Fleetwood Mac drummer Mick Fleetwood was completely shocked by the death of his former band mate Bob Welch yesterday, telling Reuters that the guitarist'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," says Fleetwood.
"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 was a member of Fleetwood Mac from 1971 until 1974, entering the band upon the departure of Peter Green and exiting just before the addition of Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks. In addition to playing with Welch in the band, Fleetwood also served as the guitarist's manager in his solo years through the Eighties.
Nicks also commented on the death of Welch, saying in a statement that "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."
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