Fleetwood Mac
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Early History

 

In 1967 in London England, Peter Green (born Peter Allen Greenbaum, 29 October 1946) formed the band that with a couple of key additions, would go on to dominate the charts though the 1970’s and beyond.  Green came up with the band name by combining the names of his fellow band members, Mick Fleetwood and John McVie, but there is a little more to it than that.  Peter Green came to Fleetwood Mac from the British Blues band John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers, where he had replaced a guitarist some readers may have heard of; Eric Clapton.  During his time with the Bluesbreakers, Green had lobbied hard for John Mayall to replace their drummer with Mick Fleetwood, with whom Green had played in 2 other bands, Peter B’s Looners and Shotgun Express. The latter featured an emerging vocalist by the name of Rod Stewart.  The Bluesbreakers lineup became Mayall, Green, Fleetwood and John McVie on Bass. One of the tunes Green wrote and recorded with the Bluesbreakers was an instrumental which he named after the band’s rhythm section. He called it “Fleetwood Mac”.   When Green split from the Bluesbreakers late in 1966, he decided to form his own band which he initially called "Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac featuring Jeremy Spencer" Jeremy Spencer was a slide guitarist and apparently quite an attraction, but it soon became just “Fleetwood Mac”.


For Mick Fleetwood, having been booted out of the Bluesbreakers for drunkenness the timing was excellent, and he joined Green in the band immediately.  John McVie was less enthusiastic, not wanting to leave the security of the Bluesbreakers, his first gig as a professional musician.  No doubt McVie felt some sense of loyalty to John Mayall who had given him an opportunity. Peter Green had little choice but to hire another bassist by the name of Bob Brunning.  Only weeks later, McVie had a change of heart.  He cited the Bluesbreakers shift toward jazz as the reason, and he joined Fleetwood Mac on bass in December 1967. With Fleetwood and McVie now on board the band recorded the self-named album Fleetwood Mac that was released in 1968.  The album established Fleetwood Mac as a major player in the British Blues scene.  Interesting facts about this debut album are that despite producing no hit single it took the band to number 4 on the British charts and one of the tunes on it ("Long Grey Mare") did not feature John McVie on Bass but rather the aforementioned Bob Brunning. The album only reached 198 on the US charts; although this band was destined to crack that market in a spectacular way in the not too distant future with one of the most successful albums of all time. 


With the band’s American influence still to come, there would be yet further additions to the lineup.  Danny Kirwan's guitar skills were impressive when he was still only 17, and he soon came to the attention of Fleetwood Mac while he was playing in London with a band called Boilerhouse. John Green was impressed, although the rest of the band was less convinced. Nevertheless, Kirwan joined Fleetwood Mac at the age of 18 in August 1968 shortly after the release of the band's second album, Mr. Wonderful. A musician of note who played on that album was a piano, keyboard player and vocalist named Christine Perfect from a blues band called Chicken Shack. However in terms of core members, the band was then a five-piece with three guitarists. In 1968 the band had a hit with "Black Magic Woman" written by Peter Green, (later covered by Santana with great success) followed by 1969's number one in the British Singles Chart "Albatross". Other hits were "Oh Well", "Man of the World" (both 1969) and "The Green Manalishi"(1970 Albums "Mr. Wonderful", "Blues Jam at Chess" and "Then Play On" were released through 1969 to 1970.


Around 1969, band members began to notice Peter Green’s increasingly fragile state of mind. He took a lot of acid, grew a beard, wore robes and a crucifix. He also voiced opposition to the idea of the band making a lot of money, something that put him at odds with Mick Fleetwood in particular.  Green’s mental state continued to deteriorate, and after a final performance on 20 May 1970, Green left the band that he had founded.


Christine Perfect, who had played as a guest with Fleetwood Mac, married John McVie  in 1968 after a whirlwind romance of only around 2 weeks. Peter Green was the best man. Christine (now McVie) quit Chicken Shack to become a housewife to spend more time with John. However, following the departure of Peter Green from Fleetwood Mac in 1970, McVie successfully persuaded Christine to join him in Fleetwood Mac and another piece in the puzzle of what was to be a phenomenally successful lineup was in place.






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Oh Well Part Two
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Gold Dust Woman
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Go Your Own Way
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Landslide
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Never Going Back Again
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Oh Well Part One
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Discography

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Packages


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2011-04-20 03:36:59Author: tovoNote: N/A
2011-04-20 03:36:23Author: tovoNote: N/A
2011-04-20 03:35:38Author: tovoNote: Inital entry...more to follow