Fleetwood Mac guitarist Peter Green dies at 73

Sarah Carty
·Features & Style Editor
·3-min read

Peter Green, the dexterous blues guitarist who led the first incarnation of Fleetwood Mac in a career shortened by psychedelic drugs and mental illness, has died at the age of 73.

The law firm Swan Turton announced the death in a statement on Saturday, saying a “further statement will be provided in the coming days”.

danny kirwan, fleetwood mac, jeremy spencer, john mcvie, mick fleetwood, peter green of Fleetwood Mac 1969 during Music File Photos - The 1960s - by Chris Walter
Ex Fleetwood Mac guitarist Peter Green had died. Here he is pictured with the rest of the band in 1969. Photo: Getty Images

It said he died "peacefully in his sleep".

Co-founder of the band. Mick Fleetwood paid tribute to the guitarist and composer, remembering his former bandmate as "monumental".

"For me, and every past and present member of Fleetwood Mac, losing Peter Green is monumental,” he said in a statement.

“Peter was the man who started the band Fleetwood Mac along with myself, John McVie, and Jeremy Spencer. No one has ever stepped into the ranks of Fleetwood Mac without a reverence for Peter Green and his talent, and to the fact that music should shine bright and always be delivered with uncompromising passion.

Mick Fleetwood has paid tribute to co-founder of the band, Peter Green. Photo: Getty Images
Mick Fleetwood has paid tribute to co-founder of the band, Peter Green. Photo: Getty Images

“Peter, I will miss you, but rest easy your music lives on. I thank you for asking me to be your drummer all those years ago. We did good, and trail blazed one hell of a musical road for so many to enjoy. God speed to you, my dearest friend ... Love Mick Fleetwood."

Green, to some listeners, was the best of the British blues guitarists of the 1960s.

BB King once said Green "has the sweetest tone I ever heard. He was the only one who gave me the cold sweats".

Green also made a mark as a composer, with Albatross, and as a songwriter, with Oh Well and Black Magic Woman.

British rock musician Peter Green, of the group Fleetwood Mac, performs, London, England, late 1960s or early 1970s.
Peter Green left the band in 1971. Photo: Getty Images

He crashed out of the band in 1971.

Even so, Mick Fleetwood said in an interview with the Associated Press in 2017 that Green deserves the lion's share of the credit for the band's success.

"Peter was asked why did he call the band Fleetwood Mac. He said, 'Well, you know I thought maybe I'd move on at some point and I wanted Mick and John (McVie) to have a band.' End of story, explaining how generous he was," said Fleetwood, who described Green as a standout in an era of great guitar work.

Fleetwood Mac- co-founder Peter Green
Here is is pictured in Amsterdam in 1996. Photo: Getty Images

Indeed, Green was so fundamental to the band that in its early days it was called Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac.

Tributes have flown in for the music legend, with rock musician rock Peter Frampton sharing: "Most sadly have lost one of the most tasteful guitar players ever I have always been a huge admirer of the great Peter Green may he rest in peace."

Banjoist and lead guitarist of rock band Mumford & Sons, Winston Marshall said: "RIP Peter Green. #GOAT . Man of the world, oh well, albatross, need your love so bad. Some of my favourites songs and performances of all time. Thank you for the music (sic)"

Peter is survived by his daughter, Rosebud Samuels-Greenbaum, who he had with ex-wife Jane Samuels.

Reporting by AAP

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