A ‘priceless’ collection of Fleetwood Mac memorabilia amassed by the legendary band’s former manager decades ago could fetch £20,000 (nearly $25,000) at auction.
The unique archive gathered by Clifford Adams, 81, gives an insight into the British-American rock group’s rise to fame which ‘never been seen before’.
Clifford – known as Clifford Davis in the music industry – was Fleetwood Mac’s manager, agent and co-songwriter from 1967 to 1974.
His collection features more than 300 contracts relating to tours, venues, radio and TV work, gold and platinum discs.
It also includes a deeply personal letter from Peter Green, considered one of the world’s greatest blues guitarists, detailing his reasons for quitting the band in 1970.
Founding group member Peter told Clifford how he wanted to ‘remain free of possessions’ and said he would be much happier ‘steering clear of big money’.
The collection is expected to attract worldwide interest when it goes under the hammer at Hansons Royal Tunbridge Wells on November 21.
Clifford said that due to his age he has now decided the time has come to part with the memorabilia he gathered over half a century.
London-born Clifford, who also worked with Beatles manager Brian Epstein, said: “My archive is unique.
“There has never been anything like this available to buy in the band’s history.
“It includes a postcard I received from guitarist John McVie in 1974 and a letter Peter Green sent me from Hawaii which I’ve kept for 50 years.”
A section of Peter Green’s letter reads: “Dear Cliff, I have decided to remain free of possessions.
“I am convinced I will be much happier knowing I have helped relieve suffering in the world and steering clear of big money.
“It is the only way I can feel enough spirit to carry on with music. I must be free, it’s very necessary for me.
“I hope you are not disappointed in me for this but here I feel I could begin a new life free of the past and I don’t need my own house or stash to do it, I just need freedom of heart and mind to enjoy life with others.
“I know you understand. Thanks Cliff for being a mate. Good luck. I’ll write a soon as I get an address. – Pete.”
Clifford added: “Peter was only in the band for 34 months from 1967-1970 but his impact and talent were phenomenal.
“He wrote Black Magic Woman, later covered by Santana, which topped the charts all over the world.
“To give you some understanding of our friendship, in 1971, after Peter had left the band, Fleetwood Mac arrived in Los Angeles to begin a tour.
“Before the first gig band member Jeremy Spencer disappeared. It took three days to find him. He’d joined the Children of God.
“I couldn’t persuade him to come back so rang Peter. He agreed to fly to America so we could fulfil the tour.
“If he hadn’t it could have finished the band as they would have been sued by the venues.
“Sadly Peter developed mental illness. The last time I saw him was in 1981. He came to my office and said, ‘I won’t be able to drive any more’.
“He handed me his driving licence and said, ‘present’. That’s also being sold in the collection.
“It’s the ultimate archive to own if you’re a Fleetwood Mac fan or considering writing a book about them.
“It’s important in terms of the group’s history.
“The early contracts specify ‘Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac’, the original name of the band which Peter founded in 1967.
“He later dropped his name because he wanted Fleetwood Mac to become a brand, and they did.
“Over the years there have been more than 40 different members of the band.
“You sometimes see fan forums asking for information about a particular gig that took place decades ago.
“It’s all here – contracts from the band’s first gig through to 1973. You can see how much they earned, where they played, what TV shows they appeared on – everything.
“I became their manager because Peter asked me to. He was the superstar of Fleetwood Mac.
“Fans call him the Green God. He’s regarded as the number one blues guitarist of all time, admired by the likes of Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton and BB King.
“In 1967 I went to see Fleetwood Mac, fell in love with them and became their agent.
“A couple of weeks later Peter asked me to be their manager. I said, ‘I’m not a manager, I’m an agent’.
“Peter said, ‘You are now’. He trusted me. We became really good friends.
“Pete and I chose all the singles to be released including Albatross which is the only Fleetwood Mac single to reach number one in the UK charts.
“It sold over a million copies in 1968/69. It was re-released in 1973 and sold over a million copies again.
“From 1963-68 The Beatles were the top-selling-single artists. In 1969 Fleetwood Mac took that crown.
“A Fleetwood Mac platinum disc to mark one million sales of Fleetwood Mac’s Greatest Hits is included in the archive.”
Robin Fletcher, manager of Hansons Auctioneers’ Kent saleroom, said: “This is an incredible, unique historical archive of one of the greatest band’s of all time.
“Its comprehensive nature will stun and delight fans around the world. It’s priceless in terms of the wealth of information it offers.
“Thanks to Clifford’s decision to part with his memorabilia, fans can gain an insight into what life was like for the band in the early days and why Peter Green chose to walk away.
“His letter detailing his decision to shun wealth and live a simple life in Hawaii is deeply touching.
“These items have never been offered at auction before. I anticipate global interest.
“The Peter Green letter alone could achieve £5,000 and, together, the collection could exceed £20,000.
“We are extremely grateful to Clifford for consigning his collection into our care.
“He wants his memorabilia to find new homes with fans who will appreciate the music and the memories.”
Produced in association with SWNS Talker
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