Fleetwood Mac's Bob Welch commits suicide

 

Bob Welch, a former member of Fleetwood Mac who went on to write
songs and record several hits during a solo career, committed suicide at
his Tennessee home, police said.

Police spokesman Don Aaron said Welch's wife Wendy found him with a self-inflicted gunshot wound to his chest at their south Nashville home yesterday.

Mr Aaron said Welch, 65, apparently had recent health issues. He said a suicide note was left.

Bart Herbison, executive director of the Nashville Songwriters Association, quoted Wendy Welch as saying Welch had spinal surgery three months ago, doctors told him he would not get better and he did not want her to have to care for an invalid.

The couple had no children.

Welch was a guitarist and vocalist for Fleetwood Mac from 1971 to 1974.

He formed the British rock group Paris in 1976 and had hits including Sentimental Lady in 1977 and Ebony Eyes in 1978. Fleetwood Mac's Christine McVie and Lindsey Buckingham did back-up vocals on Sentimental Lady.

Fleetwood Mac's career took off in the mid-1970s after Welch left the band. Dreams was a No 1 hit in 1977 and Don't Stop the same year, which later became the anthem for Bill Clinton's 2002 presidential campaign. Hold Me was a hit in 1982 and Little Lies in 1987.

Welch, a native of Los Angeles, scored his biggest hit with Sentimental Lady, which reached No 8 on the Billboard chart. His other singles included Precious Love in 1979 and Hot Love, Cold World in 1978.

When Fleetwood Mac was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998, Welch was not included in the group.

"It basically comes down to the fact that they don't like me anymore," he told The Plain Dealer of Cleveland at the time.

"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."

Long-time Fleetwood Mac singer Stevie Nicks said Welch's death hit her hard.

"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," she said.

Founding member Mick Fleetwood did not immediately respond to emails for comment.

Fleetwood Mac, started in 1967 by two former members of John Mayall's Bluesbreakers, became an enormously popular pop-oriented group in the late 1970s. Nicks' haunting vocals and Buckingham's distinctive guitar work helped propel the band's 1976 album Rumours to multi-platinum status.

Problems with alcohol and drugs, as well as well-publicised fights between band members, led to their break-up. But money and nostalgia helped bring the band back together, leading to successful reunion tours.

As a songwriter, Welch had his songs recorded by Kenny Rogers, Sammy Hagar, the Pointer Sisters and others.

In 1999 he released a CD, Bob Welch Looks At Bop, a salute to bebop music in the 1940s.

In an interview with The Tennessean in 2003, Welch said he never dreamed he would be remembered for much.

"I just wanted to play guitar in a good band," he said. "I wanted to make the music I love. I wanted to travel the world and have adventures."

Welch also said "music is disposable now. It doesn't have the emotional impact anymore. That's sad".

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Arts and Entertainment
Buttoned up: Ryan Reynolds with Helen Mirren in ‘Woman in Gold’
filmFor every box-office smash in his Hollywood career, there's always been a misconceived let-down. Now he says it's time for a reboot
News
people
News
Actress Julianne Moore wins the Best Actress in a Leading Role Award for 'Still Alice' during the 87th Annual Academy Awards in Hollywood, California
people
Sport
Ross Barkley
footballPaul Scholes says it's time for the Everton playmaker to step up and seize the England No 10 shirt
News
'We will fix it': mice in the 1970s children’s programme Bagpuss
science
Life and Style
2 Karl Lagerfeld and Choupette
fashion
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Executive

£18000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Retail Buyer / Ecommerce Buyer

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Working closely with the market...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive - CAD Software Solutions Sales

£20000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A reputable company, famed for ...

Ashdown Group: Client Accountant Team Manager - Reading

Negotiable: Ashdown Group: The Ashdown Group has been engaged by a highly resp...

Day In a Page

War with Isis: Iraq declares victory in the battle for Tikrit - but militants make make ominous advances in neighbouring Syria's capital

War with Isis

Iraq declares victory in the battle for Tikrit - but militants make make ominous advances in neighbouring Syria
Scientists develop mechanical spring-loaded leg brace to improve walking

A spring in your step?

Scientists develop mechanical leg brace to help take a load off
Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock: How London shaped the director's art and obsessions

Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock

Ackroyd has devoted his literary career to chronicling the capital and its characters. He tells John Walsh why he chose the master of suspense as his latest subject
Ryan Reynolds interview: The actor is branching out with Nazi art-theft drama Woman in Gold

Ryan Reynolds branches out in Woman in Gold

For every box-office smash in Ryan Reynolds' Hollywood career, there's always been a misconceived let-down. It's time for a rethink and a reboot, the actor tells James Mottram
Why Robin Williams safeguarded himself against a morbid trend in advertising

Stars safeguard against morbid advertising

As film-makers and advertisers make increasing posthumous use of celebrities' images, some stars are finding new ways of ensuring that they rest in peace
The UK horticulture industry is facing a skills crisis - but Great Dixter aims to change all that

UK horticulture industry facing skills crisis

Great Dixter manor house in East Sussex is encouraging people to work in the industry by offering three scholarships a year to students, as well as generous placements
Hack Circus aims to turn the rule-abiding approach of TED talks on its head

Hack Circus: Technology, art and learning

Hack Circus aims to turn the rule-abiding approach of TED talks on its head. Rhodri Marsden meets mistress of ceremonies Leila Johnston
Sevenoaks is split over much-delayed decision on controversial grammar school annexe

Sevenoaks split over grammar school annexe

If Weald of Kent Grammar School is given the go-ahead for an annexe in leafy Sevenoaks, it will be the first selective state school to open in 50 years
10 best compact cameras

A look through the lens: 10 best compact cameras

If your smartphone won’t quite cut it, it’s time to invest in a new portable gadget
Paul Scholes column: Ross Barkley played well against Italy but he must build on that. His time to step up and seize that England No 10 shirt is now

Paul Scholes column

Ross Barkley played well against Italy but he must build on that. His time to step up and seize that England No 10 shirt is now
Why Michael Carrick is still proving an enigma for England

Why Carrick is still proving an enigma for England

Manchester United's talented midfielder has played international football for almost 14 years yet, frustratingly, has won only 32 caps, says Sam Wallace
Tracey Neville: The netball coach who is just as busy as her brothers, Gary and Phil

Tracey Neville is just as busy as her brothers, Gary and Phil

The former player on how she is finding time to coach both Manchester Thunder in the Superleague and England in this year's World Cup
General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

The masterminds behind the election

How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

Machine Gun America

The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

The ethics of pet food

Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?