“Every time they heard a song they wanted to sing in their car, they wanted us to come along,” recalls Fleetwood drummer Michael Stewart.
“They’d say, ‘We want to sing Fleetwood’s ‘The Man Who Sold The World.”
And I’d say ‘Yeah, sure, we’ll sing that too.’
So we were doing a lot of stuff together, and I thought that was a great idea.
And I thought we’d probably have a pretty good time.”
Stewart’s songwriting abilities had been honed since he was a teenager, as he and fellow musicians like Neil Peart, Steve Vai and Peter Buckner were among the first band members of the American band Fleetwood to record under the name the Lemmy Boys.
But, unlike the boys who played alongside them, Stewart was not only a songwriter but also a vocalist.
“When I first joined the Lemmings, it was in ’83,” Stewart says.
“I was just a young kid, and the band was called Fleetwood Mackenzie.
It was pretty exciting at the time, because there were all these bands that were singing and playing songs like ‘You’re A Great One’ and ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone.'”
“I thought, ‘Wow, I’m actually going to be able to sing my own song.’
I didn’t know what I was doing.
And then they played ‘I Got You Babe’ by Fleetwood McNeil, and all of a sudden, I was like, ‘Oh, wow, I can do this!
I can sing my song!'”
“It was a real breakthrough for me,” he says.
Stewarts first gig came when he was 17.
When the band toured the US and Canada in the early 1990s, the songs he was singing were so fresh that he didn’t have time to rehearse.
Instead, he and his fellow Lemmies would spend months at a time on stage rehearsing songs, and he learned to play his own instruments.
Eventually, Stewart got his first big break.
In 1994, he was signed to the Warner Brothers label and the group toured with fellow Fleetwood alum, Jeff Lynne.
It was around this time that Stewart began to learn about his songwriting capabilities.
He was able to work with Lynne on a song called “All You Need Is Love,” which he recorded with producer Jeff Bowers and co-songwriter Mike Fridolin.
After Lynne left the band, Stewart took on a different role as a vocal singer.
The following year, Fleetwood released their first single, “Love Shack.”
“This is what it felt like to be in a band and really be part of something, but I didn-I really wasn’t sure what that was,” Stewart explains.
On the album, Stewart sings about the band’s relationship with their fans, and how they were always there for him during his struggles.
At the time of the album’s release, Stewart says that he felt “an awful lot of love” for his fans.
His songs have since been sampled by musicians like Michael Jackson, David Bowie and Paul McCartney.
But, while Stewart has continued to work on the album as well as other projects, he admits that he hasn’t written the songs for the band in years.
“[The song] ‘Love Shack’ was the first song that I wrote when I was in the band,” he explains.
“So, I had a lot more freedom.
I just kind of wrote it and I just went with it.
I was a bit more aware that this is something I wanted to do with the band.”
When he was released from his contract with Warner Brothers, Stewart began looking for other projects.
While he had no plans to return to the band anytime soon, he did reach out to other artists and asked them to record the songs on his behalf.
By 2003, the Lemmys had announced the Lemming Award, an award given to a musician who best represented their musical style in a single performance.
However, Stewart had to wait until 2005 to receive the award.
During the Lemminys first tour in support of the award, Stewart, Lynne and Peart recorded “Lemonade” and “Love Is A Place On Earth.”
On April 3, 2005, Stewart won the Lemmers first Lemming award for Best Vocal Performance, and later that year, he won the second award for best songwriting.
Following the awards, Stewart performed “Love Isn’t A Place Is It” at the Grammy Awards.
Later that year he received the Lemmer Award for Best Music Video.
Then, in 2006, he received his third Lemming.
Although he hadn’t won a single Lemming yet, he had already recorded “Love,” and in 2007, he recorded the hit song “Good Time.”
The Lemming Awards are presented