Mick Fleetwood of Fleetwood Mac has spoken to Reuters about the death of his former band mate Bob Welch, telling them that his suicide was "unbelievably shocking." Welch was a member of the band for four years, before they found mainstream success with the release of 'Rumours'. Fleetwood spoke reverently of Welch, masking the troubles that they have had in the past.
"He was a huge part of our history . mostly his legacy would be his songwriting abilities that he brought to Fleetwood Mac, which will survive all of us," said Fleetwood. "If you look into our musical history, you'll see a huge period that was completely ensconced in Bob's work."Despite having helped to shape the sound of Fleetwood Mac in the band's early days, when they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988, Welch was not invited to attend the ceremony. At the time, when he was asked why he thought he had been excluded from the proceedings, he was evidently bitter, saying "It basically comes down to the fact that they don't like me anymore. I guess they can do what they want. I could understand it if I had been a sideman for a year. But I was an integral part of that band - I put more of myself into that band than anything else I've ever done."
On hearing the news of his death, though, neither Fleetwood, nor Stevie Nicks showed any signs of animosity, with Nicks calling the death "devastating." It is understood that Welch committed suicide so as not to burden his wife, as he had been suffering from health problems.