Peter Green Riot

Peter Green

As you will have gathered by now, the core of this issue is a big oral history exercise about music in Lewes in the ‘70s.

I’ve lost count of all the interviews we conducted and there was far too much material for us to include everything we discovered. What was most interesting was where there were contradictory accounts of the same incident and the best example of this we’ve saved for the end. Maybe readers of this piece will be able to shed further light on the matter.

If so, we’ll print a follow-up in the next issue which will be we hope in Spring 2015.

The event in question concerns a concert by the legendary blues guitarist Peter Green at Priory School in Lewes in 1971. He had left Fleetwood Mac the year before. We were first alerted to this by Pete Thomas [See p.15]
who considered that night “the most pivotal thing that happened as far as we [The Grobs] were concerned.”

3 thoughts on “Peter Green Riot

  1. Alan Terrill
    November 24, 2014 at 9:27 pm

    I remember it as Phil Langran desribed it -the headmaster pulled the plug as they showed no signs of stopping what seemed to be an endless jam, but I don’t recall any riot nor Grobs being on the bill. I do recall Quiver arriving in the afternoon and talking to one of them as we sat on the grass outside , and of being singularly unimpressed with some soul/funk albums he’d bought with him that he pronounced as ‘hot stuff!’ Grobs did play a school gig and I think my band, (Pigling Gland), was on the same bill – I seem to remember Pete Davis throwing his guitar across the stage but I think it was just because he thought it looked good rather than because he was angry about anything.

  2. clive shelley
    March 25, 2015 at 11:08 pm

    Still remember it well!

    Purported to be Green’s first gig post FM.

    Yes, the plug was pulled but we all went home grumbling quietly – no riots!

    One of those ‘did it really happen at all’ nights. Just how did Brian Smith manage it!

    Clive Shelley

  3. Graeme Rigby
    July 23, 2015 at 9:05 am

    Funny. I was, again, asking myself about this gig the other day and contacted a few others who were there, trying to discover how it came about. Brian Smith was fingered as the man responsible; someone mentioned the discussion on Lewes Musical Express; someone else found Brian’s email address. This is what he said:

    “I knew Peter at the time and asked him if he would come and play.
    He said he would provided I booked another band whose amps he could use and I paid his petrol money to get down from New Malden – think it cost about 5 shillings!!”

    I asked him about the date, because, logically it had to have been 1970, not 1971.

    “Yes, it was just after he left Fleetwood Mac and was doing solo gigs while getting ready to record End of the Game which I thought was stunning but it seems a lot of people didn’t agree. I think it must have been July 1970 or possibly June. One of the other conditions was that I provided a plentiful supply of booze. He drove down from New Malden where he was living in his father’s house, in a classic white Jaguar with the other people he would play with in the car. One of the nicest people you could ever wish to know…..”

    Having bought The End of the Game not that long ago, I’d have to agree with him – a great album at the freer end of improvisation. If you were at the gig, it’ll take you back to the quality of the sound that night. Don’t know if it was the same line-up, but the album has Zoot Money on piano, Alex Dmochowski on bass (Aysley Dunbar Retaliation and later Zappa’s Waka/Jawaka and The Grand Wazoo), Nick Buck on keyboards (later played with Jefferson Airplane spin-off Hot Tuna and, interestingly for anyone, like me, who arrived in the North East in the late 70s, the Sunderland punk band The Angelic Upstarts) and Godrey Maclean on drums (who the year earlier had played on Bowie’s Space Oddity). That’s all I now know.

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