Over the weekend, the music world mourned the loss of Fleetwood Mac co-founder and guitarist Peter Green, who died “peacefully in his sleep” aged 73.
The musician was heralded as one of the greatest British blues guitarists of the 60s. B.B. King famously said that Green “has the sweetest tone I ever heard. He was the only one who gave me the cold sweats.”
The Fleetwood Mac co-founder left the band in 1971, in the midst of a battle with schizophrenia and paranoia. Although his stint with the band was short-lived, his contributions can not be downplayed.
“For his legacy I think it’s important we remember that Fleetwood Mac was, first and foremost, a blues band,” explained Mick Fleetwood in an interview with Irish Times. “We all played and loved blues. And long after Peter left, we went to Chess Records in Chicago where we recorded with Willie Dixon and Buddy Guy. Can you imagine how that made us feel? Such an incredible experience could not have happened without Peter because, even though he wasn’t with us, the reason there’s a Fleetwood Mac at all is because of him.”
Green’s influence spanned into the metal community, his beloved track ‘The Green Manalishi (With the Two Prong Crown),’ has been covered by everyone from Judas Priest, to the Melvins to Corrosion of Conformity.
Metallica guitarist Kirk Hammet took to social media to pay tribute to the late, influential guitarist.
Noting that he is the current owner of Peter Green’s ’59 Les Paul, nicknamed “Greenie,” the Metallica rocker wrote “No words can describe how I feel right now.
“Peter Green lives on through his music and his instrument. Our loss is total. Peter Green, Rest In Peace my friend!!!”
Check out Kirk Hammet perform ‘The Green Manalishi’ in tribute to Peter Green:
Hammett is working on a new book and music project paying tribute to Green.
During a recent appearance on the Let There Be Talk podcast, Hammet delved into his cover of ‘Man of the World’, recorded at Abbey Road Studios.
“I am singing on it; it’s an easy song to sing, it’s got that talk-singing kind of thing, I can handle that. That’s about the length of my singing abilities, but I’m into it. I’m so into it, I’m into all aspects of it, it’s just one of those things, it just kind of unfolded like this. It gets a little uppity in the end, and what I did was I just modernized the whole song, modernized it with modern tones, kind of like a more modern arrangement; I’ve made the uppity part heavy and dynamic,” he recalled.
“I actually took a lot of liberties with it” added Hammett. “I got a little nervous about playing the song for him because I took a lot of liberties, I don’t know if he would be offended by it, but I played him the track, and right after it ended, he just looked at his friend and asked him something about the weather or something. [Laughs.] I didn’t know if he liked it or not. The guy named Mark, who’s spearheading this whole project, he told me that Peter liked it, and he was able to determine that from Peter’s body language.”