The stadiums in heaven are about to be filled with more legendary musical riffs, because guitar hero Peter Green, who was a co-founder of Fleetwood Mac, has died. He was 73.
Peter’s family confirmed the sad news to the BBC, saying that he died peacefully in his sleep:
“It is with great sadness that the family of Peter Green announce his death this weekend, peacefully in his sleep. A further statement will be provided in the coming days.”
Peter Green (born name: Peter Allen Greenbaum), seen above working a mane of luscious curls that I think I’m going to get when I grow my hair out and instead end up with an electrocuted possum’s nest, taught himself how to play guitar as a child and by the time he was 15, he was already a pro. Peter played guitar in several bands before replacing Eric Clapton in the band John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers. John McVie and Mick Fleetwood were also members of the Bluesbreakers.
Peter and Mick decided to form their own band in 1967 with guitarist Jeremy Spencer. It was originally called Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac featuring Jeremy Spencer. Bob Brunning played bass guitar, but eventually Peter and Mick convinced John McVie to join and John replaced Bob. Since their name took 45 minutes to say, they figured they should simplify it and they went with Fleetwood Mac. Their debut album, which was self-titled, came out in 1968 and hit number four on the British charts and stayed on the British charts for more than a year. Just a few months after their debut album was released, they put out their second album Mr. Wonderful.
Some of the band’s early hits include Albatross, which was written by Peter Green. Just ignore the attention whoring albatrosses in this video:
And Black Magic Woman, which was also written by Peter Green:
Santana reworked Black Magic Woman in 1970 and it was a hit for them.
Fleetwood Mac’s third album Then Play On would be Peter Green’s last with the band. Peter Green got into LSD and there was some drama in the band because he wanted to give all their money away. He struggled with mental health issues and left Fleetwood Mac in 1970. He was eventually diagnosed with schizophrenia. He continued to make music and perform, and in the 1990s, he started the band Peter Green Splinter Group.
In 1978, Peter and his then-wife Jane Samuels welcomed a daughter they named Rosebud.
Peter was one of the eight members of Fleetwood Mac, including Mick, John McVie, Jeremy Spencer, Lindsey Buckingham, Christine McVie, Danny Kirwan, and Stevie Nicks, who was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1998. Peter was also #58 on Rolling Stone’s list of the 100 Greatest Guitarists of All-Time.
Rest in peace, Peter Green.
Pic: Michael Putland/Getty