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Former Fleetwood Mac guitarist dies from self-inflicted gunshot wound

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
June 8th, 2012
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Guitarist Bob Welch was an early member of super-group Fleetwood Mac until he launches a successful solo career with such hit singles as "Ebony Eyes." He was found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound with a suicide note at his Nashville, Tennessee home. Welch was 66.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to police, he was found by his wife with a single gunshot wound to the chest. He had reportedly suffered from ongoing health issues at the time of his death.

"The police are investigating it as a suicide, and there was no evidence of foul play," Nashville police spokesman Don Aaron says.

Welch in many ways was born to be in the spotlight. The son of movie producer Robert L. Welch and actress mother Templeton Fox, Welch went to Paris to study French at the Sorbonne, before returning to Los Angeles in the early Seventies.

Welch was invited to join Fleetwood Mac after founding members Peter Green and Jeremy Spencer left the band. He played guitar and was a vocalist with the band from 1971 to 1974. Some of the albums he performed with Fleetwood Mac included "Bare Trees" and "Mystery to Me."

Welch left Fleetwood Mac in 1975. The band then found its greatest measure of fame with such albums as "Rumours" with the addition of Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks to the band's lineup.

Singer Stevie Nicks said in a statement that Welch's death was "devastating . He was an amazing guitar player - he was funny, sweet - and he was smart - I'm so very sorry for his family and for the family of Fleetwood Mac - so, so sad," Nicks said.

Welch had acrimonious relations with the former members of Fleetwood Mac. He sued the group in 1994 for unpaid royalties, leading to his exclusion from the group's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction in 1998.

Welch embarked on a solo career after he disbanded a hard rock group Paris. His debut solo album "French Kiss," released in 1977, went platinum and produced the hits "Sentimental Lady," "Ebony Eyes" and "Hot Love, Cold World." Welch followed up with 1979's "Three Hearts," and four more albums throughout the early 1980s.

His most recent albums, "His Fleetwood Mac Years and Beyond" and "His Fleetwood Mac Years and Beyond 2," had previously unreleased material.

Welch is the second member of Fleetwood Mac to die this year alone. Former guitarist Bob Weston died in London from a gastrointestinal hemorrhage aged 64 in January.

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