Guitarist Peter Green surged onto the Blues scene when he became the succeeding guitarist in John Mayall’s Blues-breakers replacing Eric Clapton who had already catapulted to guitar-god status. Not an easy chore for the young Green who subsequently formed the Fleetwood Mac band (at that time mostly a Blues-band.) This early edition of Fleetwood Mac achieved stardom and FM airplay with Green penned tunes like “Oh Well,” “Albatross,” “and “Black Magic Woman.” Yes, the same “Black Magic Woman” that Carlos Santana covered on his first album – becoming Santana’s debut, number-one hit that still receives significant airplay today.
This documentary traces Green’s early successes; his drug abuses his eventual spiral into schizophrenia, and examines the treatment he received that seemingly extended his illness. It also covers Green’s lengthy departure from recording music and band touring. From Green’s late sixties through the early seventies portion of his career, but his adventurous “End of the Game” 1970 solo album was appropriately titled as Green would only record once more during the seventies with his “In the Skies” album. Green’s eighties output became marginally more active with “Little Dreamer” from 1980, 1981’s “White Sky,” “Whatcha Gonna Do?” and “Blue Guitar.” Followed by 1983’s “Kolors,” 1986’s “Come on Down,” closing the decade with 1987’s “A Case for the Blues,” few if any of his eighties albums are noteworthy nor are they memorable. But during the nineties and into the early 2000’s Green released a string of fine recordings that elevated his status and finally restored consistency with his playing. Needless to say this wasn’t the Peter Green of the late sixties but considering all of his demons – it was a remarkable turnaround. Green once-again began to express his inner feelings through his guitar, and also with his art and photography.
This DVD, originally issued in the UK from 2007, also features Peter Green interviews, that finds him discussing some of the controversies that have surrounded him, and I have to say; he looks happy, relaxed and comfortable. I also enjoyed interview segments with John Mayall, Carlos Santana, Mick Fleetwood, John McVie, Jeremy Spencer, producer Mike Vernon, and others who had recorded and worked with Green. The video additionally contains a good amount of rare archive footage of live and studio performances and stills. It was nice to see that most of the story is told by Peter Green himself. Green comes across as a modest, yet talented artist, who tells his story in a low-key very real way that will also give you a deeper understanding of a unique and underappreciated musician who has survived it all. Enjoy.
For 17 years Bob Putignano has been pivotal with his Sounds of Blue radio shows.
On-demand Homegrown Sounds of Blue internet radio shows can always be found at: www.soundsofblue.com/radioshowsmp3.htm
Sounds of Blue also streams on Wed & Fri at John Sinclair’s www.RadioFreeAmsterdam.com
Previously a contributing editor at Blues Revue, Blueswax, and Goldmine magazines, currently the Music Editor for: www.YonkersTribune.com.
Bob was also the 2003 recipient of the “Keeping the Blues Alive” award, given by the Blues Foundation in Memphis for his achievements in radio broadcasting.
Putignano can be contacted at: BobP@SoundsofBlue.com
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