One of the more notorious near-casualties of the music world, Peter Green managed to avoid entirely self-immolating in the manner of Jimi Hendrix or becoming permanently impaired as did Syd Barrett, but he came quite close to meeting one of these fates on a number of occasions. As with many musicians of his generation, Green spent time in a number of small-time blues bands before finding the opportunity that would establish a lasting reputation -- in his case, replacing (on two occasions) guitarist Eric Clapton in John Mayall's Bluesbreakers. Not an easy position to fill given the deranged hysteria over Clapton's playing, but such was Green's ability that he was eventually able to win over both fans and critics.
In 1967, Peter Green left the Bluesbreakers and, along with fellow former Bluesbreaker Mick Fleetwood, formed the first incarnation of Fleetwood Mac. The band made steady progress recording and touring, but by the time of their third album Green's state of mind began to disintegrate. An acid binge made a permanent change in the guitarist's personality and he became obsessively religious, encouraging his bandmates to donate the majority of their money to charity. He finally quit Fleetwood Mac in 1970, unable to reconcile his attitudes with the reality of being in a successful band.
Peter Green's musical output following his departure from Fleetwood Mac was erratic and occasional. Solo recordings and the odd live appearance gave way to a series of disconnected jobs such as (reportedly) grave digger and hospital orderly, as well as periods spent in mental institutions. A recurrence of drug abuse in the late 70s seemed likely to bring a permanent end to his music career -- and possibly his life. Through the support of his family such drastic consequences were averted, however, and Green even managed some sporadic musical activity in the first half of the 80s.
A full-fledged return to his musical career was not accomplished until 1995, when Green formed The Splinter Group. The band remained active throughout the rest of the decade, but its continued existence remains questionable. In 1998 he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Fleetwood Mac.
PETER GREEN SPLINTER GROUP
Live in Gesendef Auf, Germany; June 28, 1998. Excellent audio
There are some who think that Fleetwood Mac could have done even
more with Peter Green in the lineup. As this 1998 gig shows, the
guitarist still had the chops.
Track 01. Intro
Track 02. Black Magic Woman
Track 03. Mama Keep Your Big Mouth Shut
Track 04. Rattlesnake Shake
Track 05. The Supernatural
Track 06. Shake Your Hips
Track 07. Traveling Riverside Blues
Track 08. Steady Rolling Man
Track 09. The Stumble
Track 10. Albatross
Track 11. Green Manalishi
Track 12. Going Down
Track 13. Look Yonder Wall