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Early Fleetwood Mac Guitarist Bob Welch Dead

Former Fleetwood Mac member Bob Welch was found dead in his home after committing suicide. He was 65 years old and had been suffering from recent, undisclosed health issues according to the LA Times.

Welch was an influential early member of the 1970s rock group. He played a pivotal role in the transition away from their bluesy sound. The California musician — whose father had roots in film as a producer and screenwriter for Paramount Pictures in the ’40s and ’50s — felt he was snubbed when the rest of the band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998. Eventually he sued several group members over a royalties dispute.

Welch left Fleetwood Mac just before they achieved mainstream success with their self-titled 1975 album and 1977’s Rumors, replaced by Lindsey Buckingham (who joined with then girlfriend Stevie Nicks). He had a successful solo career and is know for the 1977 hit “Ebony Eyes.” We’ve shared some of Welch’s biggest contributions to Fleetwood Mac past the break.

“Future Games” features vocals by Welch.

“Sentimental Lady” was originally recorded for Fleetwood Mac’s 1972 album Bare Trees, but was re-recorded by Welch for his debut 1977 solo album, French Kiss.

“Hypnotized” also features vocals by Welch and became a big radio hit in the early 1970s.