Musicians and Fans Pay Tribute to Fleetwood Mac Co-Founder Peter Green, Who Died at 73

Peter Green, the founding guitarist for legendary classic rock band Fleetwood Mac, died in his sleep, according to a law firm representing his family, The Associated Press reported Saturday. He was 73.

Hailing from Bethnal Green, England, Green started Fleetwood Mac with drummer Mick Fleetwood and bassist John McVie in 1967 after the band John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers split up.

Green played on Fleetwood Mac's first self-titled album in 1968. He also played on the following three albums: 1968's Mr. Wonderful, and 1969's English Rose and Then Play On.

Some of his most noteworthy contributions to the band were the singles "Black Magic Woman," which was later recorded by the group Santana, and "The Green Manalishi," which was later covered by Judas Priest. Green was also inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with the other members of Fleetwood Mac in 1998.

Green left Fleetwood Mac in May 1970. According to The Associated Press, drug use and mental illness were contributing factors in the decision for Green and the band to part ways. In 1977, he was hospitalized after threatening his manager with a gun, following a dispute about money.

After exiting the band, he formed the Peter Green Splinter Group and released a handful of solo albums. The most recent album released by the Splinter Group was 2003's Reaching the Cold 100. He also made guested on other artists' albums, such as contributing guitar to Peter Gabriel's 2002 song "Sky Blue" and playing guitar and singing on two tracks on Mick Fleetwood's 1981 solo album The Visitor.

Musicians paid tribute to Green and his work on Twitter. The singer Yusuf (formerly known as Cat Stevens) said that the guitarist was an "unsung hero of musical integrity."

God bless the ineffable Peter Green, one of the unsung heroes of musical integrity, innovation and spirit. When I heard he left Fleetwood Mac in 1970 to get a real life and donate his wealth to charity, he became something of a model for me.


— Yusuf / Cat Stevens (@YusufCatStevens) July 25, 2020

Black Sabbath bassist Geezer Butler posted a picture of Green in honor the musician.

Sad to hear of Peter Green passing- one of the greats. RIP.

— Geezer Butler (@geezerbutler) July 25, 2020

In a lengthy statement, former Whitesnake guitarist Bernie Marsden wrote about time he spent with the guitarist and called the guitarist his "hero" and the experience working with him unbelievable.

Peter Green - thank you for everything.

— Bernie Marsden (@Bernie_Marsden) July 25, 2020

Guitarist Peter Frampton said he has always been an admirer of Green in his remembrance.

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

Fans also shared their favorite tracks by Green. Comedian Marc Maron tweeted that Green's playing was "the sweetest, saddest blues guitar ever," sharing the single "Albatross."

RIP Peter Green. He played the sweetest, saddest blues guitar ever. Truly touched in his time. Fly on, Albatross.

— marc maron (@marcmaron) July 25, 2020

Writer and director Edgar Wright shared the song "Oh Well" to pay tribute to Green. DJ and former That Metal Show host Eddie Trunk mourned Green's loss and pointed out some of the influence the guitarist had on heavy metal. Trunk also shared that Green also had an album in the works, which Metallica guitarist Kirk Hammett guested on.

RIP Fleetwood Mac co founder and original lead singer Peter Green. What a belter this is. 'Oh Well' (Live 1969)

— edgarwright (@edgarwright) July 25, 2020

RIP Peter Green co founder and super influential guitarist to the original Fleetwood Mac. Really sad news given Peter was working on a new album that @KirkHammett and others were guesting on. @judaspriest Green Manalishi was his era & song. Big loss. RIP.

— Eddie Trunk (@EddieTrunk) July 25, 2020

Newsweek reached out to Fleetwood Mac's management company, but did not receive a response in time for publication.

fleetwood mac peter green
Former Fleetwood Mac guitarist died, his family shared on Saturday. Getty/Ivan Keeman/Redferns

Editor's pick

Newsweek cover
  • Newsweek magazine delivered to your door
  • Unlimited access to
  • Ad free experience
  • iOS and Android app access
  • All newsletters + podcasts
Newsweek cover
  • Unlimited access to
  • Ad free experience
  • iOS and Android app access
  • All newsletters + podcasts