Artist News

Peter Green dies

By | Published on Monday 27 July 2020

Peter Green

Fleetwood Mac’s original lead guitarist and vocalist Peter Green has died, aged 73, his family confirmed over the weekend.

The band’s drummer and fellow co-founder Mick Fleetwood said in a statement: “For me, and every past and present member of Fleetwood Mac, losing Peter Green is monumental. No one has ever stepped into the ranks of Fleetwood Mac without a reverence for Peter Green and his talent, and to the fact that music should shine bright and always be delivered with uncompromising passion”.

“Peter, I will miss you, but rest easy your music lives on”, he continued. “I thank you for asking me to be your drummer all those years ago. We did good, and trail blazed one hell of a musical road for so many to enjoy. God speed to you, my dearest friend”.

Green founded Fleetwood Mac in 1967 with Fleetwood, guitarist and vocalist Jeremy Spencer, and bassist Bob Brunning – the latter being replaced by John McVie a few months later.

Naming the band after a song Green, Fleetwood and McVie had recorded with their previous group the Bluesbreakers, they released their eponymous debut album the following year, going to number four in the album charts. Later the same year they released standalone instrumental single ‘Albatross’, which was the band’s first and still only number one single.

The band continued to find success, but in 1970, during the tour for their third album, Green quit as a result of heavy use of LSD and declining mental health. He later received a diagnosis of schizophrenia.

He made a handful of recordings with other acts over the next few years, but by 1973 had faded from public life – in part due to time spent in psychiatric hospitals. However, by the end of the decade he began a solo career, releasing a number of solo albums through the early 80s, and also making an uncredited performance on Fleetwood’s Mac’s ‘Tusk’ album. In the late 90s, he then had another resurgence with the Peter Green Splinter Group, with whom he recorded nine albums between 1997 and 2003.

Most of Green’s work with Fleetwood Mac is now repped by Warner Music, and yesterday the company’s global President of catalogue, Kevin Gore, said in a statement: “The Warner Music family is incredibly saddened to hear the news of Peter Green’s passing. The influential guitar virtuoso, gifted singer-songwriter and co-founder of Fleetwood Mac made an indelible contribution to the evolution of rock music … We offer his family, bandmates, and fans our deepest condolences in this difficult time. Rest in peace, Peter”.