Musicians mourn Fleetwood Mac co-founder Peter Green

Born Peter Greenbaum in the East End, he became one of Britain's best blues guitarists


Rock musicians around the world have been mourning the death of one of Britain’s greatest blues guitarists, Peter Green.

The co-founder of Fleetwood Mac, who was born in the East End of London as  Peter Greenbaum, died peacefully in his sleep aged 73, his family said.

He was one of the shining lights of the British blues boom of the 1960s, penning songs such as Black Magic Woman, Oh Well and the band’s number one instrumental hit Albatross.

Happier giving away his money to charity rather than enjoying the trappings of wealth, he quit the band in 1970 as his mental health suffered and vanished from public from 25 years.

But in 1996 he returned to the stage to play the blues again. The JC review of one of his comeback albums said, “No one whom this country has ever produced could match Peter Green’s brilliance as a guitarist.”

Thirty years earlier, he had replaced Eric Clapton as the guitarist in one of the UK’s most influential blues bands, John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers, before going on to form Fleetwood Mac the following year.

In a JC interview 30 years later, he recalled painful memories of antisemitism during his childhood.

He said he took LSD later to “get to a place where I wasn’t Jewish but I wasn’t I wasn’t not Jewish either”.

The lyrics to Oh Well gave a glimpse into his sensitive nature, when he sang: “Now when I talk to God/I knew he’d understand./ He said ‘Stick by me and I’ll be your guiding hand./ But don’t ask me what I think of you./ I might not give the answer that you want me to.’”

Earlier this year some of the country’s leading rock musicians, including The Who’s Peter Townshend ,  David Gilmour of Pink Flloyd and Noel Gallagher, co-founder of Oasis, took part in a tribute concert to Green organised by Mick Fleetwood, who was part of the original Fleetwood Mac line-up.

Paying tribute after news of his death, Fleetwood said, "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."

The singer Yusuf (formerly Cat Stevens) said, “God bless the ineffable Peter Green, one of the unsung heroes of musical integrity, innovation and spirit.”

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