Peter Green & The Splinter Group

A new group on the European blues circuit is Peter Green & The Splinter Group. Formed in 1996, it consists of Peter Green, congas player Nigel Watson, bassist Neil Murray, and drummer

Peter Green
Cozy Powell. During Peter Green's 'long fingernail stage', he ran into Mich Reynolds (Clifford Davis' ex-wife who currently runs the Fleetwood Mac mobile studio), an old friend from the early days, who took him into her home, looked after him, and helped to reduce the medication which made him sleep all of the time. Mich became Peter's band manager, as well as his closest friend, and has protected him from the rigors of touring and the music industry. Meanwhile, her brother Nigel Watson, who is now the driving force behind the band, had encouraged Peter to play again. Peter found that he enjoyed playing, was persuaded to prepare a few demos, and Peter Green & the Splinter Group are now on a European tour.

Back in the 1970's, Nigel Watson also accompanied Green to the United States to play with Fleetwood Mac at then brother-in-law Clifford Davis' request, when Peter filled in for Jeremy Spencer who had left to join the Children of God. Watson recalled in Martin Celmin's book Peter Green, Founder of Fleetwood Mac, "We took a flight from Heathrow at two in the afternoon and got to Los Angeles fourteen hours later. Clifford met us and drove us straight to the Swing Stadium at San Bernardino for the gig. They rehearsed in the dressing room for half an hour, then went out and did the gig. Peter could have played all the old Fleetwood Mac numbers but he just didn't want to do that. His attitude was 'If they want Peter Green, they'll do the music I

Peter Green & The Splinter Group
Photo Norwood Price
now want to do.' Once they got into the tour, Peter began to take the leading role for the whole gig, which annoyed Danny Kirwan who felt overshadowed." Following the tour, Watson and Green stayed "at Mike Shreeve's house in Mill Valley and one day we got a chatting to a half Indian guy called Hank from Nevada who made moccasins for a living. He invited us up to stay at his cabin in the woods past Sacramento, where he taught us a lot about survival out in the wild." This was the inspiration for the 1972 release of Beasts of Burden. Watson had been hospitalized for a psychosomatic experience which had appeared to be similar to Parkinson's disease: "I spent three months in hospital, blown and trying to recover from my music business experiences. For me, as for several others, Fleetwood Mac was too much, too quickly: one minute I was laying down carpets for a job, and next thing I know I'm in Los Angeles playing in front of thousands in a football stadium. A bit mind blowing really." Green and Watson had lost touch and were reacquainted through Mich in 1995.

Cozy Powell played

Peter Green & The Splinter Group
drums with the reformed Jeff Beck Group in 1971 and 1972; Powell helped to form the short-lived group, Bedlam, with Francesco Aiello, Dennis Ball, and Dave Ball in 1973. Powell also replaced Gary Driscoll in Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow in 1976, which he was in until 1980. Powell is one of the few drummers to have had a hit with "Dance With The Devil" in 1973, which reached number 3 in Britain, and in 1974 he did the "Man In Black". Cozy also played with the Brian May band. Powell was also the producer of the group and and had found it difficult to get a consistent performance out of Peter; this has created a bit of a conflict. Peter and Neil were actually thinking of splintering the Splinter Group at one time, but, at least for now, they seem to have ironed out their differences.

Neil Murray is a top session bass player on the rock circuit. Murray is working with Black Sabbath and is an integral part of the Brian May band. Very sadly, it was reported on BBC Ceefax that Cozy Powell died in a car accident just outside Bristol in England on April 7, 1998; he was 50 years old and will be thoroughly missed.

The Splinter Group has been continuously touring Europe and has made several trips over to America in the past few years too; a new album is expected very shortly.


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