Billy Gibbons names his favourite Peter Green moment

In the expansive landscape of rock and roll, the roots of every guitarist inevitably lead back to the blues. Despite attempts to forge new paths and experiment beyond the traditional three chords, the blues has remained an enduring and integral force in rock and roll since its nascent days. Whether embodied in The Rolling Stones’ renditions or channeled through Elvis Presley‘s impassioned vocals, the blues has woven its essence into the fabric of the genre. While Billy Gibbons has consistently embraced his blues style, he holds a profound appreciation for the unparalleled sound of Peter Green among British guitarists.

Simultaneously, beneath the surface of the British invasion, another audacious musical movement was unfolding. While The Beatles and The Stones occasionally flirted with the blues, they were equally adept at crafting pop masterpieces as they were at delivering gritty blues compositions.

Emerging from the London underground, the British blues boom birthed some of the finest guitarists in history. Acts like The Yardbirds became the training ground for talents such as Eric Clapton and Jeff Beck, who honed their skills on the same blues foundations before forging their distinct styles.

While The Yardbirds staked their claim in one corner of London, Fleetwood Mac possessed a secret weapon in Peter Green. Despite the band being named after the rhythm section of John McVie and Mick Fleetwood, it was Green who spearheaded their early career, crafting blues-drenched hits like ‘Oh Well’ and the future Santana classic, ‘Black Magic Woman’.

Even during his tenure with bands like The Moving Sidewalks, Gibbons found himself captivated by Green’s prowess on the fretboard. When discussing his favorite bluesy licks, Gibbons highlighted Green’s transformative rendition of ‘Stop Messin’ Around,’ a performance that left an indelible mark on him.

In an interview with Guitar World, Gibbons praised the song as a rock-solid British interpretation of down-home Chicago-style 12-bar blues, stating, “Stop Messin’ Round is as rock-solid a British take on down-home Chicago-style 12-bar blues as ever there was. The six-string guitar work from Señor Green dispenses with frills and reminds me somewhat of the late, great Freddie King in terms of tone and approach.”

While blues was only one facet of Green’s artistic vision, he ventured into spaced-out psychedelic rock and roll with tracks like ‘Albatross.’ In tune with the burgeoning counterculture, Green delved into darker interpretations of blues, as seen in songs like ‘The Green Manalishi,’ a composition that would resonate significantly with the heavy metal community when later covered by Judas Priest.

Despite Green’s relatively brief presence, Gibbons absorbed the blues influences, eventually forming ZZ Top and becoming a maestro of emotive guitar expression. While Gibbons has cultivated a distinct sound, the echoes of Green’s influence may subtly linger beneath the iconic shades and formidable beard. The blues, as embodied by Peter Green, remains an enduring touchstone in the evolution of rock and roll.

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