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Not Friday on my Mind 61: Oh Well – RIP Peter Green

I was so sad to hear of the death of guitarist Peter Green, late of John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers, the first incarnation of Fleetwood Mac and the Peter Green Splinter Group.

I have featured his music before here and Here. Both of those songs speak of a troubled mind and it is no secret that Green found life and fame difficult (not helped by taking LSD.)

His work speaks for itself though.

The first clip – Oh Well Part 1 is a live performance and misses out the acoustic last part.

Fleetwood Mac: Oh Well Part 1:-

That acoustic part was repeated at the beginning of Oh Well Part 2 so is included below.

Fleetwood Mac: Oh Well Part 2:-

Peter Allen Greenbaum (Peter Green,) 29/10/1946 – 25/7/2020. So it goes.

The Persistence of the Rime

The Rime of course is that of the Ancient Mariner (a nickname bestowed on a 1980s full-time team’s part-time goalkeeper of my acquaintance – he taught in the same school as me – on the grounds that, “he stoppeth one of three”) by Samuel Taylor Coleridge.

In another piece in Saturday’s Guardian Review, Philip Hoare, remarks on the poem’s continuing relevance, from Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and Herman Melville’s Moby Dick through to Fleetwood Mac’s Albatross and beyond.

(Aside; when I hear the word, “Albatross!” I nearly always think “Gannet on a stick.”)

The instant recognition of the lines, “Water, water, everywhere” and “all creatures great and small,” he says, have become part of the lexicon.

At which point my senses pricked up. All Creatures Great and Small is nowadays best known as a television adaptation of a James Herriot set of novels.

But surely, rather than from the Rime, that quote comes from the hymn All Things Bright and Beautiful of which it is the second line? To my mind that is a much more likely source for a collective awareness of the phrase than the poem.

The hymn’s writers may well themselves have been inspired by the poem and its almost identical line “All things great and small” (which is followed by “For the dear God who loveth us; He made and loveth all,”) itself very close to “The Lord God made them all.” However that is not quite what Philip Hoare claimed.

Reelin’ In the Years 149: Dragonfly

Earlier this week I learned of the death of Danny Kirwan, guitarist with Fleetwood Mac from 1968 to 1972. His Guardian obituary is here.

Much overlooked in comparison to Peter Green, Kirwan was an important part of the band’s sound during the transition after Green’s departure. The song I’ve chosen, Dragonfly, is the only Kirwan composition (he wrote the tune to set the words of a poem by Welsh poet W H Davies) to make it onto the first Fleetwood Mac “Greatest Hits” compilation.

A less harsh, more melodic touch than Green’s (Man of the World notwithstanding.)

Fleetwood Mac: Dragonfly

Daniel David Kirwan: 13/5/1950 – 8/6/2018. So it goes.

Reelin’ In the Years 117: Evie. RIP Stevie Wright

I’ve come to this late. Stevie Wright, lead singer of Australian band The Easybeats, whose Friday on my Mind I chose as the first song in my 1960s music category of the same name, died in December. I only saw his obituary in The Guardian earlier this week.

Evie was a solo no 1 hit for him in Australia, possibly the first 11 minute song to reach no 1 anywhere in the world.

The song manages to encompass the three main themes of the love song as a form. Its first two parts are reminiscent of Fleetwood Mac’s Oh Well or Derek and the Dominos’ Layla in that it starts in an up tempo rocking style and then segues into quieter mode. Like Evie both those were split over two sides of the corresponding single release. Evie, however, returns to a higher tempo for its third part.

Stevie Wright: Evie

Stephen Carlton “Stevie” Wright: 20/12/1947 – 27/12/2015. So it goes.

Reelin’ In The Years 17: The Green Manalishi (With The Two Prong Crown)

A track from 1970. As I recall I bought this in Bexhill on Sea.

Like Fleetwood Mac’s 1960s song Man Of The World which I featured as Friday On My Mind: 7, this is more evidence of the dark state of composer Peter Green’s mind. There’s a definite air of menace surrounding this. Not to mention weird.

Fleetwood Mac: The Green Manalishi (With The Two Prong Crown)

Friday On My Mind 7: Man Of The World

Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac was one of the great bands of the 1960s.

After a couple of LPs of blues tracks -and a few minor hits – the instrumental Albatross brought them to wide attention. (I think it’s the only tune to become number one on three separate releases.)

Man Of The World developed this less bluesy style but you only have to listen to the words to appreciate Peter Green’s existential angst (which later resulted in him suddenly quitting the band.)

Curiously Man Of The World‘s B-side, Somebody’s Gonna Get Their Head Kicked In Tonite, was a raucous, Elvis impersonating romp and was labelled as being performed by “Earl Vince and the Valiants” – such a contrast to the delicate, understated, poignant emotion of the A-side.

Fleetwood Mac: Man Of The World

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