David Gilmour Took 18 Months to Sign Up for Peter Green Tribute
Mick Fleetwood recalled the experience of signing up David Gilmour, Kirk Hammett and Noel Gallagher for last year’s Peter Green tribute concert and revealed that it took Gilmour 18 months to “gather the courage” and agree to take part.
The London event, which took place months before former Fleetwood Mac guitarist Green died, was one of the last large-scale shows to take place before the coronavirus lockdown began.
“I didn’t know him very well,” Fleetwood told Rolling Stone of Pink Floyd guitarist Gilmour. “But I knew he was connected to Peter Green’s music. … Two years before this even happened, it suddenly dawned on me that I was going to cold-call him and say, ‘Would you do it?’” He added that, because Gilmour had “so much reverence for Peter Green’s playing and who Peter was and the songs,” he “initially got cold feet.”
Fleetwood noted that Gilmour "was like, ‘I don’t know if I can interpret Peter’s work. It’s so amazing. Maybe I can’t do that.’ I said, “What are you talking about? Of course you can.’ He said, ‘At the moment I’m sort of passing on the idea. … But later on, if this happens, I may gather enough courage.’ And at least a year and a half later, I called him back, and he said, ‘I’m ready and I really want to do this.’ Which was huge.”
The drummer also responded to the suggestion that Hammett’s involvement was a surprise. “He lives in Hawaii, in Oahu," he explained. "I met him. He came to a charity show I did on the island. He completely related how much Fleetwood Mac[-era] Peter Green had meant to Metallica. It was another one of those things where I was like, ‘I love hearing that, but how on Earth? What is the connection?’ And of course, it was Peter Green and ‘The Green Manalishi (With the Two Prong Crown).’ If you listen to that song, it’s extremely heavy. The whole beginning, that’s Metallica.”
Former Oasis guitarist Gallagher’s involvement came about as a result of his friendship with Fleetwood’s niece. “I was on the phone with Lily, and she said, ‘I’m at a restaurant with Noel, and I told him all about the show. He wants to talk,'" the drummer recalled. "He then gets on the phone and said, ‘I want to do this.’ I said, I’m flattered.’ And then he went into a whole thing: ‘You don’t know how much Fleetwood Mac meant to me. … We didn’t play Fleetwood Mac onstage in Oasis, but almost every soundcheck we ever did, Mick, I would pull out an old Peter Green Fleetwood Mac song.’ I said, ‘You’re kidding me.’”
Fleetwood noted his pride that the tribute concert went ahead; if it had been booked for just a few days later, it would have been called off. “Personally, Peter was good friend,” he said. “And musically … as much as he turned away from things, he could have been a Jeff Beck. He could have been a Jimmy Page. He could have been Eric Clapton.” He described Green as “such a powerful entity” that it remained “very evident how the world feels about him from all the lovely people that showed out to the show in London. And this is an event I’ve always wanted to do.”