fleetwood, who came back to the island on a plane filled with supplies, said at the present time, the people of Maui need food and water.
What’s more almost as meaningful as raising money, he added, is keeping the attention on what’s going on in Maui as the island works to rebuild, something Fleetwood said music helps to do.
“Apart from raising the money, what I think is really, really important, me sitting here doing what I’m doing, and also the manifest of music coming to the fore… but what we can do has been proven to really rally, and keep the attention, keep the attention incrementally as this goes on, is something that I think music is really a powerful medium [for], and the people, whoever they might be, participating in that, is almost an endless way of, ‘Don’t forget, don’t forget and don’t forget.'”
To learn more about how you can help, check out http://www.mickfleetwoodfoundation.org.