Bob Welch, August 4 - 17, 2003
Hi Bob, I wasn't here for your first Penguin Q & A so most of my questions will be about older stuff but I just got your new "His FM years & beyond" CD and am loving it and I will chuck in some questions about it should I think of any in regards to it.
In looking over your last Q & A here when someone asked about the release of the "Mystery to me" version of "Good things come to those who wait" (not used) you had said that you, Mick, John & Christine would all have to agree to it's release but then later in another answer you say when asked about unreleased tracks that "Warners do what they want with (unreleased stuff) and you are not really in the loop on that". So I was hoping you could explain a little more on this as I'm just interested to learn about the complexities of the releasing of unreleased material from the vaults.As Receiver Records in the UK must've gotten the rights to release some outtakes from the "Then play on" sessions in 1998 for their "Vaudeville years" 2 CD set, I had wondered if perhaps they were able to do that due to the fact that those tapes had maybe become public domain after a certain length of time and if this was the case that maybe by the same token the Mac recordings from your era would maybe be coming up soon in this regard and therefore make it easier for those concerned to get such recordings released. As you may know, Rhino Records will soon be releasing rematered FM CD's, apparently with bonus tracks. In talking to David McLees there he did say that they plan to reissue all WB/Reprise Mac titles (but are starting with the BN era ones) so is there a way you could get involved with the "OKing" of unreleased stuff to be tacked on the end of the FM CD's they will eventually release that you were on? Thanks in advance for your thoughts on this. (John, Peabody, MA, USA)
One of the reasons I did "FM Years And Beyond" is that the pre Rumours stuff will probably only be re-released when I'm 85...and I didn't want to wait that long ;-)
Bob, would you consider giving the OK to Rhino to release this "X rated" version of "Silver heels" that you had said was done (presumably during the HAHTF sessions) on a remastered "Heroes are hard to find" FM CD? (seriously) Thanks! :) (John, Peabody, MA, USA)
Rhino can do whatever they want...I have zero control over it...However I seriously doubt they will ever be re-releasing ANY pre- BN Fleetwood Mac.. which is one of the reasons I did 'FM Years And Beyond".
Bob, since we know very little about the unreleased material during your FM years and since Danny will probabaly never be able to answer anything like this, I must ask you (if you can remember). Kirwan's track "Trinity" that showed up on the 1992 FM box set "25 Years: The chain". Was this an outtake from the "Future games" sesions or the "Bare trees" sessions? (it's riff orientated nature makes me think BT since he seems to have moved in that direction during the BT days but the Chain box CD liner notes do say it was from 1971, so I wasn't sure it if was early '71 therefore being a FG outtake or if it was maybe late in the year and perhaps being a BT outtake). Thanks for casting your mind again. (John, Peabody, MA, USA)
Uh...Sorry, I'm pretty hazy regarding unused tracks. I do know that "Trinity" was from of course either the BT or FG sessions....but I can't remember exactly which...
Bob, you are listed along with a Jack Williams as playing bass on Turley Richards' "Therfu" album. Can you remember which songs you played on from that album? (as the liner notes to this album don't state which tracks you (or Jack Williams) played bass on) Thanks for remembering what you can about this in advance. (John, Peabody, MA, USA)
Again, I recall THAT I did stuff with Turley...but not what , exactly.
Bob, you're listed as playing guitar and doing vocals on Spirit's "Spirit of '84" (AKA "The thirteenth dream") album. Can you remember which songs you played on from that album? (as the liner notes to this album don't state which tracks you (or Mark Andes, or Jeff Baxter, or Howard Lese, or Gary Myrik etc.) played guitar and/or sang vocals on) Thanks for remembering what you can about this in advance. (John, Peabody, MA, USA)
Again , I have to plead hazy memory on this...It seems to me that Baxter just hustled me over to the A&M studios on La Brea , and we "jammed" for a few hours.
Bob, you are listed (along with Robbie Patton, Chritine McVie, Robin Sylvester & David Adelstein) as doing background vocals on Robbie Patton's "Distant shores" album. Can you remember which songs you appeared on from that album? (as the liner notes to this album don't state which tracks you sang on) Thanks for remembering what you can about this in advance. (John, Peabody, MA, USA)
I remember where some of this was recorded....at Mike Verdick's studio in the SF Valley...but I can't remember which songs I played or sang on...
Bob, a while back on the Penguin's ledgeboards (message boards) we were tryng to put together a Pete Frame style "Rock family tree" of all 16 members of FM and I was hoping you could clarify when some of your bands started and ended and their personnel (and what they played etc.) such as:
1. The Seven Souls
Bob, in your last Q & A here, you said you were working on a book (though you said you didn't know how long it was going to take) so, how's it coming?! (John, Peabody, MA, USA)
The book's in about the same shape it was in '99 ; i.e., unfinished, with a couple of solid chapters and 800 loose pages. I'll maybe get back to it one of these days.
Bob, again in your last Q & A here, you said you were kicking around the idea of releasing a live CD of some shows you had done in Japan circa "French kiss". So with your new buddy (it seems) One Way Records (with the reissue of "Three hearts" and your new "His FM years & beyond") would you consider releasing it through them? Thanks again. (John, Peabody, MA, USA)
Yes , we've discussed it..."Live In Japan" is finished...but it would be a question of looking at some of the old contracts....which can be time consuming...
Hello Bob and welcome back. Thanks for coming in for more punishment! First of all a belated happy birthday to you. Secondly I hope this time you have come prepared with a secretary and some muscle relaxant gel, my friend and your alphanumeric nemesis, Mr Steve Denison is still here and ready to bombard you again! Good luck! haha.
I must start off by saying your first Q&A was by far the most entertaining I have seen here and thanks for such in depth answers. I'll start my stint with a three parter..
I guess this question has already been put to you but I understand (from what I hear) you met up with the band on the current Say You Will tour and put to bed some differences with Mick. Are you both in a better place with each other now, so to speak?
Secondly I love your new album and "Like Rain" is never off my Walkman at the moment. It seems to me that both yourself and also, Lindsey respectively, are playing and crafting your material better than ever. Your vocal performances are very good indeed on this album and I was wondering If you feel as Lindsey does, that you are getting more and more creative later in your career? It certainly seems so with another singer/guitarist that spends a lot of time in Nashville these days, Mr Mark Knopfler.
Thirdly, I recall you saying you would love to play with Peter Green if at all possible, is this still something you would love to do? (hey, next time I meet him, I'll put your reply to him, if it's yes!)
Thanks Bob, More Later. (Justin Bailey, Manchester, UK)
Thanks for the birthday wishes etc... Yes, Mick's wife called and invited us to FM's Nashville show..a very nice gesture. I've actually had a couple of conversations w/Mick since 2000, but the N'Ville show is the 1st time I've seen him in the flesh. He was very warm...we don't talk about the lawsuit at all. For one thing I can't, really, ...and he can't as per our settlement. But even if I could, I wouldn't want to....It was sort of like , "we're all getting older....let's move on"
In 1975, Fleetwood Mac performed a lot of stuff from your tenure. An obvious example would be Hypnotized, but others like Sunny Side Of Heaven, Why, Spare Me A Little, Jumping At Shadows, and Believe Me (which they did in early '77) you recorded and performed during your days. Did you ever get to hear them and if so, how do you think they handled your songs and parts? (Brian, New Jersey, USA)
I think they sounded great on those old tunes....Once or twice I got up and did "Hypnotized " with 'em.
Hi Bob, I understand that you recently met up with Fleetwood Mac on their current 2003 tour ? How did that go for you ? When was the last time you talked to them ? Any chance of a concert appearance by you at one of their live shows ? (Steve Elliot, Arlington, VA)
I saw the show in Nashville , and talked to Mick and Lindsey after...I didn't see Stevie or John. I'm content to be an audience member during the set , but if they asked me to come up, of course I would.
My question for Bob Welch is:: Have you seen Fleetwood Mac on their recent tour? Do you remember seeing your first Fleetwood Mac show with Stevie and Lindsey? What songs stuck out to you most? What was the most memorable performance of Rhiannon during those early days? Did you ever do any studio work with Stevie after you left Fleetwood Mac? (Emalineblue, New York, NY, USA)
Saw 'em and talked to Mick and Lindsey in Nashville...Told 'em it was the best I'd ever seen them play...And it was...They were great ! When I first saw Stevie years ago , she was very energetic twirling all over the stage , and i knew she'd be a big star.. Formally , Stevie sang on my 3 Hearts solo album...I remember other times jamming around at her house with other musicians etc.
Something came up a couple of weeks ago on the message boards here. You're pictured a couple of times on the collage insert to the Rumours album. Obviously you were still "hangin' with the band" then, since Mick was your manager and French Kiss was in the works or soon to be anyway...did you PLAY or SING anything on any of the tunes that made it onto Rumours? (Steve Denison, Long Beach, CA, USA)
Formally, no...Informally.....who knows.....I may have made it into the background on a few drunken chorus's ;-)
Bob, I know we had some e mail correspondence on this already but just some follow up, did you ever remember the name of the Seven Souls album that was released on Barclay Records in France? If you can rememebr anything about it, it would be a great help to me so I can track it down, (year of release? producer? etc.) Thanks very much once again. (John, Peabody, MA, USA)
I don't remember, but I can find out from ex-Seven Souls bandmate Tony Lytle in England. Write at my website and I'll get back to you.
Bob, this may seem obvious but just because I like to print these things out and see them in black and white, I was hoping you could clarify which parts you played on tracks like:
"Attention" on Head West....I play all the guitar parts. I remember the French engineer constantly coming out and saying, in a heavy accent "time eez monay boys, time eez monay" (time is money) There was also a very good pastry shop next door to the studio !
How did you feel about Hypnotized being performed on the 1975 tour by Lindsey and Stevie? (Ethan, Santa Rosa, CA, USA)
I think they did a great job !
Whew, where to begin...(HA! Had ya worried, didn't I?) First off, since last time was so much fun (well, for US, anyway), I really thank you for taking time to do this again!
Is it Steve a.k.a. Chili D ?
Bob, at your last Q & A, you spoke of the Seven Souls backing up The Rainbows on "a few" singles. I have the "Love of the common people" b/w "Broken heart like mine" one but since you said "a few" I was wondering if you can recall any other tracks/singles/albums that you may have played on by them? There isn't even a year listed on the one that I have so if you can even make your best guess as to what year that one was made in at least then that would be a large help. Thanks again. (John, Peabody, MA, USA)
"A few" is probably just the 2 songs on that single. In those days, there was a floating pool of people who variously were musicians on other peoples stuff/and/or artists in their own right; kind of modeled along "Motown" lines. So we may have played on other tracks by members of the "Rainbows" individually and separately that I can no longer remember.
Bob, I'm sure I read somewhere a few years back that you had done a (VERY early) music video for "Ebony eyes". Can you confirm (and if so, elaboate on that, as I've yet to see this and doubt I/we ever will ...unless you can get it released on DVD hint hint)? Thanks for your time. (John, Peabody, MA, USA)
Yes, we did a video on "Ebony Eyes" and "Sentimental Lady". This was a few years before MTV. "Ebony Eyes" had a little storyline where I was in a "club" and "Ebony Eyes" was an "exotic" dancer in aforesaid club. Pretty tame I think, by today's standards. Capitol Records owns all this stuff.. I can't see them ever releasing it frankly...
Bob, is there any chance you might film one of your Nashville area gigs and release it on DVD and sell it through your website or something like that? Just curious, thanks. (John, Peabody, MA, USA)
I don't know...who would buy it? I'd rather put out old stuff w/ historical value first.
Bob, can you give us any teasers as to what some of these sections that are still under construction at your overhauled website are going to include etc.? Some of those option titles sound very interesting! Thanks once again. (John, Peabody, MA, USA)
There is already a picture section partially up. We have to put captions on them. I'll also have an interactive forum, kind of like Marty has on the Ledge, although not as elaborate...also a place where I spout off and give links to some of my philosophical, and other views. Also a section specifically devoted to "Paris", which has quite a few fans.
Bob, how are you? I know you don't remember me, but I asked a few questions back in 99 which you answered, plus I mentioned my band which was SUPPOSED to have a website, but never got off the ground...band is now in deep hibernation..time to get a new band...you know what that;s like I'm sure. Anyways, I wanted to ask you: Have you heard of the new band called Grandaddy? The reason I ask is because the lead singer, JAson Lytle, sounds EXACTLY, EXACTLY like YOU! The music is very mellow as well, pretty close to yours. It amazes me how they are being listened to, but yet I feel YOU deserve some props because their sound is almost a carbon copy of you. I even wrote about you on their message board so other fans would get into you. My second question is: Do you eventually plan on recording another album of all original material, and if so, how long do you think it will be before you start it? Thanks for reading.:) (Rick Sparato, New Kensington, PA, USA)
No I haven't heard of "Granddaddy".....Oddly enough though, my best friend and bandmate from years ago was (and is) named Lytle.
Hi there Bob!! I really enjoy your music, Hypnotized is one of my fave songs of all time! A few questions: Have you heard the new FM album, Say You Will? If so, what is your fave track? What is your fave song of all time (not written by you. Heh.)? Thanks much and keep making great music!! :) (Christy, Fort Worth, TX, USA)
I like "Say You Will" a lot. It's very creative... I like "Red Rover"....very unusual !
Hi Bob. Great to see that you're back on good terms with Mick and company. Having recorded five albums with Christine in Fleetwood Mac, I'm curious as to what you thought about Christine not being in the group anymore. (Steve MacDougall, Dayton, OH, USA)
When I saw the FM show in Nashville, I thought they were the best I'd ever seen them. I could tell Lindsey was able to "stretch out" a lot more; the band sounded very "tough" and muscular. When I was in the band , Christine was always very negative about anything you'd come in with (musically) that was a little "out there". She tended to play it very safe and conservative, musically speaking. That was, and is, her perfect right (no pun intended), but I'm sure that at times Lindsey has felt constrained by Chris's unwillingness to take chances musically. She could often be very sarcastic re; ideas that she thought were too "weird".
Bob, in your last Q & A, you spoke of FM moving from England to Los Angeles in 1974 after/during the bogus band deal as being your idea (and Mick used to back you up on this until he started taking the credit for it himself in more recent interviews). However, in your CD liner notes for your new CD, "His FM years & beyond", you refer to this decision as being made by both you AND Mick. Could you clarify? I realize that no one specifically is "after credit" but it would just help fans like us get the most correct version of FM's historical details. Thanks again. (John, Peabody, MA, USA)
When the Mystery to Me tour stopped in '73, I went to LA, John and Chris went back to England (Benifolds in Hampshire) and Mick went to Africa to "nurse his wounds".
Mr. Welch thanks again for doing another “Question & Answer” session with us again. I must say that it’s good to hear wonderful new songs such as “Like Rain”& the newer version of “Angel,” but I was wondering what your current plans/projects are in regards to making new music? I also was just wondering if you had any desire to put out any unreleased demos/songs from your RCA years or perhaps any of the 12 inch. re-mixes of “Precious Love”, “Don’t Rush The Good Things” or “Fever” on some kind of CD format? (K.E. Gil, Los Angeles, CA, USA)
I'm going to be looking into the RCA situation soon. I hope they still have those tapes, and haven't put 'em out with the trash. The problem with re-releasing any old stuff, is that I really have no, or hardly any, say in what they (the record co's) do. That's one of the main reasons I've re recorded stuff on FM Years And Beyond.
Hello Bob, Being a great fan of Peter Green, my question is about the "Penguin" sessions: what's your memory of Greeny recording some guitar part on Nightwatch? Was he already in bad shape at that time? Cheers, for now. (Mario Pirrone, Acqui Terme, Piemonte, Italy)
Pete was at the studio all day as I remember, just sitting in the corner, not saying anything.
It's great to have you back on the penguin. I missed your first Q&A. My question is, How do you become as awesome as you and still be unknown. :)_ No, I really wanna how do you go about becoming a musician? (Deanna Collins, Newberry, MI, USA)
My father had a clarinet, and I took some lessons and played in the school orchestra. Then I switched to guitar when rock and roll really started happening. I always used to listen to my parents records, even when I was little, and I'd play pretend to play drums on pots and pans along with the music.
Have you kept in touch with Judy Wong all these years? If so, what is she up to nowadays? (Ali, Washington D.C., USA)
I haven't talked to Judy in a while, but we generally do keep up with each other. I think she is involved now with the current Yardbirds projects, shows and records. I hope she's doing well, because she's had some taxing problems in the past re; the LA earthquake, and her health....
Sorry Bob, if this is a bit of a touchy subject/question to ask of you. Do you think that your 1994 lawsuit against Fleetwood Mac for unpaid back F.M. royalties affected you being inducted into the Rn'R HoF with Fleetwood Mac ? (Steve Elliot, Arlington, VA, USA)
No, I really now think that the RRHOF board in New York didn't like me. Seymour Stein, one of the board members is a "punk-rocker" after all. I didn't make it onto their "cool" chart because I had a few pop singles, and I guess I didn't cut it on their "Tom Petty Logarithmic Scale of Rock Venerability" ;-)
Hi Bob, this is incredible to actually be talking to you this way...it's quite amazing...My question is kind of a double question. Out of all the new music coming out these days is there any artist/band that sticks out to you as being similar in style to the pre-BN Fleetwood Mac, and/or the current lineup? (Chris McCleod, Locust Grove, GA, USA)
I'm not aware of any bands with both male and female lead singers, which would be my criteria for an FM style group. (But then I'm not aware of everything that's going on either) I like Gwen Stefani and Alanis Morrissette a lot, but that's not FM either.... I mostly like the girls that are out there, Michelle Branch etc. A lot of the guy acts just seem silly to me.
On Fleetwood Mac message boards we often disscuss the outside and unlikely but still possible idea of an all Fleetwood Mac members concert. With all 16 members past and present. And you always pop up as one of the mebers that would most likely never be a part of that beacuse of you not geting along with Mick. But now that you seem to have patched things up with Mick, would you be in an all Fleetwood Mac members concert, if it EVER occured. (Mickman, Buffalo, NY)
Absolutely.....Something like that may happen one of these days. I just hope it's before I'm 90 and have to be wheeled on to the stage ;-)
Bob, thanks for the family tree info for the Seven Souls etc. that was most helpful. Just need one clarification: Should we assume the Ivory Hudson vocalists (Ivory Hudson, Mary lee Whitney, Jimmy Whitney) were in the Seven Souls when the band became the Seven Souls? (that was of course when you joined). Also, what year (month etc. if known) (approx.) did Ivory Hudson & The Haelequins become the Seven Souls? Thanks again. (John, Peabody, MA, USA)
Ivory Hudson was in the Seven Souls....the other singers were not. "Harlequins" changed their name in late 1965 when the band moved to LA from Eugene Ore.
Hey Bob, Firstly, thanks for taking time out to do this, its much appreciated. My question doesn't relate to the Mac at all. My question is, who were your musical influences growing up and who do you listen to nowadays? (Dai, Cardiff, Wales, UK)
I listened to my parents records; Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong, Billy May Orchestra, soundtracks from Broadway musicals, etc. Then I started liking Shorty Rogers, Al Cohn, Zoot Sims, Charlie Parker, Stan Getz etc. Parallel to this, after Elvis came out, when I was about 10, I liked Ricky Nelson, Fats Domino, Gary US Bonds, Ernie K. Doe, The Righteous Bros. etc.
Hey there Bob...thanks so much for taking the time to do this one more time! Given that, for the last thirty years, Christine has disliked touring (remember a little song on Bare Trees called "Homeward Bound"?), does it surprise you that it has taken her this long to finally 'retire'? (Josh Williams, East Liverpool, OH, USA)
Yes, Chris wanted out of the touring thing when I was in the band. She also disliked LA and preferred the cozier atmosphere of England. I think she hung on because everybody in the band managed to convince her that one more tour, one more record....and those "one mores" turned into 25 years. After all, she was FM most prolific writer of hit singles.
Bob, thanks for clarifying that it was in fact initially your idea for FM to move to LA in '74 (though you did convice Mick easily enough and then you & Mick eventually conviced John & Christine). Regarding your favorite song "Surf's up" that you mentioned earlier, was your recording of it ever (or will it ever be) released? I can't say I'm familiar with your version of that one. When did you record it? Thanks again. (John, Peabody, MA, USA)
I just did "Surfs Up" last year here in my studio. It's never been released. Maybe it'll show up as an extra trck on something one day...
WOW, Bob, your new version of "Oh Well" is amazing! ESPECIALLY, Part 2. Obviously, there are LAYERS & LAYERS of guitars, could you describe your process in recording it? Which tracks went first, effects used, guitars used, how many tracks of guitars, etc, etc? (Steve Denison, Long Beach, CA, USA)
First I copied the original version onto my multitrack. Then, I played along with it to outline the sections. I wanted the sections to closely match the original, but not be exact copies. Gradually, I was able to "mute" the original and begin "filling in the blanks". There's a lot of midi and sampled stuff supporting the guitars..I did all the support parts after the main guitars were done, because you're not supposed to really hear the support parts, they're just there for texture.
Hi Bob, I love the song Emerald Eyes on Mystery to Me, Who is the song about? (Sofina, Coventry, West Midlands, UK)
I hate to be shamelessly plugging...but read the liner notes on my new CD...It's a long answer, and rather elaborately intellectual ;-)
Hello again Bob, First off, it's interesting that in the linear notes of the new album you mention you feel modern digital recording methods sound better than analogue, I'm only used to recording in digital myself so I can't compare the two although I'd go for clarity over the old "warmth" any day. Also I totally agree with your comments on the joy of being able to hear a greater dynamic range with modern recordings as opposed to vinyl.
My first question is, do you use or have you used any digital modelling amps/pedals in the recording of this album and if so what do you think? (My thought is digital pedals are much better but valve amps still rule). Secondly, what particular guitars are you using these days? Thirdly, have you considered working in 5.1 digital surround e.g. DVD Audio? Thanks. (Justin Bailey, Manchester, UK)
Yes...all I use is modeling amps...POD etc...I just can't be bothered miking amps....too time consuming, too loud etc.
Artists have been known to surprise their fans by saying some of their most famous songs are their least favorite. Are there any songs of yours from the FM days that you wish were never put on an album? (Bob Burghardt, Munster, IN, USA)
Not on my Fleetwood Mac albums. I wish I hadn't done "If You Think You Know How To Love Me" or "Bend Me, Shape Me" from my 1st RCA solo album...I caved to A&R pressure ;-) But everything I did w/ FM holds up okay.
If I wanted to see you Live- do you have any upcoming gigs in the Nashville area? I live in Madison but you would be well worth the drive. Great stuff on the new album. Appreciate your talent. All the Best. (Ryan Dexter, Madison, WI, USA)
No, I have no plans to tour at the moment. In Nashville I sometimes "jump up on stage" if somebody (like Billy Burnette) invites me, but it's all casual....and random. If I ever do tour, it'll be announced well in advance on my website.
Hi, Bob! Most people (including yourself) are in agreement that Mystery To Me stands as the greatest of your work with Fleetwood Mac. But I also love Bare Trees immensely. Could you share some stories on the recording of that album, including working with Danny Kirwan? Was he already exhibiting signs of instability? Thanks a lot! (Bob Burghardt, Munster, IN, USA)
Danny wasn't a very "lighthearted" person, to say the least. He probably shouldn't have been drinking as much as he did, even at his young age. I always considered myself a "realist" and would try to have rational conversations with him, but he always seemed to respond with some kind of suspicion, as if there was a subtext to what I was saying. He was always very intense about his work, as I was, but he didn't seem to ever be able to distance himself from it....and laugh about it. Danny was the definition of "deadly serious" I don't think he had a very supportive or nurturing family background either, which is crucial for somebody with an artistic temperament as finely tuned as his.
When you mentioned artists that you like out there now like Gwen Stefani and Michelle Branch, it got me to thinking. In these days of voice editing, I respect No Doubt and Alanis Morisette for their live performance, whereas I've thought less of Michelle Branch for lip synching. Do you pride yourself more on your studio material or live perfomances? Does watching others' live shows sway your opinion of them? Thanks very much for participating, I really enjoy the amount of detail you put into your responses! (Brian, New Jersey, USA)
Lip synching has always been around...They used to have you lip sync on the old Dick Clark show, or "Solid Gold" for instance. Musicians never like to do it, but a lot of those shows weren't set up for live performance....too expensive; you need an engineer, a mixing board, mikes for the singers and instruments, soundchecks etc. etc.
Bob-- Well done on the new cd. Miles Away is incredible. I would have liked to have seen Outskirts done, but alas, what you have done is spectacular. Hope it goes well and we get Live in Japan. You are listed on Sammy Hagar's Nine on a Scale of Ten LP. Do you recall input on that album or was it simply Carter getting your name out there? Please seriously consider a dvd of a current show you do. I would love to have you play the Los Angeles area again, but if not then to see you recorded at another venue would be a joy. (Carl R. Swift, Sierra Madre, CA, USA)
Thanks for the kind words on the new CD ! Sammy Hagar and I wrote a couple songs together, and he recorded one of my songs-"China", on one of his records....I'm not sure if it was "9 On A 10 Scale" or not...but it probably was.
My question for Mr.Welch is, how was it hanging out at Stevie house jamming with her? Did she ever do any of her own songs while you guys where jamming? Can you relate the funniest moment you ever had her house? (Emaline, NYC, NY, USA)
Stevie was always very social, and liked to hang out longer than anybody else. I'm sure she did these late night things many times, with many different players and writers. Probably a small percentage of those times she may have gotten a useable song out of it. A tape recorder was always running so it may all be on tape somewhere.
Hi Bob, I have just another question for you. Have you heard the mess about the Fleetwood Mac fan club, and the whole scandal and how many feel money was taken and misused and got nothing in return? I was wondering if you had any idea this big fan club uproar existed, because I know it wouldn't be going on if you were still in the band! (Chris McLeod, Locust Grove, CA, USA)
Yes , I've heard all about it...I think it's terrible.
At the 5/25/03 concert in East Rutherford, what were the names of the two new guitar players and the new keyboardist as mentioned in Rolling Stone magazine? (they didn't say the names.) (FM Fan, Philadelphia, PA, USA)
The only name I know is Brett Tuggle. (Keys) I forget the other players names.. Sorry.
Hi Bob and thank you for doing another Q&A for your devoted fans ! My questions are....
Since you are into the paranormal like me, who are your favourite authors on the subject ? (i.e. John A. Keel, Stanton Friedman, and Jenny Randles) (Arizona Ranger, Cranford, NJ, USA)
Jaques Vallee, Ingo Swann, Gary Schwartz (the Afterlife Experiments), David R. Hawkins MD (The Eye Of The I), Stephen Greer(Disclosure Project). The ones you mentioned (Freidman etc.) are also good. There are many more...John G White "The Unobstructed Universe" comes to mind. I'm planning to put a list of all the authors I like on my website.
Would you seriously consider filling in for the departed Chris McVie if asked ?
Sure...but they've already got 2 guitar players + Lindsey..And I don't play (realtime) keyboard.
Was Elvis Presley a major influence upon you ?
Yes , I used to do karoke to "Teddy Bear" in front of the mirror when I was 11.
What was your favourite memory of Stevie Nicks ! Thanks Bob!
Stevie defending me to a hostile LA crowd at the Forum when I opened up for "The New Barbarians" (Keith Richards spin-off group). I'll never forget that!
Bob, Thanks for the amazing material you've shared with us over the years. You, Danny, Christine, Mick, and John created the best Fleetwood Mac album ever - Bare Trees. I personally think that your musical chemistry with Danny surpassed that which he had with Peter. When you were recording in that period, did you dare to dream that your music would be considered some of the greatest recorded, and even have one of your songs "Future Games" used in a movie about rock and roll(Almost Famous) 30 years later? (Henry Cross, Columbia, SC, USA)
Thank you for your kind words. When I started out, I was just having a great time seeing the world, and meeting new people....and learning the guitar. All the "achievements' just sort of "happened" while I was doing that.
Have you read Mick Fleetwood's autobiography and if so did you find the stuff about you to be fairly accurate ? Or do I have to wait for your book to hear your side ? ;) I remember seeing a "video" of you performing Ebony Eyes live, outdoors on Don Kirschner's Rock Concert back in the late 70s. It would be really cool and interesting to see that again. Thank you for doing this Q & A. (Dave Podolske, Round Lake, IL, USA)
I've read Mick's book, and I liked it. As far as I'm concerned , it's pretty accurate. Mick's whole life has been, and is, Fleetwood Mac. I don't think he can think of himself as separated from that. He and Fleetwood Mac are one and the same. This is very different from most bands, acting ensembles, etc. Imagine doing the same thing your whole life! As close as I've been to Fleetwood Mac, and as much as it defines my life...it's still not my WHOLE life. Mick is unique... Fleetwood Mac is unique. As they said in the 19th century ; "long live Fleetwood Mac" !
Hi Bob, What do you now think of your time & music with Paris ? Was there going to be a third Paris album ? I love "Blue Robin" and Big Towne 2061" ! Great songs ! "Blue Robin" deserved to be a hit single. Would you perform those two songs live now in one of your concerts, if you ever do a solo concert again ? Thanks for all of the great music you made with FM and solo !!!! (Steve Elliot, Arlington, VA, USA)
Yes, "French Kiss" started off to be a 3rd Paris album. If Paris could've survived, I think it would have been ideal for me....great players , who were totally open to new things.
Hi Bob-- Hope you're doing great these days. I was wondering if you are still in touch with Mick and Christine. I heard there was a lawsuit going on a few years back. Did the matter get settled and what was it about? Maybe I was on another planet when all this happened. Btw, I absolutely love your song Devil Wind. The accoustic guitar intro is brilliant. Take care. (Debbie, Delft, Zuid Holland, The Netherlands)
I'm back in touch with Mick post-lawsuit...and I talk to Stevie quite frequently.
In your last Q & A, you were very excited about the release of your new album “Looks at Bop.” From both an artist and commercial stand point, how do you think it did? Was it well received or was it too much of a left turn for most? I could be wrong, but I personally don’t think you released it excepting it to hit platinum status... (K.E. Gil, Los Angeles, CA, USA)
Hi..I remember your name from the last q&a.
Hello again Bob !!! I've come back to haunt you with some more questions !!! Bob Brunning states in his books that Lindsey displayed a deep resentment towards you and your influence with FM. I told him that was pure bull but how would you respond to that ? (Arizona Ranger, Cranford, NJ, USA; next five questions)
As far as I know, it's pure bull. Lindsey used to tell me that he liked playing with me...and wanted to do more of it.
What is your opinion regarding UFO's - Real or imaginary ?
A small, but very significant percentage of them are real. Check out disclosureproject.org.
Since you and Billy Burnette live in the same state (Tennessee), do you communicate with each other ?
We don't call each other, but we often run into each other "out on the town".
Can you give us any further information regarding the Bell Witch event you took part in a few years back ?
I ran into a guy who was writing a book on the bell witch. He invited Wendy and I to stay all night with about 6 other people at the Bell Witch Cabin in Adams Tennessee, which we did. (The city of Adams kindly opened it up for us). Nothing the slightest bit out of the ordinary happened, but when I took my disposable camera to Walgreens to have it developed, there were "orbs" all over the prints. The developer guy said that although small orbs can sometimes be an artifact of moisture on the lens, he had NEVER seen ones like we had...as big, and as bright.
Did you ever listen to the music of Stephane Grappelli? If so what did you think of him ? Thanks again Bob !!! I loved your time with FM !!!
Is he the violinist? I'm not all that familiar with him....but if he's who I'm thinking of, I like him a lot.
Bob, I was wondering if you are friends with Rick Vito or not, and if so, do you know exactly why he had left Fleetwood Mac? The reason I ask is because he really didn't seem to want to discuss it when he did his q@a here. Also, what do you personally think of his guitar playing? (Rick Spataro, New Kensington, PA, USA)
I see Rick occasionally at clubs, etc. We don't "hang out" or anything. I don't know why he "left" Fleetwood Mac. I don't really know if he was officially a "member" in the legal sense, which means a signator to a contract w/ WB records.
Ya know, I think I asked all my questions in the last Q&A, it has been tough to think of something to ask you that either I haven't, or someone else hasn't, already asked.
I'm sure we all here would love to hear your version of Brian Wilson's "Surf's Up"...any chance of your putting an mp3 of it out on one of those "pay to download" sites for us? (hint, hint ;) ) Or, as a "bonus track" on a CD-single? Because I know for myself and quite a few others here, now that you've let us know it's there, we want it!! (Steve Denison, Long Beach, CA, USA)
Maybe....I'll see how my current CD does first...But thanks for asking. Actually, what would be fun would be to collaborate with Lindsey on an album of Brian Wilson songs.....We're both such big fans of BW....
Hi Bob, My question is about Paris. I thought it was a great band that stood at the crossroads of heavy metal, but with an intelligence and finesse that most heavy metal bands lack. I love the way the band mixed all of the religious / mysticism / symbolism with really deep grooves - harder edged than the Fleetwood Mac stufff - although I love that stuff as well. Are there any live recordings or other songs/sessions that can be issued in the future? Perhaps personally through your own web site? The 2 studio CD's are not enough. Thanks in advance for any info. (Mark, Emeryville, CA, USA)
Mark...I haven't come across any decent sounding live Paris stuff. There may be something somewhere but I'm not aware of it. If anything ever does surface, I'll announce it on my site....
Dear Bob-- First let me say how thrilled I am to be given this forum to ask you a question. I got hip to the Penguin site only a month after you ended your first Q and A. I admire your energy, your obvious taste for jazz, and your prodiguous songwriting talent. If I'm ever in Tennessee, I'd love to look you up and buy you a drink!
I have two questions.
When Danny Kirwan was ousted from the Mac in '72, you and Christine Mc Vie emerged as the primary songwriters. On "Penguin" you both appear to equally share the burden, but opn the two ensuing records you do three-quarters of the writing. Why? Was it that Christine wasn't coming up with as much material or was it that she was conciously trying to maintain a secondary role in the band? I ask this question because at times on "Mystery" and "Heroes" you appear to be doing a seemingly exhaustive amount of the work which undoubtedly contributed to your being "fried" at the end of the Heroes tour.
Thanks for the kind words ! There wasn't any kind of concious decision that I would write (a few) more songs per album than Christine. Exactly which songs got on any particular album was always done by band consensus....and I guess it just worked out that way. We always tried to come up with a nice balance of tracks, but it was never written in stone that it had to be 50/50, or 60/40 etc. per writer.
I'm curious if any of your songs have been covered on record or cd by other bands. I know, for example, a band called Purple Ivy Shadows did a fantastic job covering "Hypnotized" on a tribute album called "Fleetwood Mac: Patron Saints of Pop," but anyone else? Your Mac songs seem well-suited for re-invesitgation by current acts.
The Pointer Sisters also did "Hypnotized", believe it or not, in 1984 I think. There have been 1 or 2 covers of "Sentimental Lady" but I forget the artists names. Kenny Rogers did one of my songs....not a Fleetwood Mac song though. If you find out about anymore (covers), write me on my website and let me know....I like to have a collection of those things !
Thanks for taking the time to do this. I've enjoyed everything you've done with Fleetwood Mac. Is there any chance that Chris and you will collaborate again one day? I think that would be special. And are the lyrics(tho sparse) to "Safe Harbour", "Just to find a safe harbour and to talk to a friend"? Just curious. :-) (Joe, Kentucky, USA)
Thanks for your nice words about my music ! There are no plans for Chris and I to collaborate, but who knows what the future may bring ? Yes re: "Safe Harbour" (note the veddy English spelling of "harbour"...kind of like , "rumour" ;-) except I think it is "just to find a safe harbor, and to talk with my friends"....But my memory could be wrong....I have to admit, I didn't go and listen to it ;-)
Hi Bob, I enjoyed your first Q & A. Thank you for doing this second one. Do you think "Bob Welch & Friends Live At The Roxy" will ever be released on DVD? When was the last time that you ever saw or spoke to Christine? And, are you surprised that after leaving Fleetwood Mac, she is now recording a solo album? Have you heard anything about how Danny Kirwan is doing now? (Mary Anne, Harleysville, PA, USA)
There's a guy in England right now who claims he has made a deal w/ RCA to release "B. Welch And Friends" Roxy show. We'll see if this pans out. Last time I saw or spoke to Chris may have been as long ago as 1990, putting "The Chain" box set together. Not surprised...it's just that now she can do things like record comfortably, at her own pace, with no pressure. I'm sure she enjoys it a lot more that way.
Hi Bob! Thanks for the taking the time to answer questions again. I really like the song Did You Ever Love Me from the Penguin album. Whose idea was it to use steel drums in that song? Also, what is your opinion of the two Fleetwood Mac studio albums of the '90s -- Behind the Mask and Time? Thanks again! (Steve, Parma, OH, USA)
Mick loves all kinds of percussion instruments, and he had a set of steel drums...so it was probably his idea. I think I remember liking "Behind The Mask" a lot. I haven't heard "Time" yet.
Do you happen to know where Fleetwood Mac got the Penguin emblem from? The story behind the Penguin? (Bill, Lunenberg, MA, USA)
John McVie always liked Penguins, so much so that he had a penguin tattoo on his right forearm. We named an album "Penguin", because of that. In '74 we had a publishing company called "rockhopper", which is a kind of penguin. Mick and John later had a company which managed FM called "Penguin Promotions". After Stevie and Lindsey joined, it gradually became the band logo.
Hi Bob, Great to finally talk to you, Have been a great fan since I was in the army in 1972 and first heard Bare Trees. Future Games, Hypnotised, Revelation, Coming Home, are personal favorites. It has been greatly noted you are a bebop fan. Have you ever reached into the freer realms of jazz? Ornette Coleman, Art Ensemble of Chicago, Sun Ra, later Coltrane (Alice and John) et al. Any personal favorite jazz musicians beyond Bebop and Hardbop? I remember discovering Jimmy Giuffre's The Train and the River from a neighbors record collection and am still very taken with Giuffre's music 40 years later. What was the first jazz recording or artist you discovered on your own and not necessarily from your parents collection? Thanks for doing the Q and A again. Peace! (John, Kewadin, MI, USA)
It's probably not "free jazz" but I used to love The Mahavishnu Orchestra.(John McLaughlin) I don't think there's been anything since that sounded like them.
Bob, which of your solo albums, minus French Kiss, do you consider to be one of your best, and why? Also, how do you personally feel about the Bob Welch album that came out in 82? It obviously was done according to industry expectations...although it is enjoyable, its certainly a sound that's unlike you, at least in my opinion. (Rick Spataro, New Kensington, PA, USA)
For me it's "The Other One" and "Eye Contact" (2nd RCA album). "Bob Welch" on RCA I'm afraid was an a&r and politically determined compromise, although some people write me and tell me how much they like it ....
Your time is much appreciated in answering these questions Bob. What's your take on the price of concert tickets these days, and in particular Fleetwood Mac's? A lot of people simply can't afford the steep price being charged on this current tour. What's your take on the greed that's taking over the music business, and in general corporate America these days? As someone who is in the business, what is your opinion on what/who drives the price for concert tickets? Thanks for your candor!! (Joe, Kentucky, USA)
I'm starting to become like my parents were when we'd pay 19.95$ at Sizzler and they'd be shocked because they remembered getting the same thing for 2.50$.!
Hi Bob I have a couple of questions for you the first one is about Danny's playing, his sound on the pop tunes is so ethereal and melancholic it makes me vaguely remember another place in time but i can not put my finger on it and it happens all the time I hear Sands of time or Woman of 1000 years or Sunny Side of Heaven knowing that you are into paranormal experiences do you get this feeling also ?
I remember watching a concert in San Diego circa 72-73 in which you spoke about UFO sighthings by Otay Mountain which was right at my back yard in Chula Vista , what you said blew me away , did you live in San Diego or did you just Know ? Best Wishes. (Joe Gomez, Boise, ID, USA)
Danny was definitely in-tune with some "other worlds". As a musician, he was developed way beyond his years and had a sensitivity to match...like Pete Green. I don't necessarily get the feeling you're talking about, but I know what you mean. Music, at it's best, is supposed to create those kinds of feelings !
Hey Bob..I really enjoy alot of your music, esp on French Kiss and on Mystery to Me...I'm a club/circuit dj here in Pittsburgh, How is your feeling on Dance/techno/remixes?? the Remixer team illict turned Stevie's "Planets of the Universe" into a #1 club hit...I still spin that ( always packs a dance floor)....just wondering your thought... (Shawn Collins, Pittsburgh, PA, USA)
I like a lot of the new techniques/sounds. I fooled around with some of them myself on my "B W Looks At Bop" CD.
Thank you for all the great music over the years. I was fortunate to see you play live with Avenue M in Long Beach, Ca back in 1990. What a show!! Now to a few Questions... How is Glen Cornick doing? Do you stay in touch? I just picked up Big Towne 2061 and can't stop listening to it. What a great sound you guys had. Which leads me to my next question.... The first Paris album is the only cd I don't have. Is there any way The Penguin could obtain some copies and sell them on the website? Thanks again Bob. (David, Norwalk, CA, USA)
So you were that gut at the show ;-) Ah, Ave M...a fond memory..
Hi again Bob, This is a Future Games question. Do you know who Christine wrote "Show Me A Smile" about? (Mary Anne, Harleyville, PA, USA)
No, I'm sorry I have no idea.
Hi Bob, I love Mystery To Me. It's one of my two favorite Fleetwood Mac albums of all time. I think every song on there is a real gem. I am curious as to why Christine did the vocals on "Keep On Going" since you wrote it? Did the band have any say in what songs would be released as singles? If you did, why wasn't "Hypnotized" released as a single, instead of just as a b-side on "For You Love"? And, did you record any more songs for "Mystery To Me" that didn't make the album, other than "Good Things Come To Those Who Wait"? By the way, I really like your solo version of this song on Three Hearts. (Mary Anne, Harleyville, PA, USA)
I guess (I can't remember exactly) that we talked about it, and came to the conclusion that Chris would sound better on "Keep On Going"...I think she liked the song, which helped. WB records decided what would and would not be a single. The reason we took "Good Things" off and recorded "For Your Love" to begin with is that when we got to LA and Warners heard the album, they said "great...but there's no single". So we recorded "For Your Love" specifically to be a single. Of course, "Hypnotized" wound up getting the most radio play. WB didn't think "Hypnotized" was "commercial" enough to be a single.
Well Bob I'm back with the final round of my questions.... Before I start, I just want to FYI everyone that Stephane Grapelli was a French Born Jazz Violinist who played with the likes of Oscar Peterson, Jean Luc Ponty, and Django Rheinhart. Grappelli was one of my Dad's favourite musicians. Now for the questions..... Do you have any thoughts on the passing of Sam Phillips ? (Arizona Ranger, Cranford, NJ, USA; this and the next six questions)
Since my wife is from Memphis, we know a lot of people who knew Sam Phillips. He really represents Memphis's brief ascendancy as the rock 'n roll/blues capital of the world. Sun records and later, Stax-Volt are Memphis's enduring contributions. Sam Phillips' death (and Bob Hope's a little before) are the passing of an era, a more innocent era, that will never come again.
What more can we do to get your name in its proper place at the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame?
I really don't know... maybe email their website? The main decision makers are with the board in New York, and I don't know if they can be influenced or not.
Can you give us an account on how Stevie defended from the jeers and taunts of the crowd at the concert you decribed ?
Well first of all, it was a stupidly booked gig. I should never have been opening for "The New Barbarians". The audience was 100% Rolling Stones fans who were hoping Mick Jagger or Jerry Hall might show up. The front rows were filled with critics from the super snobby and cynical press, and I knew they hated me even before I went out.
In your previous 1999 Q&A you said you wanted to form a group with Stevie, Lindsey, Rick Vito, and Billy Burnette under the name of the Ex- Maccers. Are you still up to do that ?
Well.....I don't think Mick or John would take too kindly to that ;-) Stevie and Lindsey are the natural superstars that emerged from FM's long history. If they went out with two lame dogs and a couple of monkeys, they'd probably do well...as long as people knew that they were fronting the group. The two of them are a classic "couple" like Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, or William Powell and Myrna Loy. If they ever went out with me, Rick, Billy etc....it would be to do us a favor..And some version of that "favor" may happen some day, once. When (and if) it does...I hope I'm not too old to enjoy it !)
What is you opinion on the 1947 Roswell, New Mexico (UFO Crash) Incident ?
I don't know if Roswell was a UFO, or, as the government claims, a secret atomic testing balloon. We'll probably never know.
If you had stayed with FM after 1974 when Stevie and Lindsey joined, what direction do you think you and FM would've gone ?
It's hard to say because I was very headstrong then, and personally wanted to go in a "harder" rock direction. I was though, a big fan of lush harmonies, so maybe we would have worked out a compromise sound-wise.
And Lastly, on a much lighter note. How does it feel sharing a birthday with the creator of Harry Potter, J.K. Rowling ? Are you a fan of her books ? Thank you for putting up with my questions Bob, and THANK YOU for keeping Fleetwood Mac alive from 1970-74 and buying them the precious time they needed so Lindsey and Stevie could jump aboard and take them to new heights. THANK YOU for encouraging Mick to take the group Stateside and THANK YOU for your part in quashing the Fake Mac.
I didn't know she had my birthday...I've never read the books, but I enjoyed the 1st movie. It's got what we all need....a little imagination ! You're too kind...thank YOU !
Thanks for all the great music you've made, both solo and with Fleetwood Mac. Stevie has talked about how she related to a "mystical element" in the group's music --prior to her joining the band. I feel that you were largely responsible for that cool mysticism. Your songs from that period are very intriguing and distinctive. Were you able to work many of them into the group's live sets? What songs worked best for you? Which ones do you regret were never played live? Since there is very little live documentation (in the bootleg community) of how the band sounded and what they played during 1971-74 period, fans of this era would love any insight you can give regarding set lists, memorable shows, etc...thanks Bob, from Bob (Portland, OR, USA)
We always did several Pete Green things. Oh Well, Green Manalishi, Stop Messin' Round, Rattlesnake Shake, Black Magic Woman. These were generally toward the end of the set Christine would maybe do Jumping At Shadows, Why, Spare Me A Little, Dissatisfied, etc. We always did Shake Your Moneymaker for an encore. As far as my songs, we always did Hypnotized , Future Games, Miles Away, Bermuda Triangle, Angel..etc. I don't think we did Revelation often...
Hello again Bob, Johnny Griffin, awesome Chicago tenor! Yeah!------Night Watch seems to me to be one of the best written Science Fiction/Fantasy stories I have ever "heard". Do the Magic Shadows refer to Shadow People or Beings? Do you read Science Fiction? Have you, or have you ever thought about writing Science Fiction/Fantasy for the printed page? I know, the autobiography is in the works but maybe you could include some lyrics/prose as interludes between chapters. (John, Kewadin, MI, USA)
I guess by "Magic Shadow" I meant...whatever's on the "other side of the mirror" I tend to think that UFO's are combination physical/non-physical.
Greetings Mr. Welch! Great to have another QnA with you here on the mighty penguin. Reading some of the previous questions, I'm thrilled to hear you are open to a FM family reunion someday (all 16 members would be amazing...) Maybe you, Rick Vito, Billy Burnette, and Bekka Bramlett should pull a show together (I think they all reside around Nashville....) Any ideas?
Also, I wanted to let you know that this year's Fleetwood Max FM marathon (thanks to the Penguin for the online support by the way!!!) We did do some talking up of your current projects (they weren't available in time for this year's show...) and featured your interview around "Looks At Bop". Since then the "Three Hearts" and "FM Years" have arrived here and we're givin' them both some spins! As for a live DVD - count me in! Continued best wishes, Todd Richards, host of "Fleetwood Max'03", Cleveland, OH, USA
Todd... Thanks for your support ! A Vito, Burnette, Welch etc. thing might be fun to do...but not practical, I don't think... Right now , all I'm focused on is promoting "FM Years...."
Ah-ha! I thought of another! There have been many albums released that I've found the tracking order to be a disadvantage to the listening experience. (the new Fleetwood Mac album is one) Where in the making of the album process do you start thinking about the tracking order and what songs should follow or lead into which? (Steve Denison, Long Beach, CA, USA)
Tracking order (or running order) was always very time consuming and frustrating because you got to hear how everything fit together, and if it didn't exactly...big problems !
Hi Bob,Just ordered a copy of "My Fleetwood Mac Years and Beyond". I love all the songs you chose for the collection. Would you elaborate on the process in picking the songs you did, and in particular "Oh Well" as it is a Peter Green song. Could you tell us a little bit about the making of the record; such as why you did it, any guest musicians, or special memories triggered while re-doing these classic songs. Thanks Bob! (Joe, Kentucky, USA)
Joe...A lot of what you ask I cover in detail on the liner notes for "FM Years And Beyond.." , i.e. reasons why I did it, why "Oh Well" etc. Since you're getting the CD (thanks ! ;-) could we let the liner notes answer those ?
Hi Bob, I love "Did You Ever Love Me"? Can you tell me a little bit about writing this song with Christine? Why did Bob Weston do the vocals instead of you? And, why didn't you and Christine write more songs together? (Mary Anne, Harleysville, PA, USA)
Christine and I wrote together if it happened to occur...It wasn't planned out that we would write a certain number of songs together.
I understand that the two Paris albums are available from a European label. Has there been any talk between you and the powers that be at One Way concerning the release of these titles in North America? (Ian, Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada)
No. But One Way does re-release a lot of "catalog" so they could very well do it at some point....
Are you still friends with the group? (William Needham, Little Compton, RI, USA)
I am now, yes. I talk to Mick and Stevie frequently.
Hello Bob...thanks for round 2. When you were living at Benifold and writing and rehearsing with F-Mac, was there a lot of recording being done. I'm talking about recording of jams, working out songs, demos ect. I don't understand how there is an unlimited amount of material being recycled from all periods of the band but that one. You can't even find bootlegs from that time and you played a lot of shows. My other question is, I've read that Danny Kirwan's song demos were very complete. Did he record bass or drum parts on them or just guitar. When he presented songs to the band, did he have parts for everyone or did you and the others have freedom to create your own parts. Thanks for you time...... (Terry, Avon, CO, USA)
I'm sure we recorded a lot of stuff, rehearsals, song workups etc....I have no idea where any of it is. Or, IF any of it is. My era is getting to be the unknown period in FM history. Maybe that's why the RRHOF overlooked it, because except for the actual released records....it doesn't exist ! Welcome to the X-Files ;-) Maybe the people who were at those shows never recorded bootlegs because they were too "hypnotized" by the music ;-) ??
A non-FM question for you. I saw one of your solo shows in the late '70's at Empire Stadium in Vancouver, BC, Canada (an outdoor show). Also on the bill were the Little River Band and Heart. I was particularlly impressed by the level of musicianship and the great dynamics of your band. Any chance you can recall who the musicians were in the group at that point? I still vividly remember the concert and have always wondered who the heck was in your band. (...and I guess sometimes I think us sideman guys just don't get enough credit...) Thanks for the inspiration. (Alan Medcalf, Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada)
It was Todd Sharp guitar, either Chad Perry, or Brad Palmer, bass, Dave Addlestein Keys, Lee Rybacek or Dean Hagen drums, Donny Francisco or Ron Green vocals and percussion. Beautiful city, Vancouver !
Hey Bob! In Hypnotized you talk about a strange pond in North Carolina. What's the story behind it, and where's it supposed to be? A curious North Carolinian... (Louie Golden, Charlotte, NC, USA)
A guy that I used to work with from Winston-Salem told me the story of he and some friends riding dirt bikes 20 miles or so out in the woods when they came upon a strange "crater" in the ground with smooth sides like melted glass. It was a "pond" in the sense that there was some rainwater in it I guess.
Bob,im just beginning to discover your solo material.I recently found the ''Bob Welch'' record.I think its a nice record but not the best. Which of your records would you most recommend for me to try next? (Bryan Michael Keehan, Limerick, Ireland)
I'd suggest getting one of the compilations "Bob Welch; His Fleetwod Mac Years And Beyond", or "Bob Welch Greastes Hits", or "The Best Of Bob Welch". It also depends on what you like; some of my records, i.e. "Paris" or "The Other One" were a lot "tougher" than others "Paris" for example is "hard rock" whereas "French Kiss" is "pop" with a slight edge. Hope this helps..
Thanks for doing your second Q & A. I have a couple of questions
When you signed your solo album deal back in the seventies, did Warners try to sign you as well as RCA. If they did what made you go with RCA in preference to Warners and any other labels that tried to sign you? I read that Mick Fleetwood was your manager around the time of French Kiss, how long did you remain signed with Mick Fleetwood, did you part ways around the same time as Mick gave up managing FM. Was it also coincidence that you were signed to RCA as was Mick's solo deal? All the best. (Neil, UK)
Mick and I both had the same attorney at the time...and he got us the RCA deals. I honestly don't know if there were any other deals out there or not....in those days, I just went on my attorneys recommendations, something I'd never do now ! I don't remember Warners ever wanting to sign me.
Bob, I have always loved "Thoughts on a Grey Day" from Bare Trees. I'm sure it was done as a filler at the end of the album but it was a great idea. Whose idea was it, who was the lady and what was it really her poem? (Todd Adams, Bridgeton, NJ, USA)
The lady I believe was named "Mrs Scarrot" , and she lived not far from "Benifolds" , within walking distance actually. It was Micks idea to get her on tape reading her poetry about "trees so bare, so bare..." etc. We just paid her a visit with a cassette tape recorder. At least I think I remember going over there....
Hi, Bob ... tell me, if you could change one thing during '73 & '74 that mostly led to your "burn out," what would it be? Next, if you knew then what you know now, would you have changed the course of that grind to stay with FM, or was it ultimately the best thing for you that you left? Thanks so much. Take care! (Tim Bucci, Springfield, IL, USA)
If I had stayed, I'd probably be long dead...As it is, I missed out on superstardom, but I'm still alive.
Hello Bob! Only recently have I been listening to and loving the albums pre BN and I have to say I have found your work to be the most inspiring of them all, I love your voice and would love to see a bit more recognition for thw work between 71 and 74 which never seems to get covered on any greatest hits packages, so a big thanks for doing your new CD, My question is which of your albums after FM would you reccomend to a fan of your fm work who has heard very little of your solo work. (Mike, Liverpool, Merseyside, UK)
Get 1 of the compilations; "FM Years And Beyond", "Best Of Bob Welch", or "Bob Welch Greatest Hits". "Greatest Hits" is mostly singles and b-sides. "Best Of..." includes solo and Paris stuff , but no Mac. "FM Years..." has Mac and solo stuff, but no "Paris".
Hello Mr. Welch! First off, I must say THANK YOU for your many years of hard work in Fleetwood Mac. It has not gone over looked. Did you get to hear Stevie's solo album "Trouble in Shangri-La" and what did you think? (Alex Navarro, Miami, FL, USA)
I don't own a copy of "Shangri -La"....... I think I have a copy of one of the single remixes...
I first saw you with FM in 71 at an outdoor concert in Speyer Germany. Just a kid then but blown away by your work with the band. In fact I consider that line up to have been the best. Saw FM last night in St Louis...okay but no Bob Welch. Do you produce for other acts...if ever in Nashville, I would love to come to hear you play again....just five hours from my house but worth the drive. (Jim Hettler, O'Fallon, IL, USA)
Yes, I remember that German tour ! The windshield of our rented Mercedes blew out on the autobahn and scared us all to death...Lucky we wern't all killed, because we were going very fast....
Hi, Bob, thank you for returning for a second Q&A. I have no questions this time around (you answered several for me last time). I just want to let you know that during the Blackout last Thursday, I had to walk from Midtown Manhattan to my apartment in Queens, a trip that took 90 minutes in sweltering heat and humidity. I had my headphones, though, and in my Discman was the new re-release of Three Hearts. It kept me calm and put me in a great mood on my trek. I have all of your albums on some format or other, and while I have never preferred one over any other, I now have a new appreciation for Three Hearts!
By the way, earlier in the day, I heard the new CD for the first time and loved it! Miles Away and Silver Heels have always been among my favorite Mac tunes, and it is great to hear them revisited. Thank you! (Jonathon Donahue, New York City, NY, USA)
I feel for you ...! Stuff like the blackout, and even worse, 911, makes you realize just how precarious and delicate our civilization is. Can you imagine if they said, "sorry folks, the power's never coming back on...Everybody get a job where you live and start riding horses!" .. No electricity....no nothin' !
I'm curious as to why you didn't do "The Green Manalishi" on the new CD. I've always thought your performance of that song was amazing. (Steve MacDougall, Dayton, Ohio, USA)
Thanks... If this CD does well, I may do more stuff like it, who knows, I may cover all the Pete Green songs I did while in the Mac; Manalishi, Rattlesnake Shake" , Stop Messin'' Round, Black Magic Woman etc. etc.
Thanks so much for coming back to do another q and a session for us on the Penguin. Like Steve Denison, I would LOVE to hear your "Surf's Up". I am a great Beach Boys fan=:-)Is there any way it will be on an album someday?
I know little about the Mac before Stevie and Lindsey because I became a fan in 1979, when I heard the Tusk album, so please forgive my ignorance-but "Stringalong" on The Chain box set is your song, right? Which album was it on? I love it, as I do "Hypnotized". (Vianna, Alexandria, VA, USA)
Hi Vianna....I remember you name from the '99 Q&A....
I've became a FM fan when you joined the band, and while I still enjoyed their records after you left, it just wasn't the same. I followed your post-Mac career and loved both the Paris albums. I was lucky enough to see you in 1978, when you played a stadium show here in Kansas City. I remember you freaked out the crowd, as it was a VERY stormy summer afternoon and the sky had turned a nasty shade of green. You stepped up to the mike and remarked how much you'd like to see a tornado! Well, to the people who live in tornado alley, it sounded like a wish. Luckily, towards the end of your set the sun broke though the clouds and it was nice the rest of the day. Anyway, I had a couple of questions:
1) What was it like opening for Deep Purple back in 72/73? Did you hang out with them much or get to know them? Ever go out front and watch their set? Were there any onstage or off jams between the various musicians?
2) As a fan primarily of the FM studio albums, I couldn't understand how well FM could have handled a Purple crowd. Well, I recently got a couple of bootlegs from the 1974 tour and if you were playing the same kind of guitar in '72 that you play on these shows, it's a wonder Ritchie would follow you onto a stage. You are simply amazing on these shows.I had no idea you could play the blues so well, not to mention the rocking versions of Green Manalishi, Hypnotized, Sentimental Lady and Angel. I don't know why you'd have ever needed another guitarist, because you hold it all together very well.
3) With Heroes Are Hard To Find, you released the 9th FM album. Were there any plans to release a live set anytime while you were with the band? Some descriptions of the boots I have call them recorded for the planned live album. The setlist certainly represents a better slice of history of the band than anything they ever performed with Lindsey and Stevie. One of the boots I have is from the Record Plant and is recorded in front of a small audience in the radio station. It almost sounds like a rehearsal for the tour. The other one is in a much larger hall, with a very supportive audience. In both shows you simply smolder on the guitar. It's so good I have to ask that if you could turn up the heat like this as a 4 piece + guest, what the hell did you guys sound like with Danny or Bob Weston onstage as well? Are there any officially recorded 1970-1974 era FM gigs "in the vault" somewhere? If a live album was really discussed, did they ever get around to taping some complete shows? That would be an awesome project, if you could get the suits in charge to give you access to the vaults for a few weeks and let you mix down and produce a 71-74 box set, not unlike Bob Fripp did with the 73-74 era Crimson shows. Anyway, I've rambled on way too long. You're a great musician, writer, arranger, singer, etc. Thanks for bringing a lot of sunshine, rain, mysteries and the odd tornado into my life. I wish you all the best, for you and those you love. (Jim Collins, Leavenworth, KS, USA)
I think I remember that gig...Could it have been Arrowhead Stadium ? Now that I've lived in Nashville for 10 years, I don't take tornados lightly anymore...especially with the weather here in the past few years....seems like "tornado alley" may be moving south ;-) One completely trashed downtown Jackson TN about 6 months ago. So I apologize for my youthful enthusiasm for bad weather ! I can now say I NEVER want to see a Tornado !