One member of Fleetwood Mac, where Bob Welch once played music, has reacted to his sudden passing. Stevie Nicks, the longtime singer of the band, told the Associated Press, "The death of Bob Welch is devastating."
She continued, "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 ..."
Welch was found dead at his Nashville home around 12.15 P.M. local time on Thursday, June 7, the day he was supposed to celebrate his 66th birthday. He is survived by wife of more than twenty-five years, Wendy, who first found him with a self-inflicted gunshot wound to his chest.
"Officers discovered Mr. Welch with a single gunshot wound to the chest," said a Nashville police spokesman Don Aaron. "There was a suicide note found at the residence. Mr. Welch had health issues. The police are investigating it as a suicide, and there was no evidence of foul play."
Welch played in Fleetwood Mac from 1971 to 1974. He took part in the band's five albums and left to form his own band, Paris, after they released "Heroes Are Hard to Find". His career took off after he launched a solo career following Paris' breakup.
He scored a big success with his 1977 single "Sentimental Lady", which he originally wrote for Fleetwood's 1972 album "Bare Trees" but later re-recorded for his debut solo album, "French Kiss". His other hit singles included 1978's "Ebony Eyes", 1978's "Hot Love, Cold World" and 1979's "Precious Love".
As for Fleetwood, they claimed fame in the mid-1970s after Welch left. Their hits included 1977's "Dreams", 1977's "Don't Stop", 1982's "Hold Me" and 1987's "Little Lies". The "Don't Stop" song was later used by Bill Clinton for his 2002 presidential campaign.
The band were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998, but Welch was not included in it. "It basically comes down to the fact that they don't like me anymore," he said of his exclusion back then. "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."