Former Fleetwood Mac Guitarist Bob Welch died Thursday, June 7, of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, according to police. He was 65.
Welch, who was a guitarist and a vocalist for the popular 1970s band, also had a successful solo career in the late 70s with singles including Hot Love, Cold World, Ebony Eyes, Precious Love, and his signature Sentimental Lady.
While the musician struggled to find the right fit in the late 60s and early 70s, he was invited to join Fleetwood Mac in 1971, eventually helping the band move into a more melodic direction.
In September of that year, the band released their first album with Welch, Future Games, with the title song having been written by Welch.
In 1972, six months after the release of Future Games, the band released the well-received album Bare Trees, which featured Welch's song Sentimental Lady. The song would become a much bigger hit for him five years later when he re-recorded it for his solo album French Kiss.
Welch and the band eventually parted ways, with the rhythm guitarist saying that 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.
Welch was not included in the group when Fleetwood Mac was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998.
With that being said, Longtime Fleetwood Mac singer Stevie Nicks told The Associated Press that Welch's death has taken a toll on the singer.
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 ...
According to the AP, which cites Bart Herbison, executive director of the Nashville Songwriters Association, Welch had spinal surgery three months ago. Doctors reportedly told the former Fleetwood Mac guitarist that he would not get better, and he did not want her to have to care for an invalid, according to Herbison.
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