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Old 01-26-2015, 03:59 PM
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Default 38 Years Ago: Fleetwood Mac Founder Peter Green Arrested for Pulling Shotgun on His A

38 Years Ago: Fleetwood Mac Founder Peter Green Arrested for Pulling Shotgun on His Accountant
by Dave Swanson January 26, 2015 9:42 AM


Guitar great and Fleetwood Mac founder Peter Green was not a man without troubles, and on Jan. 26, 1977, his struggles landed him in prison and committed to a mental hospital.
Like the blues artists he loved, Green had his own share of despair. He was a somewhat fragile soul, and substance abuse didn’t help matters. Green and his bandmates were turned onto his drug of his choice — LSD — by the infamous Grateful Dead comrade, Owsley Stanley, while playing a date in San Francisco. The Mac were initially hesitant, but eventually dove in head first with Green in particular talking to it like a fish to water. Put another way, he found acid, then found God.
While on tour to promote their third album, ‘Then Play On,’ things came to a head. “Peter took some more drugs,” said Mick Fleetwood in the BBC documentary ‘Man of the World,’ “and never really came back from that.” Green was met by a group of people Fleetwood referred to as “the German Jet Set,” who whisked him away to a party following their show.
“It was a hippie commune sort of thing,” said Fleetwood Mac guitarist Jeremy Spencer. “We arrived there, and [road manager] Dennis Keane comes up to me shaking and says, ‘It’s so weird, don’t go down there. Pete is weirding out big time and the vibes are just horrible.’” Green was already set to leave the band, but this was, as Fleetwood put it, “the final nail in the coffin.” Friends say Green was never the same after the Munich incident.
Green left Fleetwood Mac in 1970 and stepped out of the spotlight, but his behavior grew even more erratic while his drug use continued. After a particularly explosive acid trip, Peter said he “started acting strange … strange things started happening.” His brother Len added, “he was hearing voices telling him to do nasty things.” He began giving his guitars and his money away, and took on a series of odd jobs, including gravedigger. During these years, he spent time in various psychiatric hospitals, at times undergoing electro-shock therapy.
By the mid-’70s, as Fleetwood Mac entered a new, very prosperous era. New fans began to dig through older Mac recordings, and the royalty checks really began to roll in. Green wanted no part of his past, including the money, while trying to lead his new simple life. Frustrated, Green contacted a former Fleetwood Mac manager about his financials. “I phoned up and asked him if he had any money,” said Green in ‘Man of the World.’ ”And he said, ‘The accountant’s got your money.’”
So in January 1977, armed with a shotgun he had smuggled in from a trip to Canada, he paid his accountant, David Simmons, a visit and threatened to shoot him. However, the twist here is that Green was not upset about lack of money, but rather was distraught because the royalty checks kept coming. The police were called and Green was arrested and thrown in jail. “I was quite happy in prison, so I thought I’d be alright,” Green said. “But they said, ‘You failed the psychiatrist test.’”
Green was committed to a mental institution and placed under heavy sedation. He was eventually diagnosed with schizophrenia, but after a period of time was released to live with his family, the doctors believing the environment of the hospital was more detrimental than it was helpful.


Read More: 38 Years Ago: Fleetwood Mac Founder Peter Green Arrested for Pulling Shotgun on His Accountant | http://ultimateclassicrock.com/36-ye...ckback=tsmclip
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Old 01-26-2015, 07:50 PM
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This is yet another example of the shoddy writing that passes for "journalism" these days. Writers repeat lies enough times and people believe they're the truth.

Various parts of the story may be open to interpretation, but there is some misinformation in this article that has been repeated for years and is clearly not true. One commonly-repeated fiction is that Green worked as a gravedigger. He did work for a time at a cemetery, but a friend got him a job there as a gardener, not a gravedigger. Seems like a key distinction there...but I guess that "gravedigger" sounds so much better in a story like this than "gardener" does.

Most importantly, the central part of the whole article is untrue. Green never "pulled a shotgun on his accountant" - that's a complete fabrication according to every original source on the incident. He did threaten his agent, Clifford Davis, and threatened to shoot out the windows of the accountant's house - but all during a phone conversation with Davis, not in person. From what I've read, he did own a couple of guns but they were not even in his possession at that time and the one that he'd brought in from Canada had apparently never even been taken out of its box.

Even the old story about Green wanting to stop royalty checks is questionable too. According to several people interviewed about the incident, it's seems just as likely that he wanted to keep the checks coming - so he could continue to give his money away to charity. He couldn't very well have done that without the checks coming in!

Well-meaning people continue to circulate these misinformation-filled articles. But it's worth some fact-checking before doing that so the articles can at least be presented along with the proper critical comments rather than just taken at face value.
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Old 01-27-2015, 12:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sharksfan2000 View Post
during a phone conversation with Davis
Yes, that's what I've heard said too. Like the ham sandwich in the room where Cass Elliot died somehow 'choking her' it seems inexcusable that publications perpetuate nonsense.
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Old 01-27-2015, 01:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by becca View Post
Yes, that's what I've heard said too. Like the ham sandwich in the room where Cass Elliot died somehow 'choking her' it seems inexcusable that publications perpetuate nonsense.
You're right, becca. It's fast and easy to be sloppy when churning out this type of story, relying on the false information that's been repeated over the years when it would just take a little more research to dig out the facts. But whether it's a ham sandwich or a shotgun, the facts are not as sensational as the fiction, and I suppose that sensational stories are better at catching readers' attention. I doubt that the people who write these things even care much whether they're true or not. But each time a story like this is posted on the web, it just perpetuates the misinformation.
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