Fleetwood Mac, John McVie, Mick Fleetwood, Peter Green

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I Played With Fleetwood Mac!

By Bela Stephens

I once had a close encounter of the third kind with Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac. Fleetwood Mac were playing at Idrottshuset in Orebro, Sweden, on November 23, 1968. I met them backstage, and I played on Peter Green's Les Paul in the dressing room as last time. We all laughed at the
memory of the "tuning incident" at Club 700, during their previous tour in May 1968 - I was in their dressing room and took up Jeremy Spencer's guitar. I was trying to tune his guitar when Jeremy asked me: "What the hell are you doing?!!".

I told him "I'm tuning your guitar since it's out of tune". Jeremy laughed his head off, and showed me that it was tuned to an open E-chord... Peter opened their act with "Stop Messin' Around", he played a brutally intense guitar solo, his playing had matured remarkably since last time. John McVie and Mick Fleetwood was the tightest rhythm section you could imagine. Peter's next song was "Driftin' " at a slow suggestive tempo.

When Danny played the intro on "Lawdy Mama" he took us all by surprise, Danny had a wonderful warm finger vibrato and a nice tone. His second song was his own "Something Inside Of Me". Now it was Jeremy's turn. He really loved to do those Elmore James songs, and did it with a sincerity that is unsurpassed yet. Jeremy did a truthful version of "Crossroads" and then "My Baby's Sweeter".

Then Peter did a fervent version of Otis Rush's "Homework" he played with a force that was unmistakable. His next was B.B. King's moody "Worried Dream" and he played the blues like only he could. Danny played "Jigsaw Puzzle Blues", it was nice, a change from the other 12-bars. The concert had come to a close, and Jeremy delivered an extended version of their tour-de-force "Shake Your Moneymaker".

It was round midnight but Fleetwood Mac didn't want to stop. Somebody suggested that they should move the equipment to a local blues club called Power House and have a jam session there.
Peter Green saw me and invited me to play with Fleetwood Mac. First it scared the hell out of me, and I gently said "thanks, but no thanks", but Peter insisted, and I found the courage to join them on stage. We did "Stop Messin' Around", I played solo for one chorus, and stopped, Peter nodded at me to go on, and so I did, with new gained conviction.

The feeling ofstanding on stage with my idols was almost surrealistic and gave me such a kick that I
squeezed some fantastic licks from my guitar that surprised everybody including myself. The audience was cheering and shouted for more, so we did a fast12-bar blues in E in the style of "Shake Your Moneymaker".It was a magic night and everybody experienced something that they would never forget.

Understandably this was one of the happiest and most influential days in my life. I understand how much I owe Peter for becoming a professional musician, he was my pathfinder. Thank you Peter!
***
Peter Green and I have been in touch since then and have met a couple of times over the years. I have a blues band called The Blue Pearls and we have been called "the best blues band in the style Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac" by music fans/critics all over the world. We have recently signed a management contract with Stuart Taylor who also is Peter Green's manager. Stuart will do his best to help us to "make it" in  USA.
Bela Stephens

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