The secret son of late Fleetwood Mac legend Peter Green has revealed he went to court for a DNA test to prove his paternity in 2017, after the rocker refused to acknowledge him.
Liam Firlej, now 34, was born following a years-long romance between Green – who died aged 73 in July – and Liam’s mother Janina, which began around 1980 when Green was in his 30s and Janina aged 18.
Liam said he grew up worshipping the co-founder of the iconic band – whose hits include Albatross, Need Your Love So Bad and Black Magic Woman – and that he was desperate for the star to reunite with him.
He told The Mirror: ‘I feel upset that he’s dead – but also so angry that I was never given the opportunity to have a father in my life.
‘I feel like I was swept under the rug. I used to try to forget about him and the whole situation.
‘It would work for about six months, then I would keep on hearing the music and think “I just can’t escape this.” It still drives me insane.’
Green, an influential blues rock guitarist, from Bethnal Green in London, formed Fleetwood Mac with drummer Mick Fleetwood after a stint in John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers – filling in for Eric Clapton.
Green and Fleetwood wanted John McVie to join the group on bass, and named the band Fleetwood Mac to entice him – a strategy that was ultimately successful.
Under his direction, the band produced three albums and a series of well-loved tracks including Black Magic Woman and Oh Well.
Green left Fleetwood Mac after a final performance in 1970 as he struggled with mental health difficulties and spiralling drug use, later sleeping rough.
He was eventually diagnosed with schizophrenia and spent time in hospitals undergoing electro-convulsive therapy during the mid-70s.
The band continued with a transformed line-up featuring a core group of Fleetwood, Stevie Nicks, Lindsey Buckingham, John McVie and Christine McVie. This phase gave rise to their huge albums Fleetwood Mac and Rumours.
Liam said after repeated attempts to contact his father and get his recognition, he went to the High Court in 2017 in a DNA battle to prove he was Green’s son – and admitted it was the ‘happiest day of my life’ when his paternity was proven.
He now believes the electro-shock therapy Green was given in the 1970s for his mental health issues, damaged his brain and prevented him being a dad to his son.
Support worker Liam said Green and his mother Janina had a ‘rocky’ relationship after their first meeting in 1980 and that the musician used to kick her out of the house.
The pair were not together when Liam was born, with Liam claiming Green slammed the door in Janina’s face when she visited his home to introduce him to his son.
Liam was raised by his grandmother Maureen Firlej after a struggling Janina signed over parental control of her son.
He recalls that Green rarely visited him, but once appeared at his nursery school with ‘wild hair and long nails’ with staff telling the musician he was ‘scaring’ the children.
Liam knew who his father was at a young age and said he would dance around the living room to his songs.
His grandmother Maureen also attempted to persuade Green to contact his son and pay child maintenance, to which Green allegedly responded that she ‘couldn’t prove’ he didn’t look after his son.
Liam revealed in his early 20s, he was given an address and phone number thought to be Green’s, and he wrote him several letters.
He said Green then rang him with the father and son chatting ‘about life’ on several calls before Liam lost his phone – with further letters to the star receiving no answer.
Liam said he resorted to turning up at one of Green’s gigs in 2010 but claims he was banned from speaking to him.
The star’s son said in desperation in January 2015, he decided to turn up at Green’s home in Canvey Island, Essex to ask for a DNA test.
He claims Green ‘hid behind the door’ and appeared fearful before saying he was in poor health.
Liam said when questioned about his son, Green said he ‘didn’t know about that’ and tried to contact Janina on the phone.
In his quest to be recognised by his father, Liam met up with original Fleetwood Mac bass player Bob Brunning – who died in 2011- to discuss his father, as well as writing to solicitors and messaging Green’s family members on Facebook.
Liam now has a relationship with one of Green’s daughters, Rosebud, who the star shares with ex wife Jane Samuels – but said he still feels like the ‘black sheep’ of the family.
MailOnline has contacted representatives for Peter Green and Fleetwood Mac for comment.
Now Liam has proven he is indeed Green’s son, he may be entitled to some of Green’s estate, but details of his will have not been revealed yet.
Liam said he is now working on a documentary about his father’s stint in Munich where he took LSD at a party.
This incident was seen as a significant point in decline of Green’s mental health.
Green remerged from obscurity on a number of occasions, forming the Peter Green Splinter Group in the late 1990s with Nigel Watson and Cozy Powell. They released nine albums between 1997 and 2004.
In 1998, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame along with other past and present members of Fleetwood Mac.
His death was announced on July 25 in a statement from his devastated family, which read: ‘It is with great sadness that the family of Peter Green announce his death this weekend, peacefully in his sleep.
Mick Fleetwood paid tribute to his band co-founder, calling Green ‘my dearest friend’ and said they ‘trail blazed one hell of a musical road for so many to enjoy’.
In a statement , 73-year-old Fleetwood said: ‘For me, and every past and present member of Fleetwood Mac, losing Peter Green is monumental.
‘Peter was the man who started the band Fleetwood Mac along with myself, John McVie, and Jeremy Spencer.
‘No one has ever stepped into the ranks of Fleetwood Mac without a reverence for Peter Green and his talent, and to the fact that music should shine bright and always be delivered with uncompromising passion.’
Fleetwood added: ‘Peter, I will miss you, but rest easy your music lives on. I thank you for asking me to be your drummer all those years ago. We did good, and trail blazed one hell of a musical road for so many to enjoy.
‘God speed to you, my dearest friend……. Love Mick Fleetwood.’