Fleetwood Mac co-founding guitarist Peter Green dies, aged 73

Fleetwood Mac co-founder Peter Green has passed away, aged 73. A statement from solicitors acting on behalf of the guitarist's family confirmed he had died over the weekend.

The statement from Swan Turton solicitors said: “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”.

Classic interview: Peter Green

Green was one of the most influential guitarists in British music history, cited as an inspiration by players including Gary Moore, Rich Robinson, Kirk Hammett, Santana and Tom Petty

His work in John Mayall's Bluesbreaker and the early era of Fleetwood Mac highlighting a gifted blues player and songwriter, with his songs Black Magic Woman, On Well, Man Of The World, Rattlesnake Shake, Albatross, The Green Manalishi (With The Two Prong Crown) recognised as classics.

Green's legacy was honoured earlier this year with an all star cast celebrating his work at the London Palladium, including David Gilmour, Hammett and Billy Gibbons alongside his Fleetwood Mac co-founder Mick Fleetwood, as well as Mac guitarist Jeremy Spencer.

The two formed the band in London in 1967 but Green quit following a performance on 20 May 1970 in the midst of health issues.

Green was eventually diagnosed with schizophrenia in the mid '70s he spent time in psychiatric hospitals undergoing electroconvulsive therapy. He remerged in the music scene with solo albums at the end of the decade and even made an uncredited appearance on the Fleetwood Mac double album Tusk in 1979, on the song Brown Eyes. 

In the '90s he formed the Peter Green Splinter Group with help from drummer Cozy Powell, releasing nine albums between 1997 and 2004. Green's last band performances were in 2009 but a long-mooted reunion of Fleetwood Mac's early lineup never came to fruition.


Rob Laing
Guitars Editor, MusicRadar

I'm the Guitars Editor for MusicRadar, handling news, reviews, features, tuition, advice for the strings side of the site and everything in between. Before MusicRadar I worked on guitar magazines for 15 years, including Editor of Total Guitar in the UK. When I'm not rejigging pedalboards I'm usually thinking about rejigging pedalboards.