Original (Peter Green) Fleetwood Mac

I don’t always note when some rocker or blues person has died, simply because it’s become sadly all too commonplace these days. But I literally just read that Peter Green had died and so I thought I would re-publish this post. This is one of the very first posts i did back in 2015. But first, a link to the obituary of one of the finest blues guitarists who ever lived.

Peter Green obituary

As you can probably guess from the picture, this is not an article about the latest iteration of Fleetwood Mac, but the first. Now I am not here to say that one version of the band is better than another. I love the Nicks/Buckingham version and there was a reason for their overwhelming popularity – they are a damn good band.

But as much as I like that band, I really want to talk about the original blues-based version of the band and their stellar guitarist, Peter Green. These guys were – in a word – terrific. They played not only straight up Chicago-style blues – even recording in Chicago with the likes of Buddy Guy and Willie Dixon – they also did some dreamy stuff like “Albatross.”

Peter Green was the guy who replaced Eric Clapton in John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers. His vibrato-laden tone once inspired B.B. King to say, “He has the sweetest tone I ever heard; he was the only one who gave me the cold sweats.” High praise or what?

The Boston Tea Party was a small club that was open in the late 60’s and early 70’s. Like a lot of clubs at the time, it was a vital venue for up-and-coming bands like Zeppelin, Allmans, etc. This next song, “Oh, Well Part 1” was recorded there and is a great indicator of their ballsy two-guitar sound. The current band sometimes plays it. I personally cannot get enough of their stuff. (There’s a nice video of Jimmy Page performing this song with Black Crowes up on You Tube.)

Carlos Santana was another disciple of Peter Green’s. He covered the song “Black Magic Woman,” tying it together with jazz guitarist Gabor Szabo’s “Gypsy Queen.” This was a big hit for Santana but I’m not sure that that particular Mac lineup ever escaped the underground blues band label. Their version of “Black Magic” ends with a nice two guitar lead shuffle. I liked the way these guys played simultaneous lead (Jeremy Spencer and later, Danny Kirwan).

Sadly, Green eventually had problems with drugs and schizophrenia. I seem to recall reading articles about him being seen sleeping in train stations around London. The good news is that he has since recovered (medication?) and has sometimes played out with various eponymous bands.

34 thoughts on “Original (Peter Green) Fleetwood Mac

  1. Original Fleetwood Mac made some of my favorite music. Just took ‘Live in Boston’ for a walk the other day (still listen to a disc-man). “Oh Well is a Babyhead favorite, live or studio. Listening to it as I type. Man, I love that cut. CB has it waiting to be posted. This stuff never gets old for me.

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  2. A great blues band. ‘Oh Well’ is a terrific song. Have it on my iPod, ‘Boston’ CD in the car.

    Side note – I must say I’m amazed (and heartened) by your desire and ability to plow through so many of my older posts. I’ve left them open for comments indefinitely, hoping people who found my site later would go back and read at least some of them. So, thanks much. I don’t know where you find the time.

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  3. When I see people writing posts on groups like the original “Fleetwood Mac’, Dan Hicks etc..I make time. Songs like “Oh Well” to CB’s ears are gold. I love that stuff. The mainstream music gets lots of love. The kind of stuff you’re posting is still laying there waiting to be discovered. We know how much we dig it, we’re just trying to turn others onto it. To me it’s not a hard sell. Onto more posts.

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  4. I hadn’t heard yet. RIP, Mr. Green. I’ve enjoyed his work for years, and he’ll always be one of my favourite guitarists & writers.

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  5. Another music friend just let me know. Good nod to a guy who deserves a whole lot more recognition. You know how I feel about this guy. Timely that we shared that cut a few post back with Peter doing the Johnson cut. Took a couple recordings for a walk today. BB was one. Greens licks always remind me of him..

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    1. You know, I went for a drive in a country-ish area not too far from my house today. I love to drive and listen to music. And I mean loud. Nothing like it. And I had every intention of playing Greenie. But I already had Live Cream Volume II cued up so I listened to that. Epic version of ‘Steppin’ Out’ on that one. What the hell, Green replaced Eric in Mayall’s band so it was close enough. And it just so happened I was wearing my Duane t-shirt. Peter will get his due in my listening in the coming days. When I wrote that Mac post even you weren’t following me. Nobody was. I think you went back and commented later.

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      1. Stop that shit. Now I have to go listen to Cream. Again!
        You are probably wearing Ginger Baker bicycle shorts too. Yeah, when I first found your station, I went through tne archives and found this take. That’s when I found we spoke the same lingo. Not Yank or Canuck but music. Good music.


        1. I went looking for some Greenie on Spotify. Maybe because he died the first one they brought up was not a Nicks/Buckingham one but an older demo/rare live session one. Pretty primitive but good. It’s called “Before the Beginning – 1968-1970, Rare Live and Demo Sessions.” Lots of slide if you’re into that sort of thing.

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        2. Of course I’m into that kind of thing. Checking it out right now. I have a few recordings from that era. It’s good stuff. Takes me back to when I first heard them. Can you find ‘Live In Chicago’ anywhere? I just have it on vinyl. Love that record.


        3. There’s a bunch older FM on Spotify. There’s “The Original Fleetwood Mac,” “Blues Jam in Chicago” both volumes 1 and 2 (maybe that’s it), “Madison Blues,” Boston Tea Party Vol. 3″ That outta keep you busy for a while.

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        4. That’s it. I’m not that swift sometimes. Looking under Fleetwood Mac. There’s an idea CB. Funny how folks mostly talk new Mac. I guess were becoming a couple fossils. That’s ok.


        5. I like the fact that Green let Fleetwood and McVie name the band after themselves as he knew he’d move on one day. And that led them to hang onto a valuable “brand” rather than have to go back to slogging in clubs. More power to Fleetwood for keeping it going all these years.

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        6. I agree. It was good to see them go on and make some dough. Just didnt turn my crank like the earlier stuff. Maybe if I came at the latter I would have a different opinion.
          I’m locked into the Chicago sessions. ‘In the Skies’ is a good record Doc. Subtle and cool.


    1. Yeah, I had done that post a long time ago and had thought of re-publishing it at some point anyway. Wish I had a better reason. Too many of these hard-llving rockers are reaching that age these days.

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