Aaaahhh.....Peter Green,unfortunately for many,more remembered by some for his supposed acid derived mental breakdown after a weekend with serious German acidheads,according to Mick Fleetwood,and eventual diagnosis of Schizophrenia,an awful illness in itself with treatment but hellish left untreated.
This album was recorded during this time of him leaving Fleetwood Mac,with his mental issues sadly deterioating,and this album would be his last LP for many years.
For me he was the driving force behind Fleetwood Mac,on the box set,its he who is encouraging others to up their playing,or keeping things in order,directing some would say.
He can be felt all over his final album with Fleetwood Mac"Then Play On",which is far superior to anything the band had released before,and some would say after!!
For me it's a classic off it's time.
He did also play on Pete Bardens 69 album "The Answer",where his guitar playing is blistering on this marijuana hued hazy sounding languid album,and again this album and its self titled follow up,are excellent period pieces of stoned out examples of the dying embers of psychedelia into something else.
Which brings me to this album"The End Of The Game",which was a contractually obligated pursuit by his record label,who of course couldn't care less if Peter was having difficulties with health issues,absolute vampires,as if he hadn't made them enough money.
So Peter who had made it clear he did not want to do another album, put together a band,which included:
Zoot Money-Grand Piano
Nick Buck-Electric Piano and Organ
In truth,this was not a conventional recorded album,it was a 5 hour jam session,with a focused and functioning Peter Green directing,and this group of musicians never played as a band again.
Peter Green then listened,and edited sections of the jam session,adding some things and doing some tidying up,and then split the parts he liked into 6 seperate titles,giving the record company the album they had cruelly hassled him for.
Unbelievably,for me,it worked,it's a fully instrumental album,which unsurprisingly has a jam feel,but holds together remarkably well,and is very cohesive.
Peter Greens guitar playing is absolutely brilliant,with every guitar pedal effect you can think off being put to use,and the accompaniment off the other players is also superb,that this all came out of a single 5 hour jam session,and Zoot Money said it was incredibly fun to do,all reading each other,while Peter Green took off again with his soaring acidic leads,and for me this is what gives it its freak flag waving vibe,i can't see anybody who likes those jam bands on the US west coast NOT getting some enjoyment from this album,as Peter Green is on top freaky form in my opinion.
For those expecting structured songs in a conventional sense,may be disappointed,or expecting that electric blues dirge,should possibly not bother,but if freaky guitar laden rock is your thing,this could be a good find and listen.
Peter Green was extremely pissed off with the pressure he got to fulfill his contract from the record execs,he said to Zoot if i'm being forced to do an album,i'm going to have fun,and it seems they did,with drugs playing a part,and you can hear that while listening,this is musicians having a good time playing,and instead of this album being a throwaway which i think Peter Green really wanted it to be,for me its a total period piece,with a mix of sounds including a psychedelic influence in it's sound,but other influences in there too...whatever direction the jam took them.....and the focused splicing and editing from Peter Green shows what a talented musician he was but what a musical mind he had.This is NO throwaway album in my opinion.
If this was the last album from Peter Green,it is something i wouldn't be ashamed of,but fortunately Peter did return on occasion,and unbelievably he even played on Fleetwood Macs 1973 album "Penguin" on the track "Night Watch",but uncredited.
Of course through the years,Peter was in and out of hospital,some times his illness was a lot worse than other times,which seems to be the nature of schizophrenia,but thankfully the development of medications to help sufferers have improved through the decades and a better understanding of the illness,Peter Green was able to relaunch his musical career The Peter Green Splinter Group,and fortunately there have been a couple of documentaries that do focus on his music and his ability rather than the story off his illness,though that can't be forgotten,as it was a big part of his life story,and i'm so glad he got the kudos he so trully deserved,by living with an awful,hellish illness,but also because off his musical gift that today STILL gives many people enjoyment,including the album i've covered here"The End Of The Game"....which unfortunately for Peter Green,like it does all of us,the game sadly did finish,and that game was life!!
I so hope the mental torture he experienced for much off his life,was left on Earth with his carriage,his body,and sunk in the earth,and he is soaring flying high with the beautiful mellowness of "Albatross"circling as he is.
I have a copy of this and will have to relisten to it, as I don't think I gave it a fair go when I first got it.
My favourite Peter Green is his final 45 with FM - Green Manalishi/ World In Harmony. It still blows me away that such a strange, dark and disturbing track could make the top 10 and the sublime B side is the perfect contrast, a really beautiful transcendent instrumental - heaven and hell on one 45.
Green Manalishi, Oh Well, Man Of The World are all brilliant but the lyrics show what a tortured time he was going through.