Fleetwood Mac spent its early years as an English blues band featuring John McVie, Peter Green, Jeremy Spencer, Danny Kirwan and, of course, Mic Fleetwood. The group later evolved into a rock powerhouse that consisted of John McVie, Lindsey Buckingham, Stevie Nicks, Christine McVie and, of course, Mic Fleetwood. How it transitioned from one phase to the next however involves one very important person not mentioned.
During the early 1970s, Fleetwood Mac was a mess. Spencer and Green had just left the band, and there was real wonder as to whether they’d even bother continuing. Looking for anyone who could fill the void, the band’s secretary brought up Bob Welch, a former classmate who was living in Paris trying to make it as a musician. He flew in to meet the group, and something about the dynamic felt right.
For the next four years, the group transitioned to America and slowly started achieving a wider audience. Welch played on and wrote extensively for five consecutive LPs, even penning “Sentimental Lady”, which was one of Fleetwood Mac’s very first minor hits. The last album of Welch’s tenure, Heroes Are Hard To Find, was the first to crack the top 40 in the States.
Welch’s ultimately left the group in 1974 before it achieved colossal fame, but Fleetwood later said in his biography the underrated guitarist was likely the only reason the group lasted long enough to make its later albums. The underrated guitarist passed away in his home today from what’s being described as a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
According to WKRN, he’d been experiencing health problems for some time and left a note explaining his decision. He was only sixty-six-years-old.
During the late 1970s, Welch produced a solo album that went platinum and had a string of hits. He was a brilliant musician and by all accounts, a good, well-liked person. He’s survived by his wife of more than twenty-five years Wendy, and Pop Blend’s thoughts go out to her, as well as everyone else who was touched by his wonderful life. He will be missed.