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Artist: Peter Green

Peter Green

Bio

Peter Green (born Peter Allen Greenbaum on 29 October 1946 in London, England) is an influential blues guitarist and founder of Fleetwood Mac and Peter Green Splinter Group. In the late 1960s, Green fronted Fleetwood Mac when the band played a hard blues-rock sound, prior to the more pop/rock sound for which it became known by the 1970s. Peter Green started off as a bass player in such bands as The Muskrats. Joining The Peter B's, led by Peter Bardens, later the frontman of Camel, (including drummer Mick Fleetwood) he switched to lead guitar and made his first recordings. He took over the lead guitar spot in John Mayall and the Blues Breakers in 1966 after the departure of Eric Clapton. After recording on one Mayall album Peter left in 1967 to form Fleetwood Mac. Peter Green was the guiding force of Fleetwood Mac from 1967 to 1970 when he left for musical and personal reasons. Under Green's guidance, the Mac played a very gritty and authentic version of the electric blues popularized in bars on Chicago's south side. (They even did some fine recordings there--"Blues Jam in Chicago"--which saw release only after his tenure in the band had ended.) A prolific song writer also, he penned such hits as Man of the World; Oh Well; Green Manalishi; Albatross and Black Magic Woman. Albatross reached number 1 in the UK charts, Black Magic Woman was also recorded by Santana on their Abraxas album. From 1970 to 1974, Peter played some sessions, and worked with several small bands, as well as releasing two solo singles and an album of extended jams, The End of the Game for Reprise. By the end of 1974, he had withdrawn from the music scene. By 1979 Peter was recording again for PVK records as a solo artist with the debut album In the Skies; 1980 Little Dreamer; 1981 Blue Guitar; 1981 Whatcha Gonna Do; 1981 White Sky; 1984 Kolors; 1987 Katmandu; 1988 Legend; 1992 One Woman Love; Peter again left the music world in 1984, and there followed a very difficult period in his life, which came to an end in the mid 90's, and coincided with renewed interest, partly generated by a biography written by Martin Celmins, and a tribute album recorded by Gary Moore. Peter Green Formed a new group in 1995 with Nigel Watson called the Peter Green Splinter Group. Returning to form the group produced some of Pete
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Articles

Peter Green: Ronnie Scott's Club, London Mojo, Jun 1998

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THE FIRST time I ever reviewed Peter Green in concert, he was with Fleetwood Mac at the Albert Hall in the '60s; a lean, bearded figure, Rasputin-like in his long white robe with a huge crucifix about his neck.

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God had apparently found him. He was difficult to draw in interviews and even in those days appeared to be tottering on the edge of an emotional abyss, but his guitar work was impeccable. He had an immediately identifiable style and, on-stage at least, the kind of confidence seen only in those who know instinctively they're doing it right.

Thirty years, too many beers and one too many tabs of acid later, a tentative, portly, wistful Mr Green shambles on-stage at Ronnie Scott's Club with his powder-blue guitar balanced on an ample paunch, defending himself all night from the intrusion of the audience either by averting his gaze out into space for inspiration, or looking permanently down at his guitar like a tool-maker working on a lathe which he suspects might malfunction.

Peter is wearing a green shirt and a yellow pillbox hat from which tufts of grey hair sprout a la Tommy Cooper, and he shuffles about on stage worryingly – but there are moments when he is still and plays like an angel. The crowd's early affection and enthusiasm seem to bemuse and embarrass Green. He doesn't react by word or gesture. He has simply told himself he is not there. This is Brian Wilson meets David Helfgott meets Rainman.

Huddie Ledbetter, aka Leadbelly, who once prefaced a song on record with the words, "There was a white man who had the blues once – weren't nuthin' to worry about" could never have known of the troubles Peter Green has seen since the days when critics spoke of his group, Fleetwood Mac, in the same breath as the Stones and The Beatles. Few white guitarists have the talent or have earned the right to sing and play the blues like this sadly traumatised man and, together with his new band featuring Neil Murray (bass), Roger Cotton (keyboards) and Roger Tollfree (drums), he played Ronnie Scott's on the same night as the band's previous drummer, Cozy Powell, tragically died on the M4 motorway.

Green has probably had more trouble with an ‘Albatross’ than the Ancient Mariner and he dispatched his million-selling instrumental with almost indecent haste, as though embarrassed by its commercial appeal. The set came alive in the latter stages with the addition of gospel quartet The Street Angels who, with ‘Judgement Day’ and ‘Last Fair Deal’, seemingly helped to open up Green's clam-like demeanour so that he appeared to relish their deserved encore, ‘Help Me’ and ‘Yonder Wall’.

Watching the man with the haunted guitar on-stage three decades on was like spying on someone in a thick fog occasionally illuminated by streaks of musical lightning. Green remains an exceptional talent and if we only get brief glimpses of his inspirational genius, it's still worthwhile.

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Top Albums

In The Skies cover art

In The Skies

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Blues By Green cover art

Blues By Green

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Kolors cover art

Kolors

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Little Dreamer cover art

Little Dreamer

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Top Songs

Slabo Day cover art

Slabo Day

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A Fool No More cover art

A Fool No More

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In the Skies cover art

In the Skies

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Tribal Dance cover art

Tribal Dance

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Apostle cover art

Apostle

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Just for You cover art

Just for You

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Born Under a Bad Sign cover art

Born Under a Bad Sign

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