Sunday, June 17, 2012

Peter Green: Man of the World

Every good band needs a lost genius. Pink Floyd had Syd Barrett and Fleetwood Mac had Peter Green.

Born in London's East End as Peter Greenbaum, he joined John Mayall's Bluesbreakers as Eric Clapton's replacement while still a teenager.

He formed Fleetwood Mac with Mick Fleetwood, John McVie and Jeremy Spencer, but there was no doubt who was the most significant figure: the band was orginally billed as Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac.

The band's first album was released in February 1968 and, according to an article on The Penguin, saw its members acclaimed as "the new crusaders of the English blues movement" and Green as "the reigning hero of the booming British blues scene".

Green, however, found this fame difficult to handle and began taking drugs. He last played with the band in May 1970.

Wikipedia says:
Green was eventually diagnosed with schizophrenia and spent time in psychiatric hospitals undergoing electroconvulsive therapy during the mid 1970s. Many sources attest to his lethargic, trancelike state during this period.
though that state could be the result as such treatment as easily as its cause.

Green did gradually re-emerge from these dark days and has played intermittently since the late seventies. I know someone who put on a concert with him in a village that was remote even for Shropshire.

"Man of the World", which was written by Green and looks forward to his later problems, reached number two in the British singles charts in 1969. This is an earlier recording of the song.

1 comment:

Simon Titley said...

Talking of early Fleetwood Mac, Radio 4 recently broadcast a programme about Blue Horizon records: