Downtown Music Gallery Newsletter

Source: Downtown Music Gallery.

Earlier this week we heard about the passing of PETER GREEN, founding member, leader, lead guitarist supreme, vocalist and main songwriter for the early Fleetwood Mac band. After taking Eric Clapton’s place in John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers and appearing on the record ‘A Hard Road’ (rel Feb, 1967 & including John McVie on bass), Mr. Green formed Fleetwood Mac with McVie, Jeremy Spencer on guitar & Mick Fleetwood on drums. The original version of Fleetwood Mac made four albums from Feb, 1968 to December, 1969: ‘Self/titled’, ‘Mr. Wonderful’, ‘Then Play On’ and ‘Fleetwood Mac in Chicago’ (Vol. 1 & 2, rel as 2 separate albums originally). In the late sixties, there was something known as the British Blues Invasion and a number of bands emerged around the same time: John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers, Cream, Savoy Brown, Chicken Shack, Jeff Beck Group, Groundhogs, Fleetwood Mac and several others. Of course, starting in 1964, bands like the Rolling Stones, the Animals & the Yardbirds, all big blues fanatics, ignited their own version of blues/rock which soon evolved into other areas (garage, psych, hard rock, etc.). Many considered Fleetwood Mac to be the quintessential British Blues Rock band and I have to agree with that assessment. The original Fleetwood Mac toured quite a bit and came to the US several times. There are dozens of unofficial recordings made during this period, many of which are pretty amazing! Besides being strong blues players, Fleetwood Mac stretched out toward more progressive & psych sounds with their instrumentals. Peter Green was their main man, a brilliant guitarist, singer & songwriter. Their third album is called ‘Then Play On’ and it is Fleetwood Mac at their finest! The above song, “Oh Well,” is the one song that I heard first on a Warner Bros. compilation 2 LP set from the same time and the one song that I will never forget. I love those words, short and to the point with the narrator talking to God in the second verse. Totally hilarious! The second half of the song is an instrumental and it is beyond category, one of the best examples of instrumental rock without regard to genre.