ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, JUNE 7, 2012
One of my fave rockers from the ’70s, Bob Welch, died today. His body was discovered by his wife at their home in Nashville, with a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the chest. A suicide note was found, according to Nashville police.
I first tuned in to Welch’s music back in the mid-’70s, when the 1973 Fleetwood Mac album, Mystery To Me, was making the rounds on my trusty Yamaha turntable. I was particularly fond of the Welch-penned tune, “Hypnotized”.
I also really loved the Welch song “Future Games”, which was the title track of the first album he made with Fleetwood Mac, back in ’71.
Welch left Mac after the 1974 album, Heroes Are Hard to Find, and it took two people–Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks–to replace him. I followed him when he formed the power trio Paris, which released two albums in ’76, including the awesome Big Towne, 2061. That album was packed with great tunes, including “Blue Robin”, “Janie”, and “Heart of Stone”. I’m quite shocked that no one I’ve ever met has even heard of this band. The timing just wasn’t right for them, I guess.
In 1977 the fame that eluded Paris came to Welch big time with the platinum solo album, French Kiss, which boasted such hits as “Ebony Eyes” and “Sentimental Lady”, which he’d originally recorded on the ’72 Mac album Bare Trees. Even though it had string arrangements, I played the French Kiss album a lot, and bought most of the five or so solo albums Welch released afterwards. I remember quite enjoying the 1979 LP, The Other One, which didn’t have strings, and also boasted a nice reworking of “Future Games”.