Bob Welch, who played guitar and sang in early incarnations of the band Fleetwood Mac, was found dead in his Nashville home on Thursday by his wife. Welch apparently shot himself in the chest after leaving a suicide note. He was 66-years old.
Welch led an interesting life, moving to Paris as a young man to study French and joining Fleetwood Mac upon his return to the states in the ’70s. He played with the band through five of their early albums but never saw the success they later enjoyed with the album “Rumours”. The band would become known almost as much for their internal drama as they were for their music, with different members forming relationships with one another and causing tension within the group. Welch was long gone by then, forming his own bands in France and, later, in Arizona and Nashville.
He suffered undisclosed health problems in recent years, but officials aren’t disclosing what they were at this time or if they were related to his suicide. Although Welch had a disagreement with his former bandmates due to a royalty dispute, they remembered him fondly today. Singer Stevie Nicks issued a statement on her old friend:
“He was an amazing guitar player – he was funny, sweet – and he was smart – I’m so very sorry for his family and for the family of Fleetwood Mac – so, so sad,” Nicks said.
Welch once said he never thought he would make an impact on the world and never set out to.
“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.”