Ex-Fleetwood Mac member Bob Welch dead

Thu Jun 7, 2012 9:21pm EDT
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By Piya Sinha-Roy

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Bob Welch, an early member of rock band Fleetwood Mac who enjoyed a successful solo career with hits such as "Ebony Eyes," died on Thursday of an apparent suicide at home in Nashville. He was 66.

Police said Welch's body was found by his wife Wendy with a single gunshot wound to the chest, and he had left a suicide note. Welch suffered from health problems, but police did not disclose what those issues were.

Mick Fleetwood, one of the founding members of Fleetwood Mac and Welch's manager during his solo career, had remained in close contact with his former band mate over the years and told Reuters that Welch's suicide was "incredibly out of character."

"He was a very, very profoundly intelligent human being and always in good humor, which is why this is so unbelievably shocking," he said.

"He was a huge part of our history which sometimes gets forgotten ... mostly his legacy would be his songwriting abilities that he brought to Fleetwood Mac, which will survive all of us," Fleetwood said.

"If you look into our musical history, you'll see a huge period that was completely ensconced in Bob's work."

Welch is the second member of Fleetwood Mac to die this year. In January, another former guitarist for the band, Bob Weston, died in London from a gastrointestinal hemorrhage, at the age of 64.

Welch was born on August 31, 1945 in Los Angeles to movie producer father Robert L. Welch and actress mother Templeton Fox. He moved to Paris to study French at the Sorbonne, then returned to Los Angeles in the early 1970s.   Continued...