Green in Glasgow, The Herald

The Herald, Glasgow

HEADLINE: Happy to play the blues

BODY:
DESK-BOUND in his London office a year ago, eminent musical historian Colin Larkin was surprised to receive additional last-minute help as he oversaw the final proof-reading of a new edition of The Guinness Who's Who of the Blues.

It was Peter Green, the

guitar legend who endured a quarter-century-long journey into severe mental ill-health following his sudden departure from the group he helped found, Fleetwood Mac, writes DAVID BELCHER.

"Like most people, I'd read a lot of sensational newspaper stories about Peter's drug-induced breakdown . . . stuff about his finger nails having grown so long that he was unable to play a guitar," says Larkin. "But I wasn't asking him about things like that, or about Fleetwood Mac . . . I was asking him about his one true love, the blues, and so the Peter Green I met is a charming man with lively sparkling eyes, plus clean, beautiful, and expressive hands."

And those hands will be in action in Glasgow, at the Garage, next Wednesday and Thursday, as Peter Green's rehabilitation continues. Propelled by drummer Cozy Powell and Whitesnake bassist Neil Murray, Peter Green and his Splinter Group will be dusting off the blues in a style which will hopefully not be too far off the mark.

Having spent the last decade without a guitar to his name, Green is now happily buying guitars left, right, and centre, Larkin reports. "He plays every day for hours on end, and is busily digging up all sorts of obscure blues from the past - I saw him at his first major comeback gig, in August at the Guildford Folk and Blues Festival, where he did a storming version of Freddie King's The Stumble.

"He's not writing his own songs, but he is currently in a studio recording again, with Cream's lyricist, Pete Brown, as producer." His health much improved, Green also has a full November programme of gigs. "But what's most heartening is that Peter is being allowed to do things in his own time by a team of people who place his welfare first and foremost."

Eric Clapton, once something of a blues-guitar whizz himself, apparently, was among those who turned up to see Peter Green in Guildford. He has still to proffer a verdict on Green's abilities as he tackled old Fleetwood Mac faves like Black Magic Woman and Green Manalishi, plus the Shadows' Peace Pipe and Hendrix's Can You See Me.

Some tickets remain for next Wednesday's show, so you can make your own mind up.


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