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Peter Green, Original Fleetwood Mac Guitarist, Dies at 73

Guitarist Peter Green (right) and bassist John McVie, of British rock group Fleetwood Mac, rehearsing at the Royal Albert Hall, London, 22nd April 1969. (Photo by Michael Putland/Getty Images)

Peter Green, the original guitarist for Fleetwood Mac, has died at the age of 73. A rep on behalf of Green’s family confirmed the news in a statement to the BBC.

“It is with great sadness that the family of Peter Green announces his death this weekend, peacefully in his sleep. A further statement will be provided in the coming days,” the statement read according to the BBC.

Green formed the band with drummer Mick Fleetwood in 1967. He left the band in 1970 as he battled mental health issues and drug issues. Later that decade, Green spent time in a hospital after being diagnosed with schizophrenia.

“For me, and every past and present member of Fleetwood Mac, losing Peter Green is monumental!” Fleetwood wrote in a statement about Green’s death. “Peter was the man who started the band Fleetwood Mac along with myself, John McVie, and Jeremy Spencer. No one has ever stepped into the ranks of Fleetwood Mac without a reverence for Peter Green and his talent, and to the fact that music should shine bright and always be delivered with uncompromising passion!!!”

“Peter, I will miss you, but rest easy your music lives on,” he continued. “I thank you for asking me to be your drummer all those years ago. We did good, and trail blazed one hell of a musical road for so many to enjoy. God speed [sic] to you, my dearest friend…….”

Prior to forming Fleetwood Mac, Green replaced Eric Clapton in John Mayall’s blues-rock band Bluesbreakers.

In the 21s century, Green toured with his new band, Peter Green and Friends.

The guitarist was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as part of Fleetwood Mac along with Fleetwood, Stevie Nicks, Lindsey Buckingham, John McVie, Christine McVie, Danny Kirwan and Jeremy Spencer.

In February, Fleetwood hosted an all-star tribute to Green in London, which featured the likes of Noel GallagherPete Townshend, Steven Tyler, David Gilmour and Kirk Hammett among others. The night featured songs from the Green-era of Fleetwood Mac.