Mick Fleetwood paid tribute to his Fleetwood Mac co-founder Peter Green, describing him as “my best friend” and saying that they have “taken a great musical path for so many to enjoy”.
Leetwood and Green formed the influential London group in 1967, along with John McVie and Jeremy Spencer.
Green, who died at the age of 73, later left the band after struggling with his sanity. In a statement to the PA news agency, Fleetwood said, “For me, and for every past and now member of Fleetwood Mac, the loss of Peter Green is monumental.
“Peter was the man who formed the band Fleetwood Mac with myself, John McVie and Jeremy Spencer. No one has ever stepped into the ranks of Fleetwood Mac without reverence for Peter Green and his talent, and for the fact that music should shine brightly and always come with uncompromising passion. ”
Fleetwood, 73, added: “Peter, I will miss you, but rest easy, your music lives on. Thank you for asking me all those years ago to be your drummer. We did well and the path was a great musical path for so many to enjoy.
“God stand on you, my dearest friend ……. I love Mick Fleetwood. ‘
Green, the influential blues rock guitarist, whose songs include Albatross and Oh Well, was born in London’s Bethnal Green to a Jewish family.
He formed Fleetwood Mac with drummer Fleetwood in London in 1967, after a spell in John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers – substitute for Eric Clapton.
Green and Fleetwood wanted John McVie to join the group on bass, calling the band Fleetwood Mac to seduce him – a strategy that was ultimately successful.
Under his leadership, the band produced three albums and a string of much-loved songs, including Black Magic Woman, Man Of The World and Oh Well.
Green wrote the instrumental Albatross, which remains Fleetwood Mac’s only number one in the UK, reaching the top of the charts in January 1969.
Carlos Santana’s 1970 version of Black Magic Woman, in which he added conga and timbales drums, became one of the Mexican-American’s biggest hits.
Green left Fleetwood Mac after a last performance in 1970 when he struggled with mental health problems and spiraling drug use, and later slept roughly.
Eventually, he was diagnosed with schizophrenia and spent time in hospitals undergoing electroconvulsive therapy in the mid-1970s.
Unfortunately I lost one of the most tasteful guitarists ever. I have always been a great admirer of the great Peter Green, may he rest in peace.
– Peter Frampton (@peterframpton) July 25, 2020
The band continued with a transformed line-up with a core group of Fleetwood, Stevie Nicks, Lindsey Buckingham, John McVie and Christine McVie.
This phase led to their huge albums Fleetwood Mac and Rumors.
Green emerged from oblivion a number of times and formed the Peter Green Splinter Group with Nigel Watson and Cozy Powell in the late 1990s.
They released nine albums between 1997 and 2004.
Fleetwood spoke to PA news agency in 1992 and described Green as “a great talent that continues to this day.”
He added, “I’m lucky to have even played with him.
“Of course I’m upset, but there’s nothing I can do about it. It’s his life. I haven’t seen him in years. ‘
Green was one of eight members – along with Fleetwood, Nicks, Buckingham, the McVies, Danny Kirwan and Jeremy Spencer – who entered the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1998.
Earlier this year, artists such as Fleetwood, Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler, Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour, ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons and guitarists Jonny Lang and Andy Fairweather Low performed at the London Palladium in a performance honoring the early years of Fleetwood Mac and Green.
Green married Jane Samuels in January 1978. They divorced in 1979 and share a daughter.
Singer and guitarist Peter Frampton was among the tributes.
He said, “Unfortunately I lost one of the most tasteful guitarists ever. I have always been a great admirer of the great Peter Green, may he rest in peace.”
Mumford and Sons guitarist Winston Marshall also tweeted a moving tribute and thanked Green “for the music.”
He wrote, “RIP Peter Green. #GOAT. Man of the world, oh albatross, you need love so badly. Some of my favorite songs and performances of all time. Thanks for the music. “
And Black Sabbath’s Geezer Butler described Green as “one of the greats.”