I am not what you'd call a big fan of Fleetwood Mac (I like plenty of their songs, but I only own a couple of the big albums and a greatest hits ... that's all I've ever needed). I don't know really any of their stuff from before Buckingham and Nicks joined the group (I know some Peter Green stuff, but not a lot of it).
I know Fleetwood Mac was a good blues group before they became the big group of the Seventies. And I knew they had a lot of great guitarists throughout the years. But that was about the extent of my knowledge on their lineup.
I'd come across Bob Welch vinyl in the past, but I didn't recognize the name and never gave the stuff a chance. I'm sure it was good content, it just wasn't anything I'd had brought to my attention by family or friends or peers. I mean this man no disrespect, and I'm certain his artistry and skill were impressive ... And I hope his passing has brought him peace.
The circumstances of his death are unfortunate, and his family and friends have my genuine sympathies.
The news report:
Early Fleetwood Mac guitarist Bob Welch was found dead Thursday afternoon (June 7) from what police are describing as a self-inflicted gun shot wound. According to the Associated Press, the 65-year-old Welch shot himself in the chest inside his Nashville-area home.
The rocker was a part of the group from 1971 to 1974, before the band really took off with the ‘Fleetwood Mac’ and ‘Rumours’ albums. He was a part of ‘Future Games (1971), ‘Bare Trees (1972)’ and ‘Mystery to Me (1973).’ Those weren’t immediate commercial successes, but they went on to achieve Gold or Platinum certification in the U.S. After recording ‘Heroes Are Hard to Find’ he was replaced by Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks.
After leaving Fleetwood Mac he formed a rock band called Paris before beginning a solo career. His 1977 album ‘French Kiss’ was his most successful project, featuring the song ‘Sentimental Lady,’ which was originally recorded as a Fleetwood Mac song in 1972. He continued to write and record music of different styles until his death.
Controversy arose when Welch was not included among the members of Fleetwood Mac inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998. He told the Cleveland Plain Dealer, “It was an important period in the history of the band. Mick Fleetwood dedicated a whole chapter of his biography to my era of the band and credited me with ‘saving Fleetwood Mac.’ Now they want to write me out of the history of the group. It hurts.”
The AP reports that Bob Welch was found dead by his wife around 12:15PM. He had been suffering from health issues and left a suicide note.