Peter Green

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Peter Green.
Peter Green.

Peter Allen Greenbaum (aka Peter Green) born:- 29th October 1946 in Bethnal Green, London, UK.

Founder member of Fleetwood Mac and a prominent figure in the British Blues Movement of the 60's.

B.B. King once said of Peter:- "He has the sweetest tone I ever heard; he was the only one who gave me the cold sweats."

Peter's style is easily recognisable due to his amazing 'Wide Vibrato' technique. (Similar to that of BB King!!)


The Early Years with John Mayall's Bluesbreakers.

Peter was playing lead in Peter Bardens' band, "Peter B's Looners", in 1966.
After a three month stint, he had the opportunity to fill in for Eric Clapton in John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers for three gigs. Upon Clapton's permanent departure not long after, he was hired full-time.

Peter made his full album debut with the Bluesbreakers with "A Hard Road". It featured two compositions by Green, "The Same Way" and "The Supernatural". The latter was one of Green's first extended instrumentals, which would soon become his trademark.

In 1967, Green decided to form his own blues band, and left Mayall's Bluesbreakers after appearing on just one album (just as Clapton had done).

Fleetwood Mac.

The name of Green's new band was Fleetwood Mac. Originally billed as "Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac"; it originated from the band's rhythm section that comprised Mick Fleetwood and John McVie, both of whom, like Green, had played most recently in Mayall's band.
In the mid 1970s the re-organised band topped the charts with mainstream pop/rock, but initially it was a straight-up blues-rock band playing blues classics and some original material.
Green wrote the song "Black Magic Woman" that was eventually picked up by Carlos Santana.
Green was the leader of the group throughout its initial period of success in the late 1960s, with hits including "Oh Well", "Man of the World", "The Green Manalishi" and the #1 British Chart Hit "Albatross".

The Original Fleetwood Mac.

Following the release of "Albatross" and his consequent rise in fame, Green struggled with success and the spotlight.
His personality changed drastically after LSD abuse: he began wearing a robe, grew a beard, and wore a crucifix on his chest. His abuse of LSD may have incited his Schizophrenia.

While touring Europe, Green binged on LSD in Munich. In his own words, he "went on a trip, and never came back."

Green quit Fleetwood Mac in 1970, performing his final show as a member on 20 May 1970.
He recorded a jam session The End of the Game and faded into obscurity, taking on a succession of menial jobs.
It was during this period that Green sold his trademark 1959 Sunburst Gibson Les Paul Standard to Irish guitarist Gary Moore and recorded with Bobby Tench's band Gass on their eponymous album.

Green had a brief reunion with Fleetwood Mac when Jeremy Spencer left the group (Green flew to the USA to help them complete the tour) and he was also an uncredited guest on their 1973 Penguin album on the track "Night Watch".

He also appears on the track "Brown Eyes" from 1979's Tusk.

Schizophrenia and Mental Issues.

Green was diagnosed with schizophrenia, a mental illness commonly characterised by hallucinations and paranoia, and he spent time in psychiatric hospitals undergoing electroconvulsive therapy in the mid-1970s.
Many sources attest to his lethargic, trancelike state during this period.
In 1977, he was arrested for threatening his accountant, Clifford Davis, with a rifle, but the exact circumstances are the subject of much speculation, the most popular being that Green wanted Davis to stop sending money to him.
After this incident he was sent to a psychiatric institution in London.

This was prior to his re-emergence as a recording artist with PVK Records in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
He suffered a relapse in 1984 and effectively lived the life of a tramp-like recluse for six years, walking the streets of Wembley (London) with his Fingernails grown to an amazing length until he was rescued by his brother Len and his wife, going to live with them in Great Yarmouth and regaining some of his former health and strength.

A New Chapter.

Apart from his solo work in the late 1970s and early 1980s, he contributed to "Rattlesnake Shake" and "Super Brains" on Mick Fleetwood's solo album, The Visitor, and recorded various sessions with a number of other musicians.
Despite some attempts by Gibson at a German trade show to start talks about producing a Peter Green signature Les Paul, Peter's instrument of choice at this time was in fact a Gibson 'Howard Roberts' Fusion, very often seen accompanying him on stage in recent years.

A 1990s comeback saw Green form the Peter Green Splinter Group, with the assistance of fellow musicians including Nigel Watson and Cozy Powell.
The Splinter Group released nine albums between 1997 and 2004.
It was in the latter part of this period that he picked up a black Gibson Les Paul again. Green signed and sold this Les Paul, which had been tweaked for Peter to sound like the famous 'green burst' and is now owned by a UK enthusiast.

A tour was cancelled and recording of a new studio album stopped in early 2004, when Green left the band and moved to Sweden.
Shortly thereafter he joined The British Blues All Stars, but their tour in 2005 was also cancelled.
Green has said that the medication he takes to treat his psychological problems makes it hard for him to concentrate and saps his desire to pick up a guitar; whether there will be any more public ventures remains to be seen.
Peter Green more recently with The Splinter Band.

--Sensible Jones 20:19, 10 February 2009 (CET)