CHRIS SALEWICZ details the sad story of PETER GREEN, which last week culminated in a court-order committing him to mental hospital…
APPEARING UNDER his real name of Peter Greenbaum, former Fleetwood Mac guitarist Peter Green (30) was last Wednesday, at Marylebone Court, committed for treatment at a mental hospital.
This followed an incident last month when Green was arrested following a row with accountant Clifford Adams at his Westbourne Park address over Green’s demands that royalty payments from his hit records be stopped. Amounts involved are in the region of £30,000-a-year.
Green admitted having a pump-action rifle without a firearms certificate, but denied threatening to damage windows at Adams’ West End offices.
In his defence David Bray told the court that since his client left the group in 1971, “it appears there have been some difficulties… and his attitude is that he wishes to make his own way through life rather than make use of any royalties from his past records.”
Making the hospital order Sir Ivor Rigby told Green: “I hope you understand that I am really only interested in trying to help you.”
SINCE GREEN decided to quit Fleetwood Mac and announce that he intended to give away all his earnings from both past and future — there have frequently been “some difficulties'”. This is not the first time that he’s been committed to a mental home.
In 1973 he spent some time in one at the instigation of his father, who spoke to the Daily Express last week.
“The magistrate made the right decision. Peter definitely needs help. He must have given away tens of thousands. He would help the whole world if he had the money. He lives in an Alice-In-Wonderland world of his own.”
Close associates of the guitarist have intimated to Thrills, however, that they believe relations between Green and his father are not perhaps as perfect as they might be.
The stories that have filtered out into the media about Green’s existence since he left Mac have been appropriately colourful: Green going to work as a grave-digger; Green playing in a pub band in Southend; Green flying out to JA with only a one-way ticket, getting sent back, buying another ticket (return this time) in London, and going back again.
The reality, as might be expected, is less romantic. As old associates of Green’s who have still remained in touch with him tell it, a picture of the man emerges that is considerably different from the legend. Apart from the odd days when he’d return to stay at the home near Southend he bought his former postman father, his life has been one of dossing around London sleeping on music business acquaintances’ floors.
Always penniless — he apparently considers his royalty money to be “unclean” — he is apparently well into passing off demands that he should run up large phone bills and ask friends to buy larger homes so that he may live there as part of his “hippy” philosophy. Tales emerge of Peter Green standing around in people’s pads in the nude, uttering strange noises.
OF LATE, in addition to having declared that a coalman’s life was the one for him, Green has been becoming even more obsessed with his “Jewishness” than he was in the years immediately after leaving the band. It was then that he changed his name back to Greenbaum and visited Israel.
Lately, as well as being more insistent than ever that his money should go to Jewish charities, Green has apparently been engaged on something of a desperate search for the perfect Jewish wife. He has also been particularly anxious to maintain links with other Jewish musicians.
For a while he stayed with Marc Bolan. Bolan, presumably in an attempt to help Peter get himself back together, gave him a guitar. Green left it in the boot of Peter Bardens’ car.
At the time that he was arrested at his accountant’s, a warrant was also out for his arrest for various petty motoring offences. Only the other week he was so impecunious that a journalist from Sounds lent him ten pounds.
“People,” comments one person with whom he’s been staying recently, say “that Peter’s just suffering from San Frandsco-itis — that he just did too much dope — but that’s not true at all. He doesn’t smoke anything or drink at all.”
Chris Salewicz / New Musical Express / 5 February 1977