Smokestack Lightnin' Home Page -- The Blues Profile Page
A figurehead in the British Blues movement, Green inspired B. B. King to say, "He has the sweetest tone I ever heard; he was the only one who gave me the cold sweats." Green's playing was marked with a distinctive vibrato and economy of style. Though he played other guitars, he is best known for deriving a unique tone from his 1959 Gibson Les Paul. - a result of the magnet of his guitar's neck pickup being accidentally reversed to produce an 'out of phase' sound.
Green was ranked 38th in Rolling Stone magazine list of the "100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time"
John Mayall's Bluesbreakers
Green made his full album debut with the Bluesbreakers with A Hard Road. It featured two compositions by Green, "The Same Way" and "The Supernatural". The latter was one of Green's first extended instrumentals, which would soon become a trademark.
In 1967, Green decided to form his own blues band, and left Mayall's
Bluesbreakers after appearing on just one album (just as Clapton had
Following the release of "Albatross" and his consequent rise in fame, Green struggled with success and the spotlight. His personality changed drastically after LSD-abuse: he began wearing a robe, grew a beard, and wore a crucifix on his chest. His abuse of LSD may have incited his schizophrenia.
While touring Europe, Green binged on LSD in Munich. In his own words, he "went on a trip, and never came back."
Communard Rainer Langhans mentions in his autobiography that he and Uschi Obermaier met Peter Green in Munich, where they invited him to their "High-Fish-Commune". They were not interested in Peter Green really. They wanted to get in contact with Mick Taylor because they wished to organize a "Bavarian Woodstock." They wanted Jimi Hendrix and The Rolling Stones as leading acts of their Bavarian open air festival. Langhans and Obermaier used the "Green God" to get in contact with The "Rolling Stones" via Mick Taylor.
Green quit Fleetwood Mac in 1970, performing his final show as a member on 20 May 1970. He recorded a jam session The End of the Game and faded into obscurity, taking on a succession of menial jobs. It was during this period that Green sold his trademark 1959 Sunburst Gibson Les Paul Standard to Irish guitarist Gary Moore and recorded with Bobby Tench's band Gass on their eponymous album.
Green had a brief reunion with Fleetwood Mac when Jeremy Spencer left
the group (Green flew to the USA to help them complete the tour) and he
was also an unaccredited guest on their 1973 Penguin album on the track
"Night Watch". He appears on the track "Brown Eyes" from 1979's Tusk.
A 1990s comeback saw Green form the Peter Green Splinter Group, with the assistance of fellow musicians including Nigel Watson and Cozy Powell. The Splinter Group released nine albums between 1997 and 2004. It was in the latter part of this period that he picked up a black Gibson Les Paul again. Green signed and sold this Les Paul, which had been tweaked for Peter to sound like the famous 'green burst' and is now owned by a UK enthusiast.
A tour was cancelled and recording of a new studio album stopped in early 2004, when Green left the band and moved to Sweden. Shortly thereafter he joined The British Blues All Stars, but their tour in 2005 was also cancelled. Green has said that the medication he takes to treat his psychological problems makes it hard for him to concentrate and saps his desire to pick up a guitar.
Green, with a new band "Peter Green and Friends", began playing concerts again in February 2009.