Peter Green defends Fleetwood Mac
While Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac played to enthusiastic Stateside audiences, British blues fans accused the group of deserting the music that made them.
“Oh! How could you, Fleetwood Mac,” they screamed. “You’ve sold out, jumped on the commercial bandwagon, deserted the blues….”
Peter Green read the Mailbag headlines, sipped a glass of champagne, and replied: “Sold out — that’s just a stock phrase, we’re still playing the same stuff on stage and whenever we play ‘Albatross’ it just brings the place down every time.
“These are just narrow minded people. I’m going to play what I like, when I like. We’ve always been commercial. Blues is commercial — before we made ‘Albatross’ we drew crowds and crowds.
“It seems that people are trying to keep us down as much as possible. ‘Albatross’ got very few plays even though it made number one.
“I don’t think we lost any fans through ‘Albatross’ — these people who don’t want us or John Mayall or Aynsley Dunbar to get success aren’t thinking about us, they’re just thinking about their own personal pleasure which is a bit sad.
“People should want the best for everyone else. I want to get some land — a farm — and grow crops and vegetables. It would be an open house, no locks on the doors, which is surely the way things should be. I want people to be happy.
“The main thing I want to do is to make good records that musically satisfy. We just want to make good LP’s and singles. We won’t make anything for the charts but we will pick something out of a bunch that’s best for the charts. We’d be silly to pick out something that would make a bad single.
“‘Albatross’ will never date. It’s like one of those great old instrumentals like ‘Apache’. It might even become a standard.
“Our new single will be called ‘Man Of The World’. It’s in the same vein as ‘Albatross’ but it’s a song. It’s a sad song so it’s a blues but people will say it’s not because it’s not a 12-bar.
“It’s got a really great melody and I’ve got some good ideas to make it more complete. It’s very sad, it was the way I felt at the time. It’s me at my saddest.
“It’s a blues record but because it’s my own melody, my own chord sequence, people won’t take it as blues but if it doesn’t make a hit, it doesn’t really matter. If we wanted to make a lot of money, we could live out in the States, but none of us are bothered about making money. We just want to be musically satisfying.
“We’ll have a new British LP out in the middle of April. I’d rather record in the States because they seem to be in it more, they’re more advanced. The best sounds are on American records, no-one’s ever matched Phil Spector or Tamla. The sound they get is really something.
“I don’t think I’m influenced by anything in particular when I’m writing. Sometimes I just get a line in my head, write it down and then come back to it later. ‘Albatross’ started with just three notes but that number was such a big thing it just had to be the single, it was so powerful and peaceful.
“The title? No, I wasn’t thinking of an albatross, something else. I don’t really know what. Something very peaceful.”
Royston Eldridge / Melody Maker / March 1, 1969