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Saturday, June 02, 2007

Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac

Last night, while profiling Bob Welch for FNR, I was astonished to find these older clips of the early Fleetwood Mac line-up. Peter Green named Fleetwood Mac after the band's rhythm section that consisted of Mick Fleetwood and John McVie. It was initially a straight-up blues-rock band playing blues classics and some original material — just like Mayall's Bluesbreakers. Green was the leader of the group throughout their initial period of success in the late 1960s and early 1970s, when their hits included "Oh Well", "Man of the World" and "Albatross". He wrote the song "Black Magic Woman" that was eventually picked up by Santana.

Following the release of "Albatross" and consequent rise in fame, Green struggled spiritually with the band's success and being in the spotlight. While touring Europe and after a gig in Munich, Germany, Green went on a three day LSD fuelled binge. In his own words, he "went on a trip, and never came back". Green's personality changed drastically after the episode: he began wearing a robe, grew a beard, and wore a crucifix on his chest. His use of LSD may have been a contributing factor to his mental illness, schizophrenia.

He quit Fleetwood Mac in 1970, declaring money to be evil and giving it away to charity. He performed his final show as a member on May 20, 1970. He recorded an experimental and extremely uncommercial album The End Of The Game and faded into obscurity, taking on a succession of menial jobs. I know you'll enjoy these clips of the band from those early days, and recognize the bluesy feel that bubbled just under the surface on many of the group's later hits:

Rattlesnake Shake (Live at The Playboy Mansion)
Check out a very young Fleetwood on the drums, and yes this song IS about what you think it is if you listen carefully. ;)

Need Your Love So Bad

Like it This Way

Oh Well


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