Legendary drummer Mick Fleetwood called me up a couple days ago to plug his upcoming gig at Molson Canadian Theatre at Hard Rock, and I made sure to ask him all about his long-ago bandmate Peter Green.
Fleetwood’s current outfit, the Mick Fleetwood Blues Band, is performing several Green-penned songs from the early Fleetwood Mac blues days. Their recent setlists show that Greenie numbers like “Oh Well”, “Love That Burns”, “Stop Messin’ Around”, “Looking for Somebody”, and “Black Magic Woman” have been making the cut.
As a hardcore Green fan who always wondered why he never attained the guitar-legend status of players like Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, and Jimmy Page, I asked Fleetwood if he was surprised by that fact as well.
"No, because he shunned that type of approach," he said. "I mean he himself, he went from John Mayall's Bluebreakers and he was the guy that took over from Eric and became every bit as powerful as Eric was at that point--obviously Eric became a much bigger issue because of his world fame and his music, unlike Peter.
"Peter just stopped. And Peter did anything and everything...uh, there's a reason it's called Fleetwood Mac, it's cause he didn't want any of that stuff. He wanted to be in a band. And although he tried quite hard to play down all the adulation that he had--whether he liked it or not--he could have run with it and become the super guitar hero. And he just wanted to be in a band. And then his [mental] illness took him away from any reality of anything at that point, and the rest is history, and you never really know.
"There's no doubt that, in terms of the power of Peter Green, any one of those guys you just mentioned would have huge deference for Peter Green. That he was 'the guy'. They have huge respect for Peter's work--Jimmy Page, and Jeff Beck, and Eric, all of them. He was one of the guys that had sort of a semi-tragic story to it, you know, where he just pulled out, and we weren't treated to his magic touch."
For more from Fleetwood on Green, see the preview in this week's issue of the Georgia Straight.
Read it on paper for that old-school Greenie vibe.