Peter Green, the dexterous blues guitarist who led the first incarnation of Fleetwood Mac.
A law firm representing his family, Swan Turton, announced the death in a statement Saturday. It said he died “peacefully in his sleep″ this weekend. A further statement will be issued in the coming days.
Green, to some listeners, was the best of the British blues guitarists of the 1960s. B.B. King once said Green “has the sweetest tone I ever heard. He was the only one who gave me the cold sweats.”
He crashed out of the band in 1971. Even so, Mick Fleetwood said in an interview with The Associated Press in 2017 that Green deserves the lion’s share of the credit for the band’s success.
“Peter was asked why did he call the band Fleetwood Mac. He said, ‘Well, you know I thought maybe I’d move on at some point and I wanted Mick and John (McVie) to have a band.’ End of story, explaining how generous he was,” said Fleetwood, who described Green as a standout in an era of great guitar work.
Indeed, Green was so fundamental to the band that in its early days it was called Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac.
Peter Allen Greenbaum was born on Oct. 29, 1946, in London. The gift of a cheap guitar put the 10-year-old Green on a musical path.
He was barely out of his teens when he got his first big break in 1966, replacing Eric Clapton in John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers — initially for just a week in 1965 after Clapton abruptly took off for a Greek holiday. Clapton quit for good soon after and Green was in.
In the Bluesbreakers he was reunited with Mick Fleetwood, a former colleague in Peter B’s Looners. Mayall added bass player McVie soon after.
The three departed the next year, forming the core of the band initially billed as “Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac featuring (guitarist) Jeremy Spencer.”
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