Peter Green, co-founder of Fleetwood Mac, has passed away. He was 73-years old. A law firm representing the guitarist's family, Swan Turton, confirmed his death in a statement. "It is with great sadness that the family of Peter Green announces his death this weekend, peacefully in his sleep. A further statement will be provided in the coming days," the statement said. Green formed Fleetwood Mac with drummer Mick Fleetwood in the late 1960s, though he left the group following a final performance in 1970 amid mental health issues.
Peter Green was one of the eight members of Fleetwood Mac to get inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and is often cited as one of the best guitarists in rock history. The London-born blues guitarist first gained notoriety in 1965 when he was chosen as Eric Clapton's replacement in John Mayall's Bluesbreakers. "He might not be better [than Clapton] now. But you wait... he's going to be the best," Mayall told his producer at the time. Green's playing style would go on to influence a whole new generation of guitarists.
Two years after his stint in John Mayall's Bluesbreakers, Peter Green founded Fleetwood Mac with Mick Fleetwood, along with bassist John McVie. One of the band's best-known songs was "Albatross," which was written by Green. The instrumental single reached Number one on the British singles chart soon after, followed by "Man of the World," which peaked at Number two. Green also wrote the band's 1968 single "Black Magic Woman," a song that Santana would later find major success with. Many people assume that Santana wrote "Black Magic Woman," but it was originally a Peter Green era Fleetwood Mac single.
Fleetwood Mac's Play On record was their most popular before the second incarnation of the group took off. Peter Green was later diagnosed with schizophrenia and spent a lot of time in psychiatric hospitals. By May 1970, the guitarist had departed the group after spending time in a commune and staying away from material goods. "I've got to do what God would have me do, start some kind of positive action, despite newspaper distortion or whatever," Green said at the time. "I'm not worried if it means I'll fade from public view - it's better to set a good example."
Peter Green continued to be musically active well into the 1970s as Fleetwood Mac launched into super stardom, with new members Lindsay Buckingham and Stevie Nicks, who were brought in to replace Green. At the beginning of the year, Mick Fleetwood paid tribute to Green in the form of a tribute show, which featured some of the best guitarists in rock history. "Peter was my greatest mentor and it gives me such joy to pay tribute to his incredible talent. I am honored to be sharing the stage with some of the many artists Peter has inspired over the years and who share my great respect for this remarkable musician," said Fleetwood at the time. Fleetwood Mac has just announced a massive boxset that will pay tribute to the band's early days and their work with Green. May he Rest in Peace. This news was first reported at Rolling Stone.