by Robert Wilkinson
Today is the birthday of one of the greatest guitar heroes ever to pick a note, the legendary Peter Green. This guitar genius founded Fleetwood Mac in 1967 and wrote some of the most haunting songs ever recorded, including "The Supernatural," "Black Magic Woman," "Oh Well," and the amazing "Green Manalishi." Enjoy these great videos celebrating the birthday of this master of electric blues.
This is the blues player about whom the legendary BB King said, "He has the sweetest tone I ever heard; he was the only one who gave me the cold sweats." No small praise from one of the greatest blues guitarists in history! Another from the great BB: "Peter Green has more talent in his little finger than I have in my whole body." Some backstory from last year's post:
Peter Green replaced Eric Clapton in John Mayall's Bluesbreakers and recorded the early Mayall masterwork "A Hard Road." He then went on to found Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac with other alumni of Mayall's English blues incubator. This was a different Fleetwood Mac than most know, since they were the height of hard core British electric blues, and not the pop rock and roll group of the mid-70s.
With 3 guitars including Danny Kirwin and the amazing slide work of Jeremy Spenser they forged an entirely different sound altogether. The band was (and are) considered one of the greatest electric blues band ever to come out of the UK. In 1969 Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac sold more records in Great Britain than the Beatles or the Rolling Stones. Yes, they were THAT good!
I had the incredible experience of seeing Peter play in Austin in December 1969 when Fleetwood Mac opened for Jethro Tull on the latter's "Stand Up" tour, complete with wildman Ian Anderson leaping on stage high kicking in his chequered coat complete with long tails.
It was truly one of the most amazing concerts I've ever seen. That night, Peter was a very long hairy creature in a long white robe, looking like some kind of ancient biblican figure playing a screaming version of electric blues-rock that was stunning in its impact.
Last year I had some links that are no longer good - too bad, since some were beyond great (including an amazing version of "Homework.") So I found a few more. Enjoy!
A great live performance of Rattlesnake Shake by Peter and Fleetwood Mac at the Playboy Club probably late 1969. (Hef's sounding erudite!)
A good live performance of Need Your Love So Bad probably from 1968.
We finish out the performance videos with a few more Fleetwood Mac live performances from the late 1960s,
Another music video of a live performance of Shake Your Moneymaker.
4 minutes of live Fleetwood Mac.
After many years in the proverbial desert, Peter came back to create the Peter Green Splinter Group. Though much different than Fleetwood Mac, they're definitely worth checking out!
Here's the Peter Green Splinter Group performing an incredibly beautiful live audio version of his first classic, The Supernatural.
Here's the Splinter Group doing another of Peter's major hits from the early days, Albatross.
Here's a great video of the Peter Green Splinter Group performing his last masterwork, "The Green Manalishi." Several more fantastic versions of this harrowing self-confessional are at the end of the article.
These are audios from the 60s, some live!
Here's the original album version of the first song of his I heard, The Supernatural featuring Peter playing with John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers. Whether the version above or this one, it's still an extraordinarily haunting blues piece!
"Coming Your Way" (Live)
Here are a few more early Fleetwood Mac songs showcasing Peter's guitar mastery:
The original audio version of Black Magic Woman.
A great live audio version from 1970 of Black Magic Woman.
Here's another live audio version of Black Magic Woman.
From "Then Play On," the original album track of Coming Your Way
From the 1968 album "English Rose," Jigsaw Blues by Danny Kirwin.
And now for "The Green Manalishi (with the two pronged crown)," which was its original title.
I found a truly amazing 7 and a half minute music video which includes segments of an extended live performance of The Green Manalishi. - A great version of the song, and a good video to boot! Another version here.
Here's the studio version of The Green Manalishi.
Here's an interesting live performance of The Green Manalishi by Fleetwood Mac long after Peter had left.
A brief piece from a documentary on Fleetwood Mac: Crazy Fleetwood Mac
Peter, thanks for showing us all how magical a guitar can be in the right hands! May you have many more years of performing your tunes and turning new generations on to the electric blues, played by a master. Infinite gratitude from your countless fans! You're still an amazing musician and a great Being!
Copyright © 2009 Robert Wilkinson