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One of three sons of a poor jewish family in londons east end, peter allen greenbaum was born in october 29;1946.peter green had first been taken with the guitar at the age of eleven;during what he calls"the skiffle days."one of his brothers brought home a cheap little spanish guitar; which eventually became peter`s hand me down,"my brother showed me a few chords,"he says;"and 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 groups sprang the first wave of the great british blues boom-the rolling stones;the yardbirds and john mayall's bluesbreakers;the direct ancestor of fleetwood mac.

Early on;peter was a clapton disciple;he followed the bluesbreakers around so he could sit at erics feet; watching his fingers on the frets. He bought a gibson les paul guitar because eric played one;and gigged around london with the tridents and other groups.when clapton got bored with mayall and 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 that group.

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 on 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 album,but his brilliant playing on its successor,a hard road,established green as the equal of clapton,beck,and page.peters instrumental work on "the stumble"and" the supernatural'"forshadow the kind of technically superior,emotionally riveting music that would soon empower the fledgling fleetwood mac.

Peter greens fleetwood mac,the first album,was basically the bands live show,recorded in only three days.it was an instant smash,spending seventeen weeks on the charts,rising to number four.their first single was jeremys version of "I believe my time aint long".

Still needing a hit single,peter green wrote "black magic women"in early 1968.the song failed for fleetwood mac.

Fleetwood macs follow-up single to the album mr.wonderful was"need your love so bad",a slow blues by little willie john.green hadnt heard the original ,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 the 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 charts.it 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 voyage to america.an understated,atmospheric instrumental,"albatross"was colored by 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 jamming influenced by the grateful dead's psychedelic anthems,but also included petes monumental r&b tribute ,"rattlesnake shake".

Danny kirwin contributed several songs that showed potential,but the albums highlight was a deeply personal and downcast peter green composition called" 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 the two pronged crown)."conceived in a nightmare,he told mick,the song described a hellish rescent into voices , madness,despair.fired by incendiary guitar 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 top-thirty record in england)

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 recording a 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 caftans,he rejoined the band on a temporary basis on the condition they play non-structured songs.the set consisted of endless jams based on "black magic women",and went down pretty well with the audiences despite petes distrscted air of aloofness.the tour actually made money;when it was over,peter green 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 he was uncredited , the green sound is unmistakably there.

For the 1975 white album,the sessions at sound city produced ''blue letter",written by the country-rock curtis brothers,who were using the 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 took it seriously,and when the police came to check tht situation,green admitted to owning a gun("I couldn't lie.i had used it once for hunting.")the police took him to prison for some six weeks,where he underwent psychiatric testing 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 can even laugh about the jails,the hospitols and the rest of it."green concurs:"I 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 to sign the contract at the last minute,when his old demons returned to haunt him.

Green was married to jane samuel at mick fleetwood's l.a.home on january 4,1978 (mick's wife,the former jenny boyd,was matron of honor,assisted by 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 that he had signed a deal with pvk records.

On the album 'tusk',peter played eight notes on the fade of the song 'brown eyes'.

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 in the water than a triumphant return.since then seven albums and a handful of singles have been released(the last three with the splinter group).

In 1987,billy revived the green god's "oh well"in concert,and rick vito would chime the blues with touching fidelity on pete's"I loved another women".

After the gig at the rega,I asked peter why he wouldn't do "oh well"or "I 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
Mr.wonderful-1968
Blues jam at chess-1968
Then play on-1969
Greatest hits-1971
Penguin-1973
Fleetwood mac(the white album)-1975
Tusk-1979
Live-1980

(peter green solo-)
The end of the game-1970
In the skies-1979
Little dreamer-1980
Watcha gonna' do-1981
Blue guitar-1981
White sky-1982

(splinter group-)
Live-1995
Soho sessions-1998
Reaching the cold 100-2003

(bootlegs-)
Fleetwood mac-mearly aportmanteau - 1971
Behind the mask live-1990
The fire house blues band live-2003
Fire house rehearsala-2003.
acknowledgements
Record collector,complete guide to...by rikky gooksby,mick fleetwoods my
twenty-five years in fleetwood mac and the authorized history by samuel
graham and to peter green.