Fleetwood Mac co-founder Peter Green dies ‘peacefully’ aged 73

Peter Green, a co-founder of rock band Fleetwood Mac, has died aged 73, his family has said.

Swan Turton, solicitors acting on behalf of his family, said in a statement: “It is with great sadness that the family of Peter Green announce his death this weekend, peacefully in his sleep.

“A further statement will be provided in the coming days.”

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Fleetwood Mac at the 2015 Isle of Wight Festival

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Peter Green pictured in 1968, the year after Fleetwood Mac was formed

Green, an influential blues rock guitarist, from Bethnal Green in east London, formed Fleetwood Mac with drummer Mick Fleetwood in the city in 1967.

He left the band in 1970 as he struggled with mental health problems, before they became one of the biggest-selling acts in rock with a different line-up having switched from blues to pop.

Green was eventually diagnosed with schizophrenia and spent time in hospitals undergoing electro-convulsive therapy during the mid-70s when the band he helped start was enjoying worldwide success.

Fleetwood led tributes on Saturday, describing Green as “my dearest friend” and saying they “trail blazed one hell of a musical road for so many to enjoy”.

Most sadly have lost one of the most tasteful guitar players ever I have always been a huge admirer of the great Peter Green may he rest in peace.

— Peter Frampton (@peterframpton) July 25, 2020

He signed off: “God speed to you, my dearest friend……. Love Mick Fleetwood.”

Slash, guitarist for rock band Guns N’ Roses, also paid tribute to Green, sharing a series of pictures of the late musician.

He wrote in the caption: “RIP.”

Whitesnake frontman David Coverdale called him “a breathtaking singer, guitarist & composer”. Guitarist Bernie Marsden wrote that he was probably “one of millions” he [Green] touched.

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I can’t quite express my feelings this afternoon after learning of Peter’s death. I’m just thinking of the times we spent together in the last couple of years, hanging out with him at his home was very special. A memory I’ll cherish. He made me laugh, cry, wonder, and never failed to make me pinch myself when we were alone one to one. There I was, sat with my hero. As a musician I can only be one of the millions he touched, his talent for guitar playing, vocals and harmonica would have been more than most people could have possibly wished for, and then you add those wonderful songs, original, vibrant, atmospheric, outright psychedelic and so much fun, to listen to and witness. Those early days of Fleetwood Mac will stay in my mind forever. Many more words will be written and spoken about Peter, but I will – very simply – just miss him. This photograph was taken at his house in February – the day of the London Palladium show. He was in a cheeky mood, and when I asked him if he would like to have been in London, he shrugged a little, gave me a smile and said, ‘No, I’m having a cup of tea with you.’ He made great tea. Of course. RIP PG. BM ❤️🎸

A post shared by Bernie Marsden 😎🎸❤️ (@berniemarsden) on

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Green (second left) and Fleetwood Mac in 1970

Peter Frampton, a contemporary of Green’s, tweeted: “Most sadly have lost one of the most tasteful guitar players ever.”

Black Sabbath’s Geezer Butler described Green as “one of the greats”, while Mumford and Sons guitarist Winston Marshall thanked Green “for the music”, describing him as a “#GOAT” (greatest of all time).

Film director Edgar Wright tweeted: “RIP Fleetwood Mac co founder and original lead singer Peter Green”, linking to a performance of one of their hits, Oh Well.

Actor David Morrissey praised Peter Green’s “fantastic soulful voice”, saying he “loved his playing and his singing so much”.

Green was among the eight members of the band – along with Fleetwood, Stevie Nicks, Lindsey Buckingham, John McVie, Christine McVie, Danny Kirwan and Jeremy Spencer – who were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1998.

Earlier this year, artists including Fleetwood, Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour, ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons and guitarists Jonny Lang and Andy Fairweather Low performed at the London Palladium during a gig celebrating the early years of Fleetwood Mac and Peter Green.