Mick Fleetwood was invited to join Fleetwood Mac by co-founder Peter Green as a “loving gesture”.
Fleetwood told Classic Rock that he though Green had invited him to join because the drummer was enduring a difficult break up at the time.
However, before Green died in 2020, Fleetwood discovered the real reason for this “loving” gesture.
“I did a really lovely limited-edition book called Love That Burns, which was the beginning of an overture that the Peter Green Concert is part of, too”.
The drummer added further, “And when I was doing that book, I spoke to Peter, spent a couple of hours with him. I’ve still got the interview tapes. He said to me on the phone: ‘Don’t you remember, Mick, you were so heartbroken? You were my friend, and I wanted you to be okay.’ Because my then-girlfriend had left me and I was totally brokenhearted”.
“When Peter said that, I stopped” he added.
“He didn’t know it, but I actually broke down in tears”.
“indicative of my relationship with Peter” – Fleetwood
Fleetwood said that this “gesture” on Green’s part “was just so indicative of my relationship with Peter”. Adding “it had nothing to do with music, actually, at all. He just basically said, ‘Screw it, this guy is so down in the dumps, I’ve got to pull him out.’ It actually meant so much more”.
Peter Green left the band in 1970. Issues with drugs and his general mental state, Green was subsequently diagnosed with scitzophrenia.
Speaking on Green’s documentary Man of The World, Fleetwood said this, “Certainly John McVie would fully blame an event in Germany where Peter took some more drugs and never really came back from that”.
The drummer added, “John is, to this day, absolutely furious with these people”.
“We called them the German Jet Set. They captured Peter completely, and pulled him away”.
Fleetwood was talking about the band’s tour of Germany in 1970, where Green was met by a group of hippies after a gig and was led away from his bandmates. Former guitarist Danny Kirwan also joined him.
Manager Clifford Davis said on the documentary, “Both of them took acid”. Adding, “Both of them, as of that day, became seriously mentally ill”.
Reflecting on Green’s departure from the band now, Mick Fleetwood said “I don’t think we would have been, in retrospect, equipped to do anything about knowing how to help him anyhow. He intimated that he was done. We were on a tour in America and he said, ‘We’ve got to give all our money away”.
He continued, “Of course, we didn’t know that his illness was starting then. And he disowned himself. Disowned what he’d done. Said that he’d stolen everything he’d ever created”.
“He’s f*****g leaving”
“Of course, it’s nonsense. But then suddenly it was like, ‘Oh, s**t, he’s f*****g leaving.’ He left very responsibly. He didn’t dump us. Then came the real damage, which is public knowledge”.
“I think he was just so not equipped to being such a powerful entity. And then the drugs. He was one person who didn’t need any of that s**t. He was so sensitive anyway”.
Mick Fleetwood’s tribute concert for Peter Green is also available on Vinyl. More here.
Mick Fleetwood also appears to have mended fences with Lindsey Buckingham. Check out more on that here.