RIP: Bob Welch, former Fleetwood Mac guitarist

RIP: Bob Welch, former Fleetwood Mac guitarist

From USA Today:

Bob Welch, the influential guitarist and vocalist for Fleetwood Mac in the band’s early days, took his life today at his Nashville-area home, WKRN-TV reports.

Welch, 65, died of a self-inflicted gunshot to the chest. His wife found him about 12:15 p.m. at their home in Antioch. He had recently suffered undisclosed health issues, a Metro police spokesperson said.

Welch played with Fleetwood Mac in the early to mid-1970s, before the group achieved superstar status with Fleetwood Mac (1975) and Rumours (1977).

He joined the band in 1971 when it was an English blues band and helped shape its future sound and attract an American audience. He played on five records — Future Games, Bare Trees, Penguin, Mystery to Me and Heroes Are Hard to Find, the band’s first to crack the U.S. Top 40. He was also responsible for two early hits, Sentimental Lady and Hypnotized.

Welch left the band in late 1974, replaced by Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks, who helped catapult the group to stardom.

• Bob Welch: