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Peter Green

Peter Green is regarded by some fans as the greatest white blues guitarist ever, Eric Clapton notwithstanding. Born Peter Greenbaum but calling himself Peter Green by age 15, he grew up in London's working-class East End. Green's early musical influences were Hank Marvin of the Shadows, Muddy Waters, B.B. King, Freddie King, and traditional Jewish music. He originally played bass before being invited in 1966 by keyboardist Peter Bardens to play lead in the Peter B's, whose drummer was a lanky chap named Mick Fleetwood. The 19-year-old Green was with Bardens just three months before joining John Mayall's Bluesbreakers, whose rapidly shifting personnel included bassist John McVie and drummer Aynsley Dunbar. A keen fan of Clapton, Green badgered Mayall to give him a chance when the Bluesbreakers guitarist split for an indefinite vacation in Greece. Green sounded great and, as Mayall recalls, was not amused when Clapton returned after a handful of gigs, and Green was out.

When Clapton left the band for good six months later to form Cream, Mayall cajoled Green back. Fans were openly hostile because Green was not God, although they appreciated Clapton's replacement in time. Producer Mike Vernon was aghast when the Bluesbreakers showed up without Clapton to record the album A Hard Road in late 1966, but was won over by Green's playing. On many tracks you'd be hard-pressed to tell it wasn't Clapton playing. With an eerie Green instrumental called "The Supernatural," he demonstrated the beginning of his trademark fluid, haunting style so reminiscent of B.B. King.

When Green left Mayall in 1967, he took McVie and Fleetwood to found Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac. Jeremy Spencer and Danny Kirwan shortly afterward gave Fleetwood Mac an unusual three-guitar front line. Green was at his peak for the albums Mr. Wonderful, English Rose, Then Play On, and a live Boston Tea Party recording. His instrumental "Albatross" was the band's first British number one single and "Black Magic Woman" was later a huge hit for Carlos Santana. But Green had been experimenting with acid and his behavior became increasingly irrational, especially after he disappeared for three days of rampant drug use in Munich. He became very religious, appearing on-stage wearing crucifixes and flowing robes. His bandmates resisted Green's suggestion to donate most of their money to charity, and he left in mid-1970 after writing a harrowing biographical tune called "The Green Manalishi."

After a bitter, rambling solo album called The End of the Game, Green saddened fans when he hung up his guitar, except for helping the Mac complete a tour when Spencer suddenly joined the Children of God in Los Angeles and quit the band. Green's chaotic odyssey of almost a decade included rumors that he was a gravedigger, a bartender in Cornwall, a hospital orderly, and a member of an Israeli commune. When an accountant sent him an unwanted royalty check, Green confronted his tormentor with a gun, although it was unloaded. Green went to jail briefly before being transferred to an asylum.

Green emerged in the late '70s and early '80s with albums In the Skies, Little Dreamer, White Sky, and Kolors, featuring at times Bardens, Robin Trower drummer Reg Isidore, and Fairport Convention drummer Dave Mattacks. He reprised the Then Play On Mac standard "Rattlesnake Shake" on Fleetwood's solo 1981 album, The Visitor. British author Martin Celmins wrote Green's biography in 1995. Psychologically troubled, on medication, and hardly playing the guitar for most of the '90s, the reclusive Green resumed sporadic recording in the second half of the decade. He surfaces unexpectedly from time to time, most prominently January 12, 1998, when Fleetwood Mac was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. In a rare, perfect moment, Green jammed with fellow inductee Santana on "Black Magic Woman." ~ Mark Allan
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Reaching The Gold

Disc 1
Disc 2

1. Ain't Nothin' Gonna Change It

2. Look Out For Yourself

4. Dangerous Man

5. Needs Must The Devil Drives

6. Must Be A Fool

7. Don't Walk Away

8. Can You Tell Me Why (A.K.A. Legal Fee Blues)

9. Spiritual Thief

10. I'm Ready For You

11. Smile

12. Nice Girl Like You

13. When Somebody Cares

14. Black Magic Woman

15. It Takes Time

16. Green Manalishi

17. Albatross

x

Track List: Supernatural

Disc 1

1. The Green Manalishi

2. Black Magic Woman

4. The Supernatural

5. Albatross

9. Rattlesnake Shake

10. Man Of The World

Disc 2

2. I'm A Steady Rollin' Man

3. Big Change Is Gonna Come

4. Homework

5. When You Got A Good Friend

6. You'll Be Sorry Someday

7. Phonograph Blues

8. Love In Vain Blues

11. Hiding In Shadows

12. Sweet Home Chicago

13. Hitch Hiking Woman

14. Me & The Devil Blues

15. Going Down

x

Track List: Splinter Group / Destiny Road

Disc 1

1. Hitch Hiking Woman

2. Travelling Riverside Blues

3. Look On Yonder Wall

4. Homework

5. The Stumble

6. Help Me

7. Watch Your Step

8. From 4' Till Late

9. Steady Rollin' Man

10. It Takes Time

11. Dark End Of The Street

12. Going Down

Disc 2

1. Big Change Is Gonna Come

4. You'll Be Sorry Someday

5. Tribal Dance

11. Hiding In Shadows

x

Track List: Blues By Green

2. Same Old Blues

3. Born Under A Bad Sign

4. Last Train To San Antone

5. Just For You

6. A Fool No More

7. Man Of The World

8. Time For Me To Go

9. White Sky (Love That Evil Woman)

10. Gotta See Her Tonight

11. Baby When The Sun Goes Down

13. Slabo Day

14. Little Dreamer

x

Track List: The Robert Johnson Songbook

1. When You Got A Good Friend

2. 32-20 Blues

3. Phonograph Blues

4. Last Fair Deal Gone Down

5. Stop Breakin' Down Blues

6. Terraplane Blues

7. Walkin' Blues

8. Love In Vain Blues

9. Ramblin' On My Mind

10. Stones In My Passway

11. Me And The Devil Blues

12. Honeymoon Blues

13. Kind Hearted Woman Blues

14. I Believe I'll Dust My Broom

15. If I Had Possession Over Judgment Day

16. Sweet Home Chicago

x

Track List: Whatcha Gonna Do?

1. Gotta See Her Tonight

2. Promised Land

3. Bullet In The Sky

4. Give Me Back My Freedom

5. Last Train To San Antone

6. To Breave Your Heart

7. Bizzy Lizzy

8. Lost My Love

9. Like A Hot Tomato

10. Trying To Hit My Head Against The Wall

11. Woman Don't

12. Whatcha Gonna Do

x

Track List: Little Dreamer

1. Loser Two Times

2. Momma Don'tcha Cry

3. Born Under A Bad Sign

4. I Could Not Ask For More

5. Baby When The Sun Goes Down

6. Walkin' The Road

7. One Woman Love

8. Cryin' Won't Bring You Back

9. Little Dreamer

x

Track List: In The Skies

1. In The Skies

2. Slabo Day

3. A Fool No More

4. Tribal Dance

5. Seven Stars

6. Funky Chunk

7. Just For You

8. Proud Pinto

9. Apostle

Comments

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Love him
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david... radio
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Hey, hey hey, let's get one thing straight, what I meant was "Clapton is good" I was just really f**ked up at the time, sorry for confusion
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savagewill58
Peter Green one of the best. Gawd this man was truely one of a kind. To this day Mick Fleetwood praises his talent. They called Clapton God but remember that's just a title. I still call Peter Green a God. Remember this other British blues man Steve Marriott! Can't forget him either....
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D's
Ang
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boxlockbob
I have listened to the music of both Peter Green and Eric Clapton since the mid 60's. And I feel it's unfair to put Clapton "way down" on any list of great guitarists. Yes, Green is near the top of my list of that period of gutiarists.h e is unique, has a great style, sound and limited riff repeatabilit y . The knowledge and depth of the blues that he displays is breathtaking . That being said, I believe people today judge Clapton by the pitiful luke warm playing he has demonstrated since Derek a
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Sounds good.
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And Gary Moore owned the legendary 1959 Gibson Les Paul Standard Sunburst that belonged to Peter Green
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Only other blues guitarist close would be Gary Moore. Clapton way down my list!
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Peter Green is as close to being God as Clapton is!!
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Eric Clapton isn't even in the top 5 white blues players IMO...why mention him in a Peter Green bio?
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I never saw the HOF show from 1998 but I sure wish I had just to see Peter Green and Carlos Santana jam on Green's song Black Magic Woman
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thehathouse
Peter Green,one of the best blues guitarists when with Mayall and also his Own, the original and Inimitable, first lineup of Fleetwood Mac
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This guy could have been huge ! …. but the acid wrecked him…. imho
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Christina M: If you love THAT (In the Skies) then please puh-LEEZE get hold of one of the ALL-TIME CLASSICS of the Day- Fleetwood Mac's 'Then Play On'. They were at their all-time zenith then (imho) and you'll get a dose of Peter, John, Mick & Dann K.(?) like you won't BEE-LEEVE. That is to say.....I think you'll DIG IT!!
Fleetwood Mac in Chicago is another, for heaping doses of P.G., along w/many of the greast of the Blues of All Time!
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brilliant tasteful soulful eligant honest electric blues
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Peter Green one of the best white blues players
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another great find... thanks again!
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Killer Song!!
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At 59 I can't come close to the artist P G is .he is playing for the angles above us.who is eric????? Eric who .104 wbcn was the best,hands down
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Great Musician Acid can make anyone lose completely their mind as any one that had deal wit that Knows about it and can never forget about it
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tasteful...u n d e r s t a t e d . . . c l a s s y . . . b r i l l i a n t
Not mere platitudes but plaudits for a personal favorite of mine
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I love your music Peter Green!!! My most favorite cd I'd is In The Skies and I listen to it in my car every freaking day but now I just refound your Great cover of It Takes Time, my new favorite. Love you and take care
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A fool no more.......d i g it
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Ask EC who's the best and he will say....Phil Keaggy. PG way better than Clapton but Keaggy .... He's the best!!! JMHO
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Let's give credit were credit is do. If we are talking blues, just like in the beginning of this BIO they all started with listening to Muddy Waters, BB, Albert King, Freddie King, Otis Rush, and on and on. They all came out of the black man blues, the true originators didn't get the royalties these guys did, even copying some of their songs. And that my friend is were all these guys cut there teeth. The Blues had a Baby and they called it Rock and Roll.
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hey kvons1, with all respect, this is not exercise in 'better'. It is EC is overrated. As far as who has more soul, Peter Green. With that, we disagree and i am perfectly fine with that.
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thank you horseman308! you understand.
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abejuls
one year2005?
Peter and the splinter group with the Hammond b3, beautiful... A bunch of grey haired folk like me on a blues night... In Seattle
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WOOOOW IS HE UP THERE WITH THE REST OF THE BEST THATS TALENT
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scott8326
The man went Syd Barrett. He just flamed out. He could not handle the fame. A real shame.
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frenchstik
It's time for the PG movie Green Manalishi
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Peter Green is/was a great guitarist, probably my favorite, apart from Paul Kossoff. That said, I find all this hype about what acid did to Peter Green really aggravating. Acid is not a drug that 'does something to you'. Acid is a visionary facilitator, where you go and what you do with these visions is entirely up to you. You can, if you choose, just sit on it and go nowhere maybe get giddy,see some 'traces' and brighter colors but apart from that, it's all up to you---what you allow. There's l
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roco.6078
tantalizing, piercing tone.
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Its is sad how many great guitarist are hardly known by the general public. I respect Clapton has endured long standing success but more as a body of work, not a great guitarist like Jimmy Page, Hendrix and others.
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horseman308
Tom: Amen.
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Why is it when the write ups mention anything about blues guitar, they have to mention Eric THE MOST OVERRATED PLAYER EVER Clapton?!?!? ! ? ! ? ! ? He could not hold a guitar pick to Peter Green. Stop typing EC is the 'blues' or the father on the modern blues - he is an overrated hack. So many great players are more talented than he ever thought of being... STOP WITH THE CLAPTON REFERENCES!! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !
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Add Jeremy Spencer to your Pandora mix. He released some solo work a couple of years ago that is quite good. I think running away to join the Children of God probably saved him from the fate that befell Green and Kirwan.
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capedale
This guy truly was brilliant... t o r m e n t e d , yes...but brilliant, and especially tasty paired with Danny Kirwin.
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bobdaviswsuv
Here is a brilliant documentary about Peter Green. Very interesting.
http://www.v e o h . c o m / w a t c h / v 2 0 3 6 5 8 2 5 F 2 B N M Y z a ? h 1 = P e t e r + G r e e n % 3 A + M a n + o f + t h e + W o r l d
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baliscotsurf
good music is...good music...it's the competitive undercurrent grounded into peoples insecurities about their own self that fuels senseless comparisons. I sooo much appreciate Peter Green AND DANNY KIRWIN. They made such great music. Still gives me goosebumps. Thank You Peter..Thank you Danny....Jer e m y . . M i c k . . . J o h n . . C h r i s t i n e
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kvons1
@ mitchmedina & tom1054----I ' m 63 and been around nearly as long as most of these guys. I've seen them both (and others) many times and BOTH are truly great accomplished artists. I can't understand statements from people saying---thi s one is BETTER than that one, or Led Zeppelin is BETTER than the Stones or the Stones are BETTER than the Beatles, etc. etc. etc. Makes ZERO sense! They're ALL great in their own rights--all else is mere opinion and personal taste.
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kvons1
Great song and venue --TOO bad recording engineer had NO concept of recording levels and overload / distortion!!
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mitchmedina
Unique and very talented better than E.C. Hands down!!
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Do not use Eric 'what's his face' as a comparison to any talented player. EC is THEE most over rated guitarist ever! The only reason anyone says he is good, is because he was always SURROUNDED by great musicians.
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Flash in the pan my a**. Peter Green is one of the most influential blues players around, having played with John Mayall, Mac of course, and his recent Splinter Group projects. A founding member of one of the most influential pop bands, a flash indeed! His overall contribution to the Blues and Blues-Rock.. . . i n c a l c u l a b l e .
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boogiespeed
a flash in the pan,... but alas! --a VERY bright flash! ---Good chit mon'
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just brilliant
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rrwjams1
No, Eric Clapton sounds remarkably like Peter Green.
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His life would be an amazing movie
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