Watch Metallica’s Kirk Hammett cover Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac + 2 tribute albums coming
Today brought the very sad news that original Fleetwood Mac guitarist/vocalist Peter Green passed away at 73 years old. Peter was responsible for many of the band's best songs early on, like "Black Magic Woman (popularized by Santana), "Albatross," "Oh Well," "Man of the World," and "The Green Manalishi (With the Two Prong Crown)," the proto-metal classic that was famously covered by Judas Priest, Melvins, and Corrosion of Conformity.
Many musicians have been paying tribute to Peter, including Metallica's Kirk Hammett, who's the current owner of Peter's '59 Les Paul, "Greenie."
"No words can describe how I feel right now," Kirk wrote. "Peter Green lives on through his music and his instrument. Our loss is total. Peter Green, Rest In Peace my friend!!!"
Earlier this year, Kirk posted two photos of himself with Peter Green, and Rufus Publications confirmed to Planet Rock that Peter had been working on a new book and music project set to be released this year, that Kirk contributed to. He is one of "several guest musicians playing on some unique recordings," they say in their statement, which you can read in full below.
Kirk himself spoke about the project on the Let There Be Talk podcast, and he said his contribution is a cover of "Man of the World" that he recorded at Abbey Road Studios. As transcribed by Music Radar: "I am singing on it; it's an easy song to sing, it's got that talk-singing kind of thing, I can handle that. That's about the length of my singing abilities, but I'm into it. I'm so into it, I'm into all aspects of it, it's just one of those things, it just kind of unfolded like this. It gets a little uppity in the end, and what I did was I just modernized the whole song, modernized it with modern tones, kind of like a more modern arrangement; I've made the uppity part heavy and dynamic."
"I actually took a lot of liberties with it" added Hammett," he added, "and so I got a little nervous about playing the song for him because I took a lot of liberties, I don't know if he would be offended by it, but I played him the track, and right after it ended, he just looked at his friend and asked him something about the weather or something. [Laughs.] I didn't know if he liked it or not. The guy named Mark, who's spearheading this whole project, he told me that Peter liked it, and he was able to determine that from Peter's body language."
Kirk mentioned Pink Floyd's David Gilmour contributed to the not-yet-officially-announced project too.
Both Kirk and David Gilmour also took part in fellow Fleetwood Mac co-founder Mick Fleetwood's all-star tribute concert to Peter Green earlier this year, alongside ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons, Jonny Lang, Andy Fairweather Low, John Mayall, Christine McVie, Zak Starkey, Aerosmith's Steven Tyler, The Rolling Stones' Bill Wyman, Oasis' Noel Gallagher, The Who's Pete Townshend, Neil Finn, and others. It's coming out as a live album on October 19 (pre-order).
At that concert, Kirk, Billy Gibbons, and Mick Fleetwood collaborated on a cover of "The Green Manalishi," with Kirk using Peter Green's legendary guitar. Before the concert happened, Kirk wrote about it on his FearFestEvil.com site:
...I am going to be in the presence of some severe legends, and in truth, I’m completely blown away by that. When I acquired Greenie, I bought her because she sounded great. She’s a very unique sounding guitar. I had no idea it would lead to all these different opportunities, all these different experiences, and meeting all these different people. It was coming up on 50 years since Peter Green left Fleetwood Mac, this tribute was happening, but no one called me until Ross Halfin called Mick Fleetwood’s manager and kind of informed him about my owning the guitar and suggested I should be part of it.
So Mick Fleetwood got a hold of me at the beginning of the Hardwired… tour and asked if I was interested in doing this tribute to Peter Green. At the time I had to tell him I had no idea what my schedule was gonna be like with Metallica because we were literally on the eve of our first shows for Hardwired… But then three years passed and the tribute show started to develop more. Ross had kept me abreast on how it was taking shape, so I contacted Mick Fleetwood, and he was gracious enough to say I could still be part of it. So that’s how I’ll get to play “Green Manalishi” at the Peter Green tribute! It’s just amazing, seeing and hearing all the people committed to the tribute. The majority of them are all people I’ve been well aware of ever since I was a young musician, so to be playing with some of them now, it’s a mind blower … A Mind Blower !!
Watch video of the excellent performance:
"Mick Fleetwood & Friends Celebrate The Music Of Peter Green And The Early Years Of Fleetwood Mac" setlist
01. Rolling Man
03. Dr Brown (featuring Billy Gibbons on vocals and guitar)
04. All Your Love (featuring Billy Gibbons on guitar, Steven Tyler on vocals)
05. Rattlesnake Shake
06. Stop Messin' Around (featuring Christine McVie on vocals and keyboards)
07. Looking For Somebody (featuring Christine McVie on vocals and keyboards)
08. Sandy Mary (featuring Noel Gallagher)
09. Love That Burns (featuring Noel Gallagher)
10. The World Keeps Turning (featuring Noel Gallagher)
11. Like Crying
12. No Place To Go
13. Station Man (featuring Pete Townshend on guitar and vocals)
14. Man Of The World (featuring Neil Finn on vocals)
15. Oh Well, Part I (featuring Billy Gibbons on guitar, Steven Tyler on vocals)
16. Oh Well, Part II (featuring David Gilmour on guitar)
17. Need Your Love So Bad
18. Black Magic Woman
19. The Sky Is Crying (featuring Jeremy Spencer on guitar and vocals)
20. I Can't Hold On (featuring Jeremy Spencer on guitar and vocals)
21. The Green Manalishi (With the Two Prong Crown) (featuring Kirk Hammett)
22. Albatross (featuring David Gilmour on lap steel guitar)
23. Shake Your Moneymaker (all-star finale)
Rufus Publications Statement on Upcoming Peter Green Project:
Fleetwood Mac guitarist Peter Green, now 73, is a reclusive music legend, now living in retirement in the south of England. He spends most of his days playing guitar or drawing at home, creating a body of artwork over the last few years.
Recently, he has been working with Rufus Publications on a special book and music project, scheduled for release later this year. As a result of the project, Metallica guitarist Kirk Hammett, who owns Peter’s classic 1959 Gibson Les Paul, has been contributing, first by going into Abbey Road and recording something very special with said guitar - known as “Greeny” - and then by visiting Peter at his home and reuniting him with the guitar for the first time since Peter sold it to Gary Moore, 47 years ago. It was an astonishing meeting of two great, but very different, musicians who spent much of the afternoon discussing the guitar and the music that inspires them. Kirk played Peter the guitar track recorded at Abbey Road and the day ended with Kirk telling Peter he would be sending him a full set of Metallica recordings to listen to.
The project Peter is working on with Rufus Publications and is nearing completion and will be released later this year and will include several guest musicians playing on some unique recordings.
Read tributes to Peter Green by members of Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, Kiss, Genesis, Testament, Blur, Franz Ferdinand, The Pop Group, the E Street Band, Peter Frampton, Cat Stevens, and many others here.