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Detroit News, Fleetwood Mac Founder Plays Rare Live Show

Detroit News, August 27, 1998

Fleetwood Mac founder plays rare live show

Peter Green, who plays the Magic Bag Friday night, is celebrated as one of the greatest white blues guitarists.

By Wendy Case / The Detroit News

FERNDALE--When you hear the name Fleetwood Mac, the image of Stevie Nicks teetering across a stage on platform soles is generally the first thing that comes to mind. But for legions of blues-worshiping guitar fanatics there was only one Fleetwood Mac: Peter Green's.

Before the lace, love affairs and lawsuits, Fleetwood Mac was a blues band. Key players in the British blues explosion of the Sixties, the nucleus of the band was formed in 1966 when 19-year-old Peter Green (nee Peter Allen Greenbaum) replaced Eric Clapton in the monumentally influential John Mayall's Bluesbreakers.

It was in the Bluesbreakers that Green - who will perform Friday night in Ferndale - met bassist John McVie and drummer Mick Fleetwood.

Leaving the band in 1967, Green recruited Fleetwood and McVie to form Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac. The new lineup debuted at the Windsor Jazz and Blues Festival in August 1967 and released its self-titled debut album in 1968. Largely ignored in the States, the album was a critical and commercial success in England and one of the keystones of the British blues movement.

Hailed by fans and contemporaries as one of the greatest white blues guitarists ever, Green's interests began to change as the '60s progressed into an era of psychedelic experimentation and spiritual enlightenment.

The strains of Green's substance abuse and new religious convictions began taking their toll on the band. The death knell came when Green insisted that, like himself, the other members had to take a vow of poverty. The original Fleetwood Mac played its last show in May 1970.

Green continued to release solo albums after his departure but has become better known as a cult hero. Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in January, his Ferndale performance marks the reclusive guitarist's first Detroit-area show in almost 30 years.

What to do: Splinter Group featuring Peter Green with The Grandmasters. Friday at 8 p.m at the Magic Bag, 22920 Woodward, Ferndale. Tickets are $25. Call (248) 544-3030.

Thanks to Les for posting this to the Ledge and to Anusha for formatting and sending it to us.