Guitarist Who 'Gave Me the Cold Sweats' Has Died

Peter Green had 'the sweetest tone I ever heard,' said guitar legend BB King
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 25, 2020 12:00 PM CDT
Fleetwood Mac Guitarist Dead at 73
In this file photo dated Saturday, April 7, 2001, British rock and blues guitarist Peter Green, a founding member of Fleetwood Mac, backstage before performing with his own band, Peter Green's Splinter Group, at B.B. King Blues Club & Grill, in New York.   (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, FILE)

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 73, the AP reports. A law firm representing his family, Swan Turton, announced the death in a statement Saturday. It said he died "peacefully in his sleep" this weekend. A further statement will be issued in the coming days. Green, to some listeners, was the best of the British blues guitarists of the 1960s. B.B. 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." He crashed out of the band in 1971.

Even so, Mick Fleetwood said in an interview with the AP 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. Peter Allen Greenbaum was born on Oct. 29, 1946, in London, got his big break in 1966 replacing Eric Clapton in John Mayall's Bluesbreakers, and formed the core of what became Fleetwood Mac the next year with bandmate Mick Fleetwood—who later said Green was "taking a lot of acid and mescaline" and "we were oblivious as to what schizophrenia was back in those days." See more here.

(Read more obituary stories.)

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