Sad news out of Nashville today: Bob Welch, former guitarist for Fleetwood Mac, was found dead today of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. He was 65.
Welch, who was apparently suffering from unspecified health issues as of late, was a signficant and influential talent, one whose contribution to music as we know it often goes unrecognized.
Which of course makes his suicide all the more heartbreaking. Particularly looking back at some of the comments Welch made about his relationship with Fleetwood Mac ...
As a guitarist and vocalist with the band from 1971 to 1974, Welch played a strong role in shaping Fleetwood Mac's signature sound. But it was only after his departure (he was replaced by Lindsay Buckingham and Stevie Nicks) that the band really took off. And while Welch had a successful career in his own right with hits like "Sentimental Lady," "Hypnotized" and "Precious Love," he never reached Fleetwood Mac status. His hurt feelings seemed apparent when Fleetwood Mac was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988 and he wasn't included:
"It basically comes down to the fact that they don't like me anymore ... I guess they can do what they want. I could understand it if I had been a sideman for a year. But I was an integral part of that band ... I put more of myself into that band than anything else I've ever done."
I wonder if Welch would be surprised to see his former bandmates mourning his loss today. Said Stevie Nicks:
"The death of Bob Welch is devastating ... I had many great times with him after Lindsey and I joined Fleetwood Mac. He was an amazing guitar player -- he was funny, sweet -- and he was smart. I am so very sorry for his family and for the family of Fleetwood Mac -- so, so sad ..."
Tragic, just tragic.
I only hope Bob Welch is at peace now, and that he knows how much everybody really does care.
Let's remember his music! Enjoy this live performance of "Sentimental Lady."
Are you shocked by the suicide of Bob Welch?
Image via MoodyBlues22000/YouTube