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Peter Green Dead: Fleetwood Mac Cofounder Dies at 73

Peter Green, who was best known for cofounding Fleetwood Mac, died on Saturday, July 25. He was 73.

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“It is with great sadness that the family of Peter Green announce his death this weekend, peacefully in his sleep,” the family said in a statement to Us Weekly. “A further statement will be provided in the coming days.”

Peter Green Dead Fleetwood Mac Cofounder Dies at 73
Peter Green Shutterstock

Green was born in the Bethnal Green area of London in October 1946 and learned to play guitar as a preteen. After filling in for Eric Clapton in John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers in 1965, he became a full-time member of the blues rock band. He only stayed with the group for approximately one year before forming Fleetwood Mac with Mick Fleetwood on drums and Jeremy Spencer on guitar.

The newly formed band released their self-titled debut album in 1968 and found early success in the U.K. Later that year, they had their first hit with “Black Magic Woman,” which Santana later famously covered.

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Green was a member of Fleetwood Mac until 1970. The band’s lineup changed a number of times in the years that followed (and continues to evolve today). The most well-known members, Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks, joined the group in 1975, five years after Green’s departure.

“I am so sorry to hear about the passing of Peter Green,” Nicks tweeted on Saturday. “My biggest regret is that I never got to share the stage with him. I always hoped in my heart of hearts that would happen. When I first listened to all the Fleetwood Mac records, I was very taken with his guitar playing. It was one of the reasons I was excited to join the band. His legacy will live on forever in the history books of Rock n Roll. It was in the beginning, Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac and I thank you, Peter Green, for that. You changed our lives…”

After Fleetwood Mac, Green released seven solo albums between 1970 and 1984. During that time, he was hospitalized several times at psychiatric facilities and eventually diagnosed with schizophrenia. He made a comeback in the late ‘70s, around the same time that he briefly reunited with Fleetwood Mac for their song “Brown Eyes.” He also found moderate success with the Peter Green Splinter Group, which was active from 1997 to 2004.

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As cofounder of Fleetwood Mac, Green was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998. Rolling Stone included him on its 100 Greatest Guitarists list in 2015, at No. 58.

Fleetwood, 73, held an all-star tribute concert in London in February in honor of his former bandmate Green, who was not in attendance.

Green is survived by his daughter, Rosebud, whom he shared with ex-wife Jane Samuels, and his son, Liam.

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