One of three sons of a poor jewish family in londons east end,
greenbaum was born in october 29;1946.peter green had first been
the guitar at the age of eleven;during what he calls"the skiffle
of his brothers brought home a cheap little spanish guitar; which
became peter`s hand me down,"my brother showed me a few chords,"he
I took off."
By the early 1960s;london began to sprout r&b bands.
Cyril davis and alexis korner were early pioneers:out of their
the first wave of the great british blues boom-the rolling stones;the
yardbirds and john mayall's bluesbreakers;the direct ancestor of
Early on;peter was a clapton disciple;he followed the bluesbreakers
so he could sit at erics feet; watching his fingers on the frets.
a gibson les paul guitar because eric played one;and gigged around
with the tridents and other groups.when clapton got bored with
was asked to leave;he was replaced temporarily by peter green.
In 1966;peter green formed a band called shotgug express with two
singers-rod stewart and beryl marsden-and played tht northern soul
circuit.soon peter and beryl fell in and out of love;and that was
the end of
From the start,green displayed a showmanship that cut against
the grain of
his humble style.once his place with mayall was secure,he concentrated
his blues playing,and fans started to refer to him as the green
god.he had a
lot to prove after claptons performances on mayall`s bluesbreakers
his brilliant playing on its successor,a hard road,established
green as the
equal of clapton,beck,and page.peters instrumental work on "the
the supernatural'"forshadow the kind of technically superior,emotionally
riveting music that would soon empower the fledgling fleetwood
Peter greens fleetwood mac,the first album,was basically the
show,recorded in only three days.it was an instant smash,spending
weeks on the charts,rising to number four.their first single
version of "I believe my time aint long".
Still needing a hit single,peter green wrote "black magic women"in
1968.the song failed for fleetwood mac.
Fleetwood macs follow-up single to the album mr.wonderful was"need
so bad",a slow blues by little willie john.green hadnt heard
,recalls mike vernon,but he built an arrangement from b.b.kings
version.vernon had previously worked with mickey"guitar"baker,an
american,and he induced him to come over from paris to arrange
accompanying string track.the result was a feeling not unlike
that of kings"
the thrill is gone",and the tune did adequately on the british
was the last "pure"blues single the band would make,and
as such it was only
a hint of what green would come up with next.
Then play on...
Late in 1968,peter green tried again for a hit single.the result
was"albatross",recorded just before fleetwood macs second
america.an understated,atmospheric instrumental,"albatross"was
washes of caribbean pastels and captured a certain wistful
mood.it was the
bands first hit record.
Then play on was edited mostly from savage all-night studio
influenced by the grateful dead's psychedelic anthems,but
petes monumental r&b tribute ,"rattlesnake shake".
Danny kirwin contributed several songs that showed potential,but
highlight was a deeply personal and downcast peter green
oh well"that reflected his disillusionment with the music buisness."oh
well"was a downer,but it was great.when pete chose it as a
single , mick and
john bet him ten pounds it wouldn’t even chart."
oh well"reached number two in england.
Peter greens valedictory was a single called "the green manlishi(with
two pronged crown)."conceived in a nightmare,he told mick,the
a hellish rescent into voices , madness,despair.fired by
playing, it was petes way of communicating what had happened
to him.it was
brilliant,and went to number two on the charts:fleetwood
mas fourth straight
hit single.(it would be six years before they had another
The 1970 tour went well and it looked as though fleetwood
mac might survive
the loss of the green god, who had left the music scene(after
solo album,end of the game)and was working as a gravedigger.
In 1971,the band begged peter green to come on the road with
them.astonishingly,he consented.fully bearded and wearing
rejoined the band on a temporary basis on the condition
non-structured songs.the set consisted of endless jams
based on "black
women",and went down pretty well with the audiences despite
air of aloofness.the tour actually made money;when it was
quit the band again,saying he'd only wanted to help out
his old mates.
The green god never came back.
On the 1973 album "penguin,"the song "night watch"included
a guitar track
played by none other than peter green(slight return).though
uncredited , the green sound is unmistakably there.
For the 1975 white album,the sessions at sound city produced
letter",written by the country-rock curtis brothers,who were
studio at the same time;and the groud collaboration,"world turning"(based
upon greens'"world keep on turning.")
In late 1976,green and clifford davis,still his manager,had
a fight on the
telephone in which green"threatened to shoot him."davis
seriously,and when the police came to check tht situation,green
owning a gun("I couldn't lie.i had used it once for hunting.")the
took him to prison for some six weeks,where he underwent
while waiting to go to court.typiccally,green now dedescribes
prison as "a
great life-plain,ordinary food and ordinary people.i'll
tell you,being in
there with rogues and drunks and thieves was a great experience
for an old
blueser like me."
In 1977,reports were that he had improved,and in december
of that year he
came to los angeles,where fleetwood mac had its offices.mick
spoke of relief
about greens'easy going,no pressure nature,mentioning that "peter
laugh about the jails,the hospitols and the rest of it."green
used to be a very active,very intense guy.now im more into
a relaxing trip.
Mick negotiated a lucrative record deal for the green god,who refused
sign the contract at the last minute,when his old demons returned
Green was married to jane samuel at mick fleetwood's l.a.home on
4,1978 (mick's wife,the former jenny boyd,was matron of honor,assisted
there two daughters),and he expressed his desire to"have children
as soon as
possible"and perhaps live in l.a.
Nothing was heard from green until february 1978 when it was announced
he had signed a deal with pvk records.
On the album 'tusk',peter played eight notes on the fade of the
Nearly a year later"in the skies"was released.it was
peter green's first
album since 1970 and not surprisingly it was more a cautious toe
water than a triumphant return.since then seven albums and a handful
singles have been released(the last three with the splinter group).
In 1987,billy revived the green god's "oh well"in concert,and
would chime the blues with touching fidelity on pete's"I loved
After the gig at the rega,I asked peter why he wouldn't do "oh
loved another women"any more"he said"that's what
happned in the past.it
doesn't mean anything now".
I suppose he's got a point.
Selected discography 1967-2003
(with fleetwood mac)-
Peter green's fleetwood mac-1967
Blues jam at chess-1968
Then play on-1969
Fleetwood mac(the white album)-1975
(peter green solo-)
The end of the game-1970
In the skies-1979
Watcha gonna' do-1981
Reaching the cold 100-2003
Fleetwood mac-mearly aportmanteau - 1971
Behind the mask live-1990
The fire house blues band live-2003
Fire house rehearsala-2003.
Record collector,complete guide to...by rikky gooksby,mick fleetwoods
twenty-five years in fleetwood mac and the authorized
history by samuel
graham and to peter green.