Before Fleetwood Mac became a multi-million dollar rock band with egos as big as the arenas they were selling out in the 1970s, they were a simple blues-rock band started overseas in 1967, blues-rock guitar phenomenon, Peter Green.
Before Green formed Fleetwood Mac, he had the gargantuan task of taking over for Eric Clapton in John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers. With heavy influences of Elmore James, B.B. King, and Albert King, Green honed his blues craft in the Bluesbreakers along with then drummer Mick Fleetwood. Green would eventually outgrow the band wanting to form his own band. Fleetwood knew a good thing when he saw it and followed in tow. Green, was one to shy away from the limelight, wanted a true band, not one with his name on it and he also desperately wanted bassist john McVie in the band so he named his new project Fleetwood Mac. Eventually McVie joined and Green was upfront with his bandmates about the name. He knew he would move on after establishing this band and he wanted to leave them with the name.
With Green (vocals, guitar, harmonica), Fleetwood (drums), and McVie (bass), the trio enlisted Jeremy Spencer (vocals, slide guitar) and began playing festival events even before they recorded an album. In February of 1968 their self titled album was released and six months later they would release their sophomore album ‘Mr. Wonderful,’ With their blues-rock hybrid, Fleetwood Mac would be selling more albums then the Beatles and the Rolling Stones combined. The band began dabbling in booze and heavy doses of LSD, and Green would depart the band after the 1969 album, ‘Then Play On.’
With “Peter Green Story: Man, Of the World,” director Steve Graham explores the life of Peter Green during his short-lived years in Fleetwood Mac and beyond. With interviews from Peter Green himself, Mick Fleetwood, Noel Gallagher, John Mayall, John McVie, Carlos Santana, and a host of British musicians Green played with, Graham captures countless stories from the men about the greatness of Green’s guitar playing, the LSD trips, his struggle with fame, and inevitable spiral into schizophrenia.
Where most documentaries would end on a controversial note, Graham takes “Peter Green Story: Man, Of the World,” further detailing Green’s electroconvulsive therapy, which was part of his extended absence from the music, and celebrates his comeback to playing music and recording again.
Peter Green, who is now 70, formed the band Peter Green Splinter Group with the assistance of Nigel Watson and Cozy Powell. The Splinter Group released nine albums between 1997 and 2004, when Green left the band. He would go on to form Peter Green and Friends in early 2009 and tour the United Kingdom. Not much has been heard from Green since as he continues to maintain his privacy and leaves an impressive collection of music in his wake.