Peter Green, the avatar of British blues, has died today, July 25th, aged 73. Peter hit heyday with FLEETWOOD MAC, the powerhouse of an ensemble Greeny formed when he felt BLUESBREAKERS had begun stifling his creativity – although it was John Mayall’s institution with whom the guitarist delivered his first classic, “The Supernatural” – and this new endeavor proved instantly influential. SANTANA may have brought Green’s “Black Magic Woman” to millions of homes, yet Green’s own band gave us such gems as “Oh Well” and “Rattlesnake Shake”, plus the transcendental “Albatross” instrumental, before their writer’s mental state, exacerbated by drugs and inadequate treatment and Peter’s spiritual meandering, resulted first in darker material like “Man Of The World” and “Green Manalishi” and then in his leaving the collective.
There were guests appearances and an uneven solo career, with “In The Skies” and “Cryin’ Won’t Bring You Back” as delicious as the veteran’s early output, even though Green’s guitar licks became shambling; there was a stint in Israel, in a kibbutz; and there were records with SPLINTER BAND which saw Peter return to the stage and to the studio. It was sad to hear him in this state – and it was great, too, to have him back. Other artists paid multiple homages to their hero, most prominent being the two discs of the “Ratllesnake Guitar” tribute album, Gary Moore’s “Blues For Greeny” CD and an all-star concert of 2020 – while Peter remained mainly withdrawn from the scene in recent years. His suffering is over now that he dies peacefully in his sleep. So long, maestro.