Peter Green, Fleetwood Mac co-founder, has died at 73

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FILE – In this file photo dated Saturday, April 7, 2001, British rock and blues guitarist Peter Green, a founding member of Fleetwood Mac, backstage before performing with his own band, Peter Green’s Splinter Group, at B.B. King Blues Club & Grill, in New York. Lawyers representing the family of Peter Green, say in a statement Saturday July 25, 2020, that he has died, aged 73. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, FILE)

CBS News — Peter Green, the guitarist who co-founded Fleetwood Mac before quitting the band in 1970, has died, lawyers for his family said. He was 73.

“It is with great sadness that the family of Peter Green announce his death this weekend, peacefully in his sleep,” Swan Turton lawyers said in a statement 

“A further statement will be provided in the coming days,” said the statement, carried by the British news agency Press Association.

The cause of death was not released. 

Amid London’s late 1960s blues era, Green recruited Mick Fleetwood to play with John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers, according Fleetwood’s biography. Green had replaced Eric Clapton on the guitar. 

Fleetwood and Green broke off with John McVie and formed Fleetwood Mac, named after the rhythm section, in 1967. 

“Peter could have been the stereotypical superstar guitar player and control freak,” Fleetwood told the Irish Times in 2017. “But that wasn’t his style. He named the band after the bass player and drummer, for Christ’s sake. He was also always willing to give as much space and creative freedom to other members, like guitarist Jeremy Spencer, and songwriter Danny Kirwan, at the expense of his own creativity.”  

Fleetwood credited Green with giving him a sense of confidence in his playing. 

Green wrote the group’s first big hit, “Black Magic Woman.” But he suddenly left the band in 1970.

“When we lost Peter Green, we were devastated as people, and our music was —  what are we going to do?” Fleetwood told CBS News’ Anthony Mason

The band regrouped, and Green’s departure was the first of many times the band had to regroup. Over the next 50 years, the band would break up — and write one of the most famous breakup albums of all time — and reunite in different forms many times. 

But Green never joined them. He was diagnosed with schizophrenia in the 1970s and spent some time in a hospital, according to BBC News.

Still, he joined seven other members of Fleetwood Mac when they were inducted in the Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame in 1998. 

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