Peter Green thought by many people to be the greatest British blues guitarist ever. Known for his phrasing, tone, and melodic content amongst other things.
Having played in several smaller bands he was asked to replace Eric Clapton in John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers in 1966. Mike Vernon, a producer at decca, recalls Peters debut with the blues breakers.
“As the band walked in the studio I noticed an amplifier which I never saw before, so I said to John Mayall, “Where’s Eric Clapton?” Mayall answered, “He’s not with us anymore, he left us a few weeks ago.” I was in a shock of state(sic) but Mayall said, “Don’t worry, we got someone better.” I said, “Wait a minute, hang on a second, this is ridiculous. You’ve got someone better??? Than Eric Clapton???” John said, “He might not be better now, but you wait, in a couple of years he’s going to be the best. Then he introduced me to Peter Green.”
Green left in 1967 to form Fleetwood Mac and this is where he started to come to the fore as a songwriter as well as a guitar player and recorded several big hits with the band.
In 1970, whilst on tour in Germany he binged on LSD, and began a steady decline in his health resulting in him being diagnosed with schizophrenia in the mid 70’s. He left Fleetwood Mac and made sporadic appearances in the late 70’s and 80’s whilst struggling with his illness but re-emerged strongly in the late 90’s with the “Peter Green splinter group” and currently plays as “Peter Green and Friends”.
Green remains one of the most influential guitarists ever cited by Gary Moore, Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry,Steve Hackett and Wishbone Ash guitarist Andy Powell amongst others as an influence. Green was The Black Crowes’ Rich Robinson’s pick in Guitar World’s “30 on 30: The Greatest Guitarists Picked by the Greatest Guitarists” (2010). In the same article Robinson cites Jimmy Page, with whom the Crowes toured: “…he told us so many Peter Green stories. It was clear that Jimmy loves the man’s talent”.