Mick Fleetwood paid tribute to his “dearest friend” and Fleetwood Mac co-founder, Peter Green.
Fleetwood said they had “mapped out a hell of a music trail for so many to enjoy.”
And Stevie Nicks, who joined the group five years after Green quit amid mental health issues, said his biggest regret was not sharing a scene with him.
Green, 73, died peacefully in his sleep, his family said on Saturday.
Fleetwood said: “For me, and for all of Fleetwood Mac members past and present, losing Peter Green is monumental.
“No one has ever entered the ranks of Fleetwood Mac without a reverence for Peter Green and his talent, and without the fact that music must shine and always be delivered with uncompromising passion. ”
The 73-year-old added: “Peter, I will miss you, but rest assured, your music continues. Thank you for asking me to be your drummer all these years ago. We have done good and we have made a musical journey so that so many people can enjoy it.
“God quickly to you, my dearest friend.
Blues rock guitarist Green, of Bethnal Green in east London, formed Fleetwood Mac with drummer Fleetwood, bassist John McVie and guitarist Jeremy Spencer in 1967.
He wrote the instantly recognizable instrumental track Albatross, which remains the band’s only number one hit, along with two other debut hits, Black Magic Woman and Oh Well. And it was under Green’s direction that they produced their first three albums.
Green left the group after one last performance in 1970 as he struggled with his sanity. He was eventually diagnosed with schizophrenia and spent time in the hospital in the mid-1970s.
Singer Nicks joined Fleetwood Mac with then-boyfriend Lindsey Buckingham in 1975 and the group has grown into one of the most successful in the world.
“I am sorry to hear of the passing of Peter Green. My biggest regret is that I never got to share the stage with him. I always hoped deep down that this would happen, ”she said.
“When I first listened to all of Fleetwood Mac’s albums, I was very impressed with his guitar playing. This was one of the reasons I was excited to join the group.
“His legacy will live on forever in the Rock n Roll history books. It was in the beginning, Fleetwood Mac by Peter Green and thank you, Peter Green. You have changed our lives. “
David Coverdale, lead singer of Whitesnake, is among other musicians to pay tribute to a “truly loved and admired” artist.
In a tweet, he said: “I supported the original Fleetwood Mac at Redcar Jazz Club when I was in a local band… he was a breathtaking singer, guitarist and songwriter. I know who I’m going to listen to today. RIP ”
Mumford and Sons guitarist Winston Marshall tweeted: “RIP Peter Green. #GOAT. Man of the world, well, albatross, needs your love so much. Some of my favorite songs and performances of all time. Thanks for the music. ”
Actor David Morrissey praised Green’s “fantastic soulful voice” while Black Sabbath’s Geezer Butler described Green as “one of the greatest.” And Scottish musician Midge Ure tweeted: “One of the biggest is gone. You taught me well. ”
Singer-songwriter Cat Stevens, now known as Yusuf Islam, tweeted: “God bless the ineffable Peter Green, one of the unsung heroes of musical integrity, innovation and the mind. When I heard, he left Fleetwood Mac in 1970 to have a real life. and donating his wealth to charity, he has become a kind of role model for me. ”
Peter Green was one of Britain’s greatest blues guitarists ever. Their changeable riffs and long improvisation tours made Fleetwood Mac one of the most exciting live bands of the Blues explosion of the 1960s.
He first picked up a guitar at the age of 10 and, like many of his peers, began devouring vinyl imported from the United States to the United Kingdom. He studied the greats – Muddy Waters, Buddy Guy and BB King – combining their tense playing style with the shimmering vibrato of Hank Marvin from The Shadows.
But he actually started his professional career as a bassist, until a meeting with Eric Clapton persuaded him to give up the instrument.
“I decided to go back to solo guitar after seeing him with the Bluesbreakers. He had a Les Paul, his fingers were wonderful. The guy knew how to do a little harm, I guess. ”
He later had the seemingly impossible task of succeeding Clapton in John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers. Fans weren’t convinced at first, but after a handful of incendiary performances he won them over, earning the nickname “The Green God”.
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Rolling Stone magazine ranked Green at 58th place on its all-time list of the 100 Greatest Guitarists, describing him as “Britain’s most progressive blues guitarist” in his prime.
He was one of eight band members – along with Fleetwood, Nicks, Buckingham, Spencer, McVie, Christine McVie and Danny Kirwan – who were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1998.
News of his death comes days after Fleetwood Mac announced the release of a retrospective box set documenting the band’s early years between 1969 and 1974.
Green married Jane Samuels in January 1978. They divorced in 1979 and have a daughter.