Peter Green, the influential blues guitarist who co-founded British rock giants Fleetwood Mac, has died at the age of 73, his family’s legal representatives announced on Saturday.
Described by the late guitar legend B.B. King as having “the sweetest tone I ever heard…, the only one who gave me the cold sweats”, Green formed Fleetwood Mac with drummer Mick Fleetwood in London in 1967.
The virtuoso blues/rock guitarist was behind songs such as “Albatross” and “Oh Well” that helped define the band’s unique sound and propel them to worldwide fame.
Green also penned “Black Magic Woman”, covered famously by Carlos Santana in 1970.
“It is with great sadness that the family of Peter Green announce his death this weekend, peacefully in his sleep,” said a statement from Swan Turton solicitors.
“A further statement will be provided in the coming days.”
Green, who was born Peter Greenbaum in London’s Bethnal Green into a Jewish family, was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1998, along with the rest of the band.
“…with the original Fleetwood Mac, he was Britain’s most progressive blues guitarist,” said Rolling Stone magazine, which in 2015 included Green in its 100 Greatest Guitarists.
The Smiths guitarist and songwriter Johnny Marr, also paid tribute to Green. “R.I.P Peter Green. A unique artist and a beautiful guitar player,” he tweeted.
In 1970, mental health issues and substance abuse forced Green out of Fleetwood Mac and he ended up sleeping rough and later underwent electro-convulsive therapy in hospital.
Fleetwood drafted in Stevie Nicks, Lindsey Buckingham and Christine McVie, wife of original member Jon McVie, as the band went on to record iconic albums “Fleetwood Mac” and “Rumours”.
Singer/songwriter Cat Stevens paid tribute on Twitter to “the ineffable Peter Green”, calling him “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.”
Legendary guitarist Pete Frampton called Green “one of the most tasteful guitar players ever”.
Whitesnake lead singer David Coverdale saluted a musician he said he once played support for when Green was still playing with the original Fleetwood Mac.
“An Artist I Truly Loved & Admired…” he wrote on Twitter. “He Was A Breathtaking Singer, Guitarist & Composer… I know Who I Will Be Listening To Today … RIP.”
Green is survived by daughter Rosebud from his brief marriage to Jane Samuels.