Ex-Fleetwood Mac Guitarist Bob Welch Found Dead Of Apparent Suicide
Former Fleetwood Mac rocker Bob Welch was found dead in his Nashville, Tennessee home on Thursday of a gunshot wound to the chest.
Police confirmed that the 65-year-old guitarist, who left the band way back in 1974, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound and that a suicide note was found nearby. Welch's wife discovered his body in the couple's home.
Welch joined Fleetwood Mac in 1971, at a time when the band was coming out of its early phase as a British blues band; and helped take the group in a more melodic direction - a direction that would be pushed further with the addition of Christine McVie 1973.
The band released five albums during Welch's years - "Future Games," "Bare Trees," "Penguin," "Mystery To Me" and "Heroes Are Hard To Find."
Welch called it quits in late 1974 after tensions within the band. He went on to form power trio Paris, which included Jethro Tull bassist Glenn Cornick and Nazz drummer Thom Mooney. The group released two albums before Welch went solo; after which his solo debut, "French Kiss, was released in 1976. The album garnered the hits "Sentimental Lady" and "Ebony Eyes," the former of which first appeared on Fleetwood Mac's "Bare Trees" album. The tune was revamped for "French Kiss," and featured former bandmates Mick Fleetwood and Christine McVie.
Welch was replaced by Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks in Fleetwood Mac, and is credited with taking the band through a "transitional" phase.
When the band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998, founding members Peter Green, Jeremy Spencer, Danny Kirwan and Mick Fleetwood, along with John and Christine McVie, Buckingham and Nicks were inducted, snubbing Welch.
After the snub, Welch told the Cleveland Plain Dealer, "My era was the bridge era. It was a transition. But it was an important period in the history of the band.
Mick Fleetwood dedicated a whole chapter of his biography to my era of the band and credited me with 'saving Fleetwood Mac.' Now they want to write me out of the history of the group.
During the 1980s, Welch battled a heroin addiction and is reported to have suffered from several health issues recently.
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