Mick Fleetwood stands tall as the pioneering drummer and co-founder of Fleetwood Mac, a rock band that became the epitome of ’70s music and culture. Over the span of half a century, Fleetwood witnessed the band’s meteoric rise, from its early bluesy days to dominating global charts with the timeless ‘Rumours’. Yet, in a tale as twisted as some of the band’s greatest hits, Fleetwood’s personal fortune paled in comparison to some of his bandmates. With an estimated net worth of $30 million, one might wonder: How did a band member of such an iconic ensemble not end up with a nine-figure fortune?
A Phenomenal Rise
There’s no denying the success Fleetwood Mac enjoyed, especially during their golden era. The ‘Rumours’ album, a masterpiece born out of inter-band tensions and personal upheavals, cemented their status in the annals of rock history. This album alone sold over 40 million copies, making it one of the best-selling albums of all time. In a 2014 interview with Telegraph UK, Fleetwood reminisced, “I have been blessed with cartloads of money”. His statement painted a picture of lavish success, one that contrasted sharply with his subsequent financial troubles.
A Series of Financial Downfalls
Given Fleetwood Mac’s towering success, the $30 million net worth of Mick Fleetwood seems a paltry sum. Especially when juxtaposed with Lindsey Buckingham’s $150 million or Stevie Nicks’ $120 million. This discrepancy becomes even more jarring when you consider Fleetwood’s role as not just the drummer, but at times, the financial manager of the band.
In 1984, with Fleetwood Mac on a break, Mick faced a staggering debt of almost $3.7 million. His Malibu mansion, worth $2.2 million, had to be sold among other assets, as he filed for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. But this wasn’t a one-off incident. Fleetwood’s bankruptcy episodes became recurrent events. In a candid revelation, he told Telegraph UK, “In the end I’ve lost count,” drawing an unexpected comparison with Donald Trump’s multiple bankruptcies.
A Real Estate and Cocaine Frenzy
What led to such financial disarray for Fleetwood? The answer lies partly in his passion for real estate. Over the years, he made a series of extravagant property purchases across the globe. The most audacious of these was a $3 million, thousand-acre farm in Australia, which he inhabited for just three weeks. This purchase, born out of a whimsical desire to start afresh, saw him sink a significant chunk of his wealth.
He confessed to Rolling Stone in 2017, “I went broke. It was beautiful, and I don’t bemoan the fact that I did it. I also don’t bemoan that I’m not sitting there right now getting eaten by toxic spiders.” His penchant for borrowing money further exacerbated his financial woes. For instance, he borrowed half a million dollars for the Australian farm and took a hefty mortgage for his Malibu mansion when interest rates were sky-high.
Apart from his real estate saga, Fleetwood’s cocaine habit significantly dented his fortune. He admitted to spending a whopping $60 million on the drug, marking a tumultuous period post the success of ‘Rumours’. He confessed in a 2021 interview, “I remember not working for two years. I can’t even remember what I did. I was the party animal in the band, for sure.”
The story of Mick Fleetwood’s net worth is a cautionary tale of riches, excesses, and redemption. While he made “cartloads of money”, his lack of financial prudence, combined with unchecked personal indulgences, saw him squander his fortune repeatedly. Yet, even amid financial storms, Fleetwood’s love for music remained undiminished, making him a living legend in the world of rock and roll.