An "elaborate invitation" extended by Mick Fleetwood led to Neil Finn joining Fleetwood Mac last year, for which he's extremely grateful.
Neil got the call on March 10, 2018, the day he played 'Out Of Silence' with the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra at Silo Park in Auckland.
"I was about to go to soundcheck and got a fairly elaborate invitation from Mick. He is prone to talk around things quite a lot, but it was a beautiful invitation and I said, this is too much to give an instant response to, I'll have to think about this overnight, but I've got to do a show tonight as well, so I'll ring you tomorrow," Finn recalls.
He was invited to "come have a play and see how it felt. This isn't some kind of Simon Cowell curated boyband thing. The legacy of Fleetwood Mac is as strong as it is because the band has been a real band from the very beginning and it's gone through a lot of metamorphosis and changes and ups and downs and it's human and it's flawed."
"They knew that with Lindsay [Buckingham], for all the friction and difficulties that had existed between them all, there had been an incredible chemistry between them all that has to do with a real band. They wanted the potential of that to happen into the future and for Fleetwood Mac to have a dynamic sea of possibilities. That's why they put the invitation out to Mike [Campbell] and me, they knew we had been in bands and we get the ethos. "
"All of those things plus family going, 'What, so you're not going to stand in a room with Fleetwood Mac and sing songs with them!?'" lead to the yes Neil eventually gave when Fleetwood made the offer.
And he's grateful beyond words that he did.
"I never saw it coming at all. It completely came from left field. I really celebrate the fact that life dished up this opportunity for me and I'm really grateful for it. I feel blessed to be asked, but I also think in a way I've kept the flame within my own being for music and the compulsiveness of what I do, and there's been times when people have tuned in and times when people haven't tuned in, but I keep doing it because I can't help it. I think this little gift that's been given to me is in part a recognition of the fact I've put my heart and soul into it, and it hasn't gone unnoticed," he says.
He announced he was joining the band in April 2018, Tweeting:
Since then, he's split his time between touring with Fleetwood Mac, and touring with his son Liam for their album 'Lightsleeper', which he says has been "a wonderful counterpoint to the Fleetwood Mac thing."
Kiwi fans can look forward to a particularly special take on a piece of Kiwi music history at Fleetwood's upcoming NZ shows: Stevie Nicks and Neil Finn will perform Crowded House's hit 'Don't Dream It's Over'.
"The fact they wanted to do Don't Dream It's Over - and we've done [Split Enz hit] I Got You on a few occasions - it had to really work within the parameters of Fleetwood Mac. I really think it does, and it's a huge blast to be singing Don't Dream It's Over with Stevie," Finn says.
"The fact we get to sing Don't Dream It's Over, and people in the room know it - they know the song and they really embrace it as part of a Fleetwood Mac show - it's kind of weird. The phones come out and the lights go on. It's fantastic."
You can watch Fleetwood Mac perform the hit above.