Bob Welch who was an important member of the more contemporary sounding version of Fleetwood Mac from 1971-1974 has apparently killed himself with a gunshot to the chest. Bob Welch was the guitarist responsible for working with Christine McVie to move Fleetwood Mac beyond it’s earlier blues roots into a more modern sounding contemporary rock act. Welch left the act shortly after Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham joined the group to embark on a solo career, unfortunately missing the greatest period of popularity for the act as his solo career only had moderate success. But, Welch was vastly talented and his death is a very sad end for a very good musician.

Mick Fleetwood managed to maintain a strong friendship with Bob Welch, even after Welch sued the group in 1994, seeking what he believed to be unpaid royalties due him. Mick Fleetwood felt that the apparent suicide seemed very out of character for Welch who displayed both a great of intelligence as well as humor in his demeanor.

Welch had recent spinal surgery, but seemed to doubt his ability to recover and left a suicide note for his wife not wanting to burden her with his health issues.

One of Bob Welch’s best efforts was his hit 1977 album, FRENCH KISS, which included the hit single, “Sentimental Lady”. Strangely, the album’s songs with the exception of the single, “Sentimental Lady” were actually written for a third album by the group, Paris, but the band and third album project fell apart for various reasons, so Welch released the solo album effort instead using the material he wrote. Many of the members of Fleetwood Mac contributed to the solo album, making the album about as close to a new Fleetwood Mac album as you could come. A second single from the album, “Ebony Eyes” reached #14 on the U.S. charts, while “Sentimental Lady” made the top ten at #8.