A playlist in homage to the scorching guitarist of the original Fleetwood Mac, gone at 73
Discovering Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac is that rare occasion–like Pink Floyd and The Kinks–where you feel like you are being introduced to a whole other band after listening to their early stuff for the very first time.
And when you listen to those first four Fleetwood Mac albums when they were largely a band deeply rooted in Chicago blues, the feminine mystique of the Mac of the last 45 years was but a twinkle in the eyes of the eternally essential rhythm section of bassist John McVie and drummer Mick Fleetwood. In the infancy of the group’s existence when it was Green, Danny Kirwan and Jeremy Spencer on guitars with John and Mick keeping time, it was a group of mannish boys who kept the purity of British blues rock alive when the likes of the Stones, The Kinks and The Yardbirds were moving in different directions.
Yet what always kept that original lineup of Fleetwood Mac apart from their Muddy Waters emulating counterparts was Green, who sang somewhere between the timbres of Roky Erickson and Mose Allison and played like Clapton, Page and Beck combined. The guitarist died peacefully in his sleep on July 24, according to AP. He was only 73.
But while for some fans the appreciation of Peter Green ends at his last album with the Mac, 1970’s masterful Then Play On, there’s two other catalogs of fantastic work to explore in his vastly underrated solo output as well as his work with his Splinter Group. And when combined with his pre-Mac work with John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers, you have quite a vast oeuvre of Green’s 55 years in rock, which is codified in the outpouring of love and condolences on social media over the weekend.
Godspeed, Peter Green. A life cut short, but a life well lived.