Before there was the monster-selling Fleetwood Mac of Rumors fame, there was for a brief time, a hugely influential blues rock band called Fleetwood Mac, led by guitar virtuoso Peter Green. Unfortunately, drugs and what was later diagnosed as schizophrenia took a heavy toll on Green and he left the band. For many years did not play at all in public, and was for a time institutionalized. But he did eventually return, and though ravaged by time and illness, made some fine music later in his life.
In the song above, "Oh Well", Green actually eschews lead to Danny Kirwan, as Fleetwood Mac had three excellent guitarists, with Jeremy Spencer also a force on slide guitar.
Source: Guitar World
Hugely influential British blues guitarist and Fleetwood Mac co-founder Peter Green has died aged 73.
The news was confirmed by a statement from Green family solicitors Swan Turton, which reads, “It is with great sadness that the family of Peter Green announce his death this weekend, peacefully in his sleep. A further statement will be provided in the coming days.”
Born in London, 1946, Green began playing professionally at the age of 15. Before long, he found himself filling in for Eric Clapton in John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers at the tail-end of 1965, and joined full-time the following year.
In 1967, Green formed Fleetwood Mac with fellow former Bluesbreaker Mick Fleetwood on drums. While Green’s guitar skills were already fully developed, leading his own group developed his fresh take on blues songwriting.
Many of Green’s compositions became staples in the blues-rock ouvre, including Black Magic Woman (which itself was covered by Santana), wistful instrumental Albatross, introspective ballad Man of the World, plus rockier offerings Oh Well, and The Green Manalishi.
Green’s proclivity for LSD began to take its toll on his mental health as the ’60s drew to a close, and in March 1970, a drug-related incident at a commune in Munich had a devastating impact upon his psyche. He quit the band soon after and was later diagnosed with schizophrenia.
In the late-’70s and early-’80s, Green released a string of solo albums, and recorded and toured with friends including Nigel Watson and Cozy Powell, billed as the Peter Green Splinter Group, from 1997 until 2004.
Green was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame among seven other members of Fleetwood Mac in 1998.
Here's the deceptively simple but hard to play well song "Albatross", from 2012.
On Feb. 25, 2020, Mick Fleetwood arranged an all-star tribute concert for Peter Green, with such rock luminaries as David Gilmour (Pink Floyd), Pete Townshend (The Who), Steven Tyler (Aerosmith), Billy Gibbons (ZZ Top), Bill Wyman (Rolling Stones), as well as many others paying their respect, including original guitarist Jeremy Spencer. Full video is here, but here's Mick Fleetwood giving thanks at the end.
Is the music of early Peter Green/Fleetwood Mac still relevant to younger people? Well, here's HAIM at Glastonbury in 2014, bringing some California sunshine with their version of "Oh well". Watch and judge for yourself if the kids get into it or not.