The Day Peter Green Opened The Door To Fleetwood Mac

(Gibson) On this day in 1967, Guitarist Peter Green quit the John Mayall Band. Green went on to form Fleetwood Mac. Gibson looks back: In London in the mid-'60s, John Mayall's Bluesbreakers were THE blues act to see. When guitar god Eric Clapton left, Mayall turned to another young guitar player who had previously filled in for E.C. when he was on vacation, Peter Green.

After a while Green pushed for drummer Mick Fleetwood to replace Aynsley Dunbar. John Mayall agreed and The Bluesbreakers became Green, Fleetwood, John McVie and Mayall.

Mayall was a mentor by nature and gave Green studio-time for his birthday gift. Green, delighted, recorded four songs with Mick Fleetwood and John McVie. Tracks included a Green vocal on " First Train Home" and a prophetic instrumental, " Fleetwood Mac," so named after the band's rhythm section.

Things were hunky dory for a while, but when Mayall fired Fleetwood for being drunk it was the beginning of the end for Green and the Bluesbreakers. On June 15, 1967 Green quit to start a new band. Green and his agent called on slide guitarist Jeremy Spencer, Fleetwood, and he worked on getting McVie. But McVie opted to stay with Mayall, so Green used Bob Bruning instead. The new band made their live debut at the Windsor National Jazz and Blues Festival in August 1967 as Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac featuring Jeremy Spencer.

With Mayall starting to move away from blues to jazz, McVie decided to join Green after all. When The band's moody instrumental, "Albatross," hit #1 in the U.K., Fleetwood Mac headed to America, quickly becoming one of the coolest blues bands on the rock scene, with Green in particular winning acclaim and plaudits from critics and peers.

Carlos Santana called Green's playing "a holy grail of tone," while B.B. King said his playing gave "cold sweats". more on this story

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