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Music world mourns Fleetwood Mac co-founder and guitarist Peter Green

British musician Peter Green, guitarist and co-founder of Fleetwood Mac, circa 1968.
(Hulton Archive / Getty Images)

Music heavyweights and enthusiasts mourned the death of Fleetwood Mac co-founder and influential blues guitarist Peter Green, sharing statements and social media tributes on Saturday.

The acclaimed British guitarist died “peacefully in his sleep” this weekend at 73, according to an announcement from a law firm representing his family.

Green formed Fleetwood Mac with drummer Mick Fleetwood in 1967 in London and was fundamental in shaping the band’s early blues sound. He left the band in 1971 after struggling with drugs and his mental health — he was diagnosed with schizophrenia in the mid-’70s and spent time in mental hospitals and clinics undergoing electroconvulsive therapy. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, along with the other Fleetwood Mac members, in 1998.

Green’s hits with the band include “Black Magic Woman,” “Albatross” and “Oh Well.”

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“For me, and every past and present member of Fleetwood Mac, losing Peter Green is monumental!” Mick Fleetwood said in a statement provided to The Times. “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!!!”

Fleetwood continued, “Peter, I will miss you, but rest easy your music lives on. 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.”

“My biggest regret is that I never got to share the stage with him,” said Stevie Nicks, the singer and songwriter who joined Fleetwood Mac in 1975, in a statement provided to The Times. “I always hoped in my heart of hearts that that would happen. When I first listened to all the Fleetwood Mac records, I was very taken with his guitar playing. It was one of the reasons I was excited to join the band. His legacy will live on forever in the history books of Rock n Roll. It was in the beginning, Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac and I thank you, Peter Green, for that. You changed our lives."

A string of admirers and music luminaries, including Peter Frampton and Metallica’s Kirk Hammett, paid tribute on social media to Green and his talents.

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Frampton described Green as “one of the most tasteful guitar players” and noted that he’s always been partial to his work. Yusuf Islam, more commonly known as Cat Stevens, called Green one of the “unsung heroes of musical integrity, innovation and spirit.” And Black Sabbath’s Geezer Butler called Green “one of the greats.”

Billy Idol, Marc Maron and more paid tribute in the tweets that follow.

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