Having made a major impact in Lahaina with his popular Fleetwood’s on Front St. restaurant, Mick Fleetwood is getting ready to launch a North Shore establishment which he envisions as a unique store and gallery that will reflect the legendary musician’s journey over the last 50 years.
Opening at the end of October, the two-story House of Fleetwood sits at the entrance to Paia at 43 Hana Highway.
“It’s a labor of love,” said Fleetwood during an interview at his home in Kula. “My nephew Kells (Jesse) and his wife Sylvia are putting it together, so it’s a family thing. We have a lovely restaurant in Lahaina, and now we’re breaking into a retail business. It’s not music-driven but there’s a connection to family, and there’s branding and style, color and fun. It’s a lovely thing to be doing. I love Paia.”
The store’s yellow exterior reflects his family’s love of color. Fleetwood recalled how his mother loved vibrant colors, and she once turned down his gift to her of a black leather designer handbag.
With both a physical and online presence, the House of Fleetwood will feature various brand products, including the drummer’s signature ukuleles, handmade on Maui in collaboration with Mele Ukulele. The store will also carry ukuleles designed by George Harrison’s son Dhani Harrison.
“We’re going to have some of Dhani’s ukuleles there, and for me, it’s my connection with George, who used to be my brother-in-law,” Fleetwood noted. “He was a huge ukulele advocate, and I’ve learned to play a little bit. I literally won’t go anywhere without one.”
There will be Maui-made T-shirts, Fleetwood Mac merchandise, works of art, local designer pottery by Sherri Dhyan, books, music and fun products like “Yellow Submarine” coolers on display.
The project is being overseen by Fleetwood’s nephew, who worked on some Fleetwood Mac tours, and guided the publication of the lavish book “Love That Burns: A Chronicle of Fleetwood Mac, Volume One: 1967-1974.” A production designer who works in L.A., Jesse explained “the store is more about Mick’s journey.”
The building will house a mini gallery upstairs.
“We’ll have photos of Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton and Bob Marley, people that Mick loves or is inspired by,” said Jesse.
“It will be more a gallery upstairs and a retail place downstairs,” added Fleetwood.
Making Maui his home base for many years, just like with his restaurant, where he enjoys occasional pop-ins to greet diners, he plans to become a familiar presence in Paia.
In tandem with the store launch, Fleetwood has formed a new island-based band called House of Rumours, to present occasional gigs. Former New York session guitarist Joe Caro is serving as music arranger, and the band includes Gretchen Rhodes, Eric Gilliom, Mark Johnstone, Lenny Castellanos and Paul Marchetti. Hawaiian falsetto star Raiatea Helm and percussionist Lopaka Colon will also perform with House of Rumours at some shows.
“Over 10 years ago, I planned to put a band together on island here, and then I got really busy with Fleetwood Mac,” he explained. “Raiatea will be part of it, but not on a permanent basis. She’s thrilled. We’re getting serious about how we present the band with proper rehearsals. This is where I live, and I really want to get focused here, knowing there are no more two-year tours with Fleetwood Mac, and I will be more on island now.”
The band will shoot a “sizzle” video at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center as a promotion tool.
“We will film at the MACC so we can say this is who we are and what we do,” he said. “We’re having fun. Songs that I love will augment our show.”
Enjoying drumming again with Maui musicians, he reported, “I haven’t really played full-on since the Peter Green tribute in London in February last year. It was the COVID blues. For a while, music really stopped. I missed it.”
With the House of Fleetwood likely destined to become a popular nexus for visitors to Paia, Fleetwood concluded, “We want it to be a real port of call in Paia. We’re trying to create real stories, and there’s a connection with stuff that I love. We want people to feel like it’s lovely to go there. We want them to have a great experience.”
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