Bob Welch, November 8 - 21, 1999

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What other types of music do you listen to currently ? Which other artists have you worked with recently ? (Damon Garascia, Ferndale, Michigan, USA)

Hi Damon..

At the moment I like the new Phil Collins "big band" CD (gawd what a drummer he is !), Limp Bizkit, Sixpence None The Richer, The Goo-Goo Dolls, Jewel, Korn, The Chili Peppers and of course, "B Welch Looks At Bop"! I also like Bela Fleck, Dave Matthews Jay Z, and Wyclef Jean and Erica Badyu (sp).

Recently I had a song on Kenny Rogers last album, "Across My Heart" which I co-wrote with Jim Weatherly, the guy who wrote "Midnite Train To Georgia", "Neither One Of Us Can Be the First To Say Goodbye, and "Wishing On Someone Else's Star" among many others. I've also been working with Amanda Hunt Taylor, who wrote "Your Love Amazes Me",and with Roger Dillon who wrote "Sticks And Stones". I've also been heavily involved with the Nashville Songwriters Association, (soon to be the National S. Assoc.) and have done some fundraisers for them, where we had,among others, Billy Braddock, Trey Bruce and John Bettis , who wrote "Slow Hand" and about 10 of the Carpenters hits.

I've also occasionally "jammed" with Billy Bunette's band, (when the ever lovely and talented ;-) Todd Sharp was playing with him) and recently my old friend and producer Jeff Baxter and I have jumped on respective stages together here in town. I've also stared up at, (but not played with), the young and multitalented Rick Vito, who also lives here in N'Ville. As you may have guessed, Nashville is guitar player/songwriter/singer HEAVEN ! ;-)

Hello Bob. It's great to have this opportunity to talk with you online. After so many years without hearing from you,this year has been like hitting paydirt. Your new album, plus I was able to transfer your LPs to CD a few months back.I couldn't wait to get some new music from you. You have always written about things that are topical, so I'm not really surprised with lyrics such as in "Hustler". I don't play it around the kids though.

Musically I think the sound is a nice fit for you. Quite natural. Will you be making more recordings like this in the future? Please say you won't take so long before the next album! I can only assume that the labels are responsible for the long lapse in recordings. And it's a shame. What have you been doing since the last record?

I think it was EYE CONTACT.Did you abandon music for a while or keep playing? For so long I heard nothing about your work at all. It was a hope of mine to see you possibly work with Fleetwood Mac after Lindsey departed, or in the early '90s.Would you ever consider that? I remember back in '82, the LIVE AT THE ROXY concert you did with them and others. It was great. I never had the RCA SelectaVision player but bought the disc anyway, thinking I might get one later. I was fortunate to be able to tape the Simulcast aired on the radio though. Concerning your back catalog...Are there any Paris CDs available anywhere? Could you bring us up to date on your plans? Thanks for taking the time to read and respond. (Timothy Kee, North Huntingdon, Pennsylvania, USA)

Hi Tim..

Thank you for your kind comments on my music, past and present. The new CD marks where I am right now. As I get older, and my beard turns white ;-) I only want do do projects under my own name that really spark me emotionally and artistically. So I don't know what I'll do next, except I can tell you it probably won't sound, ( or look) like Brittany Spears ! ;-) BTW that kid on "Hustler" is sad isn't he ?

The reason I'm starting to put out new stuff now, is the creative freedom the internet, and (yes, I'm sorry retro people, computers), allow us artists. I can do a lot of things, relatively inexpensively, that would have needed a fortune and a major record deal 10 years ago !

After "Eye Contact" I kind of went on the "skids". "Guns and Roses" were rehearsing in my garage, and I was being a very bad boy, very decadent, very cynical, VERY stoned. It was not a good time..

I actually offered to fill in for Lindsey temporarily when he quit in '90, but it didn't happen. There's no "Paris" stuff on CD as far as I know. Cheers !

Photo provided by Bob Welch
"All these guys weren't boppers so they had to go. Liked open 'E' chords only. Didn't want to play Be-bop"

Bob, I just want to say that I love the new C.D! You mentioned that your first love in music is Jazz, especially Be-bob. Is the the record you've always wanted to make, but never had the opportunity until now? (Damon Garascia, Ferndale, Michigan, USA)

Hi Damon--

I love that you like the new CD! The thing is, I loved jazz and Be Bop when I was growing up, but that was during the strong emergence of rock n roll, and among my contemporaries, "the jr. high school girls" as I say in the "liner notes", any kind of "jazz" was just TOTALLY UNCOOL. And we all want to be "cool", especially at 14, so I concentrated on learning how to play rock. It's still kinda the same way; "jazz" is sort of a dirty word and connotes (1) snotty intellectuals with horn rim glasses, (2) ugly, rambling music with no beat, and (3) Vegas type phoniness and ba-da-boom rimshots like on the Letterman show. But Damon, I aim to change all that !Are you with me! Be Bop lives in the 2000's! ;-) -- BW

Bob, I have been a fan for years. The new album is great. Have you had any discussions with Mick about releasing any of the rare tracks from 1970-1974 that never made it to a Fleetwood Mac album? (Bill, Bel Air, Maryland, USA)

I'm glad you like "Bop" ! It makes me happy that somebody can enjoy a completely "non-commercial, non-marketing oriented" record !

The way it looks now, I may never talk to Mick again about anything, unless he should happen to take some "human being lessons" and some "reality check classes". I WOULD like to talk to him, because I used to ENJOY talking to him; he's very bright and has a wonderfully skewed sense of humor. Unfortunately, his sense of humor didn't seem to extend to the money they owed me ! (Or maybe it did..now I get it ! It was all a joke!...;-) Seriously, the only thing I would imagine Mick is interested in releasing is (1) Anything with Pete Green on it and, (2) anything with Stevie and Lindsey on it... -- "Bop" Welch

Since the lawsuit in the early 1990s, have you been in contact with the other members of Fleetwood Mac? (Mark Trauernicht, Alexandria, Virginia, USA)

Hi Mark..

BTW thanks for your nice comments on my new CD ! I talk to Stevie once or twice a year, and always go to her show if she's in town... Of course my "beef" was not anything to do with Stevie or Lindsey anyway. I haven't talked to Mick, John, or Chris at all, and frankly don't expect to..

Will we ever get to hear that track that was left off of 'Mystery to Me', "Good Things (Come To Those Who Wait)"? (Mark Trauernicht, Alexandria, Virginia, USA)

Good Things" is owned by WB records, and if it was ever released, Mick , John Chris and I would have to mutually agree to it, and I don't think that's gonna happen anytime soon !;-) The tape's probably self-destructed by now anyway.. ;-)

Are there any plans to re-release the video presentation "Bob Welch at the Roxy" on videocassette or DVD? (Mark Trauernicht, Alexandria, Virginia, USA)

I don't even know at this point who owns the Roxy show.. As far as I know, no plans to release it on DVD... They probably wouldn't tell me if they did release it anyway ! ;-)

Who was "Avenue M", that band you recorded the one song with, for the Best of Bob Welch CD? Who were the other members? (Mark Trauernicht, Alexandria, Virginia, USA)

A question about Ave M ! I love it !

They were (or are, since as far as I know everybody's in good health) Bob Milan, formerly with heavy metal (!) band "Surgical Steel", Glenn DeJongh, sex maniac and formerly with Phoenix band "The Urge" and "Box Of Cherries", Fred Robinson, boy guitar genius formerly with (I forget !), and, chronologically, Fred Yates, and Kevin Ichrist on bass, and Dave Gambrel on guitar. All the guys were from Phoenix, and except for Fred Yates,(sorry Fred;-) ) They were all under 25 years old when we had the band. My age at the time shall remain clouded in mystery ! But I was a lot older than I feel today ! ;-)

Who did you enjoy working with and why? (Jocelyn, Ruidoso, New Mexico, USA)

I enjoyed working with Jeff Baxter, because he pushes you really hard artistically. Also Alvin Taylor, my "French Kiss" drummer, and of course Fleetwood Mac, back in the happy "good old days", BWAGBAT- "Before We All Got Bitter And Twisted". ;-)

Hello Bob!! I am a huge fan of yours. The first FM album I had in my collection was Mystery To Me. I have a few questions for you. 1. Are there any plans to release any of your pre Mac recordings on cd? 2. I have a cd of a sound check from 1974 called Bermuda Triangle great show. Can you shed some light on the court's ruling in the case involving Clifford Davis? 3. How can you be contacted? I would like to speak with you sometime. Thanks for your time. (Tom Kirby, Roswell, New Mexico, USA)

Hmmmm... Bermuda Triangle.....all these questions from Roswell, N.M.......is there a connection...? ;-)

As far as I know, there are no plans to release anything unreleased I did with FM.

The Clifford Davis thing was settled out of court, after much agony (and money paid to lawyers ) on both sides.

You can contact me at www.bobwelch.com! Cheers !

Hi again Bob-- I hope you don't mind another question. is the song "Good Things" recorded later as "Don't Wait Too Long" or are they 2 different songs? What do you remember from the Mystery To Me recording sessions? (Tom Kirby, Roswell, New Mexico, USA)

Tom.. I certainly don't mind another question, that's what I'm here for ! ;-) I'd be disappointed if there WERE no questions ! Can you imagine, a completely BLANK Q&A ? ;-)

"Good Things" and "Don't Wait Too Long" are essentially the same song, except the lyrics are somewhat different.The other difference is that Alvin Taylor plays drums on one, and Mick Fleetwood plays drums on the other.

What I remember about the "Mystery To Me" sessions is almost everything, so let me be selective;

  • It was a cold winter, and we used the Rolling Stones Mobile Unit to record.
  • I had to re write all of my songs, because , for instance, "Hypnotized" was intended to be sung by Dave Walker, who was "let go" (there really is no nice way to say it) because, although he was a great singer, we (belatedly) realized that he just stylistically didn't fit FM..
  • Those two guys in Pascagoula Mississippi Charles Hickson and ? had just reported on a major UFO encounter, and it was all over the TV for awhile. Part of that went into "Hypnotized".
  • Bob Weston was playing his "arse" off !
  • Mick copied my Maestro Rhythm machine part for "Hypno.." almost exactly... Mick's sense of tempo, in this day before drum machines, was almost perfect.
  • Christine was flirting, (to say the least) with the engineer/producer Martin Birch, which made for a toasty warm atmosphere and strong sensuous undercurrent during the recording of the whole album.
  • It was the "funnest" FM album I did (excuse the bad English)! ;-)

First of all, I wanted to say your stuff is great-especially "Revelation" and your work on Heroes Are Hard To Find. My question is: what were you saying in the very beginning of "Coming Home" off the Heroes Are Hard To Find Record? It's barely audible & I always wondered what it was. In conclusion, you're a cool and krazy guy and I hope you tour in the central PA area soon! (Brian, Cornwall, Pennsylvania, USA)

Hi Brian...

Thanks for liking "Revalation" ! Nobody seems to write a good ol' apocalyptic song anymore ! ;-)

On "Coming Home", what sounds like prophesying in an unknown language, is probably me talking to the dry cleaner or something. In those days, we all used to go around recording, sometimes surreptitiously, all kinds of normal conversations, people in restaurants, etc...stuff like that. This was in the days "Before Samples", or "B S". ;-) Some of those random conversations would be used on the records, "for effect". Or... I may have been saying something heavy and profound, which now escapes me, or telling the engineer to turn my headphones up....;-)

Place your order for Welch's solo album, Bob Welch Looks At Bop now ! The supply of these albums is limited and are in stock now. They are autographed by Bob Welch and are priced at $14.25 + $1.75 S/H. You can place your order for this album now in The Penguin Album Corner. Thanks!

Hi Bob, my question is if you ever had any regrets of any kind in Fleetwood Mac. For instance, when you know you've done your absolute best to get them further down the road, and the fanfare still isn't there. How was touring between 1972-1974 with them, was it still fun despite the fact that FM wasn't big in the states compared to what Stevie and Lindsey had done? Last do you plan to tour, if so, are there any east coast dates in mind? (Jeff Baer, Thorofare, New Jersey, USA)

Jeff...

I think in the "old days" it wasn't as much like today,(in the worst case scenario), where a band and a manager and some marketing guys sit around and say "how can we sell ten million copies of a product that will touch all the bases, get on all the talk shows, be featured in all the mags" etc. I had never seen or thought about a "gold record" until I saw Fleetwood Macs' for "Oh Well". I just wanted to see the world, and do music.

People often forget that FM were very popular in Europe before they were at all known in the US. My concern at the time was more how I could fill Pete Green and Jeremy Spencer's shoes, or more exactly was I expected to fill them. When I joined FM in '71, there was a LOT of publicity in England, where they had been pretty big "stars". Because they had lost their main creative force, Pete Green, the concern was not so much "how to stay famous", but "is there a musical reason for this band to continue to exist?"

Touring was a lot of fun; we played with Deep Purple, Savoy Brown Van Morrison, Alice Cooper( ! ) etc. only it was exhausting, because we would have ridiculous itineraries, like going from Tampa Fla to Seattle WA and back in 36 hours.

I don't have any plans to tour, but if my new CD does well, I'll think about it !

Will we ever see 'Bob Welch and Friends: Live From the Roxy' on CD or DVD? (Bob Vanderburgh, Huntington Beach, California, USA)

I don't know of any forthcoming release of "B Welch And Friends" in any format.

Hi Bob! In the mid-late 80's I read a series of books by Carlos Castaneda of the teachings of Don Juan. As I was reading them I kept thinking about "Hypnotized." Is there any correlation between that song and Castaneda? Those books really changed my life at the time and I've always wondered if they had any affect on yours as well. (Bear, Atlanta, Georgia, USA)

Yes, in fact Hypnotized was primarily inspired by Castanadas books, the Hickson Pascagoula Miss UFO sighting, some stories told to me by friends, and some personal experiences. Thanks for asking !

Hi, Bob...I hear Marty's already warned you about me, but trust me...I AM NOT A STALKER! :-) Here are the "first 10"...

LOVE the new CD...Its just a JOY to hear new material from you again. Enough said, on with the Spanish Inquisition.....

1) I notice there are no musician credits other than "Beegie Adair guest vocal"...was this album pretty much a "SOLO" album in the true sense? Did you do most of the instruments yourself? (ala Buckingham's "Out Of The Cradle"; Paul McCartney's "McCartney" album)

1a) Are you planning to get a band together and do a tour to back this album?

1b) Being as how you've been out of the public eye on a grand scale for a while, have you been playing live in public at ALL??? (small clubs, guest appearances, etc)

2) The cover states "His 1st NEW work since "French Kiss""...explain that please. Is the capitalization of the word "new" to throw us off? Did you really have 5 albums worth of material written during the French Kiss sessions? Or, is what you're saying that the material that followed the French Kiss album was a continuation of the pop sound of French Kiss and this is a whole new direction?

2b) Being a long-time fan, it was easily recognized that "Hustler" is a revamped "Silver Heels" from Heroes Are Hard To Find...was that "tip o' the hat" to the Fleetwood Mac days, or is there a hidden meaning that we can read into it in regards to how it seems you were treated by the band (or Mick specifically). WOW! I guess I should be a "tabloid journalist"! ;-)

3) Ok, now that I touched on that, we finally we get to the Fleetwood Mac questions :-)

I've got the original Mystery To Me album with "Good Things..." listed instead of "For Your Love". How different in arrangement is your "Don't Wait Too Long" on Three Hearts to the original "Good Things Come To Those Who Wait" from the Mystery To Me sessions?? (and will we ever get to hear the original version???)

4) Was re-recording "Sentimental Lady" for French Kiss YOUR idea or Mick's since he was your manager at the time?

5) WILL the two Paris albums and the two albums you did for RCA ever be officially released on CD? Is that in the works? Or do we need to inundate some executive's email box with that request?

6) Ok, I promise I'm not TRYING to be Jim Gray to your Pete Rose, and it seems to be a bit of a touchy topic, but I think it has to be asked...and I won't dwell on it in future query submissions...

What IS up between you & the rest of F-Mac, individually or collectively?

Its an understatement to say that I was OUTRAGED at your omission from being inducted into the R&R Hall Of Fame with them! Mick's been quoted as saying, "Bob Welch saved Fleetwood Mac" and I remember the whole "bogus band" fiasco (even had tickets for one of the bogus concerts, but thanks to an informed DJ on the radio, I didn't go). Was Mick's book accurate in telling the tale of those days? (there has been speculation of the accuracy of events recounted in there being overblown for "book sales").

It just seems like you were given the short end of the stick for all you did for the band; and now it seems (from a public standpoint) in the Fleetwood Mac camp, your a "person non grata". Would that be an accurate assumption? If you would, please explain your side of the story.

Ok, back to lighter topics...

7) Did you do an entire album with "Avenue M".

8) Between Avenue M & now, have you done an album (or albums) that never got released (I know that many artists seem to have that "long lost album"...for example, in last month's Q&A, Walter Egan said he had an entire album done but it never got released.)

9) After the hard rock excursion of the first Paris album, "Big Towne, 2061" seemed like "the missing link" between "Heroes Are Hard To Find" & "French Kiss"...was that a conscious switch in direction, or a "natural flow"?

10) Going "back to the beginning", its been documented that there was somewhat of a kind of "bad blood" between you and Danny Kirwan right from the start, yet "Future Games" & "Bare Trees" were EXCELLENT albums. Did the two of you collaborate on the guitar parts of each of your songs, or did you do the parts yourselves and have to learn the parts for the live situation? And what was the reality of the vibe between you & Danny.

10b) During those early tours, who sang the Peter Green material, you or Danny? Were any shows from those days "officially" taped for a possible live album?

11) (ok a "bonus question" for now..."see it goes to eleven, that's one louder") I have a tape of a "King Biscuit" show back from 1974...on the tape you introduce Bobby (somebody or other) as playing 2nd keyboards...when I got to see the taping of the Don Kirshner show a guy named Doug Graves. Were these guys "add ons" to fill out the sound for the tour or official members? On the TV show, Don Kirshner introduced Doug Graves as being "the newest member"...just wondering. OH, and when I saw you at the Long Beach Arena in December of '74, which if my chronology is correct, your last show with the band (?). There was yet a different guy playing the B-333 and synth parts.

Thanks for taking your precious time to answer our questions here. And, once again, I can hardly express how glad I am to be able to listen to a "brand new Bob Welch album" again!

Less controversial questions next time, I promise! (Steve Denison, Long Beach, California, USA)

Marty DID warn me about you, but not so much as a "stalker" but as an essayist, a regular Ralph Waldo Emerson of questioners ! ;-) Do you by any chance teach school ? (I noticed the".edu" in your address) If not, you should ! You'd give great test ! ;-) To begin at the beginning, point by point:

1. Glad to hear you like the new CD. I had been afraid it might be too left field for people !

2. "Bop" has a "cast of thousands", with all kinds of talented people appearing on it, many of whom I've never met, or been in the same room with...Is that cryptic? ;-) Thanks to modern technology, I did a lot of things "long distance", i.e. my friend in Florida would send me a vocal which I'd use in a totally different context from the one he'd sung to. So no, it's not a "solo" album in the sense that I played all the instruments myself. What I DID do myself, is put all the elements together. Beegie Adair is a very talented jazz pianist who has her own albums out. She only did one short part, but don't she sound sweet ? ;-)

I'd maybe get a band together to play live if the CD does well. So here's hoping.....;-)

The last time I did an actual "tour" was when I had Avenue M in 1990. I jump up on a lot of stages in Nashville and "sit in" and stuff, do fundraisers for NSAI (National Songwriters Assoc.) etc. I did a TV shot a couple of years ago on "Prime Time Country" where I sang a few songs. Jeff Baxter got me on stage with him and Bobby Cochran for a Gibson guitar "who can play Twist and Shout the longest" marathon for charity awhile ago. I go down to Jacks Karioke bar every Friday nite...just kidding ! ;-)

Steve, I love your reason why "1st new CD since French Kiss" is on the cover ! You could be right ! Notice I say, "1st new WORK since French Kiss". This could imply that the albums after French Kiss were "fun", but the new CD was "work" !;-) Or it could be just a cheap marketing trick to get people to recognize the word "French Kiss", because not a whole lot of people have ever heard of "Eye Contact"! Or it could be a misprint...or... ;-)

Really, the only" hidden" meaning in the "Hustler"/"Silver Heels" combo is that "Silver Heels" was about 1974 style decadence, and "Hustler" is about 1990's style decadence. "Don't Wait Too Long" is very similar to "Good Things" on the Mac album, except that the lyrics are different.

Somebody would need to inundate executives mailboxes to get the Paris and RCA records on CD. For all I know, they've burned the masters. (although Paris has a sort of following in Japan)

What's up between me and the other members of FM is, I talk to Stevie and Bob Weston fairly frequently, don't talk to Mick, John or Chris at all since the lawsuit.

The RnR hall of fame thing hurt my feelings, naturally, but I think Mick would've done that even before the lawsuit. Here's why; Mick (and John, and Chris) associate Pete Green with the high flying glory days of their youth, when FM was first breaking out in Europe. They associate Stevie and Lindsey, naturally enough, with the most glamorous, successful and exciting period in FMs' history, when FM became worldwide stars. They associate MY 5 years with the band, in contrast, with a very difficult time emotionally, which it was; losing Pete Green, having to redefine what their music would be, the Davis lawsuit etc. Even though the band survived because of what we went through in that period, it's not pleasant to think about for them,and so they DON'T think about it and pretend it doesn't exist. Of course I'm sure Stevie and Lindsey think all this b.s is pretty irrelevant , which it is, for them. Gee I'm starting to sound like Xavier Pacheco ! ;-) Stevie has always been great to me BTW... My beef with Mick, John, and Chris had absolutely nothing to do with her, or Lindsey.

'Xcuse me while I go put some Ben-Gay on my typing arm ! ;-)

Avenue M never did a whole album, just that 1 song on "Best Of..".

After the 1st hard rock Paris album, everybody in FM was so critical of it, (like, "Bob how could you lower yourself to do that Led Zeppelin crap?") that I got cold feet on the hard rock approach. I was so easily led then ! ;_)

Danny Kirwan was a wonderful musician, and we had no problem there at all. It was just his personality, (he was "ill" I think, even then) In the end, Danny was making all of us feel very uncomfortable. But he was a talented, gifted musician, almost equal to Pete Green in his beautiful guitar playing and faultless string bends.

I always sung the Pete Green stuff on tour. I used to say that I've probably sung "Oh Well" live more often than Pete Green himself did .....I only know of one show that was taped, and I own it and may eventually release it if I can get Mick, John, and Chris to agree, which is unlikely...

No "official" tapes that I know of, meaning that WB paid for.

Bobby Hunt on keyboards was my old friend from "The Seven Souls" r and b band days. The late Doug Graves was an engineer during the "Heroes Are Hard To Find" record, who we hired to play keys during the last half of that tour. Nobody else played B3 while I was with the band.

And now, Steve, I must have a tiny glass of wine and I'll talk to you all again tomorrow ! ;-) 'Nite....

What has been your greatest contribution to Fleetwood Mac? and how do you feel about the poor judgement of the Rock n' Roll Hall Of Fame excluding you as a member of Fleetwood Mac? (Anonymous)

I talked about the rock n roll HOF thing in an earlier question; please take a look at that ....;-)

I think my contribution to FM,looking back, is that I helped them redefine their sound they had lost their founding member. And, I helped them survive, as a working band, long enough to get to LA (it was my suggestion that we move there) and get a new deal on WB separate from their former manager Clifford Davis.

Looks At Bop

Congratulations on your latest release! I'd really like to know anything you can remember about the writing and recording of "Did You Ever Love Me" from Fleetwood Mac's Penguin. Was that song a result of a jam between you and Christine? Did one of you write the lyrics and the other music? It's a great track and I think it would be a great cover for somebody to do today. And the steel drums...I believe that's the only time Fleetwood Mac has ever done that... (Raven, Cold Spring, New York, USA)

If I remember right, "Did You Ever Love Me" started with me, Chris and Bob Weston sort of "noodling" around. Chris came up with an interesting keyboard part, and the we worked the lyric out over several more days. It was a true collaboration, where you can't easily separate everything out.. Yeah, I wish somebody would cover it ! Mick probably still has those steel drums in storage somewhere. He always liked unusual percussion instruments. Cheers!

What was your inspiration for "Sentimental Lady?" I first heard this song on The Chain box set and it got me very interested in pre-Buckingham Nicks Fleetwood Mac. Thanks for all of your great music! (Erin, Spokane, Washington, USA)

Thank you for your interest ! "Sentimental Lady" was based on one of those messy girlfriend/boyfriend breakups, that you later wish hadn't happened, and you're sitting alone, wishing it had been different! Hope that's not too depressing ! ;-)

Hi Bob, thank you so much for doing this! I love your songs - Hypnotized and Ebony Eyes are two of my all-time favorites. With that said, I was wondering if you are to say which album you like the best of the ones you did with FM? Which one you feel you did the best work on, or you enjoyed the most. Or is it impossible to say? Also, do you have any comments on how you feel that the departure of Danny Kirwan affected the band? Thanks! (Sara, Charlotte, North Carolina, USA)

Thank you for your kind comments about my songs ! The "Mystery To Me" album stands out as the most "solid" album, all the way through, that I did with FM. I guess you could say it was my "Rumours" ! ;-) By that I don't mean I don't think that the other albums are good, just that "Mystery..." is the one I'd take with me to a "desert island"... Also, it was, for some reason, the "funnest" (excuse my English) album to make....

Danny Kirwan was a brilliant musician, and he was the true Pete Green "student" in the band. When he left, FM lost a certain "lyricism" that they wouldn't get back till Stevie Nicks. Danny was almost "womanly", and I mean that in the BEST sense, in his musical emotions. There was nothing "macho" or" rough" about him. It's a shame that he sits in public wards now, his talent wasted !

Hello, Bob! First let me say that your music is truly awesome! What are your plans for the near future? Are you planning a tour? Another new studio album? (If so, would it be more bop or a different style?) If given the opportunity, would you be interested in working on another studio album with Fleetwood Mac? (Hint, hint...) Thanks, and keep up the GREAT work! (John Mauro, Almond, New York, USA)

Thanx for your nice review of my new CD! I'm not planning a tour...Maybe if the CD does real well ! I don't think I'd do another "Bop" album again, because I'm not really a jazz musician, I'm really just a BE-Bop FAN ! I'll certainly be doing another studio album at some point though. It'd be fun to be in the studio with FM, but I don't think that's likely to happen, given that I don't speak to Mick, John, or Chris. Maybe me, Lindsey, Stevie, Billy Burnette, and Rick Vito should form a band...we could call it the "Ex-Macs"!

Did you make any music videos during the early 1980's? Also were you in Lindsey Buckingham's "Trouble" video as one of the guitar playing individuals? (K.E. Gil, Los Angeles, California, USA)

Hi K.E.--

Yes, I did "Bob Welch And Friends Live At The Roxy" in 1981, and there are several videos of my hits, "Ebony Eyes" etc.

Thanks for the great musical memories. Is there any chance of you playing with Mick, John and Chris again ? Id love to hear a new live version of "Hypnotized" or "Sentimental Lady". (Dave Podolske, Round Lake Beach, Illinois, USA)

Right now me, and Mick , John and Chris have not spoken in 5 years. That may never change ! I may someday re-record "Hypnotized" etc on my own...

What was Stevie Nicks like? I hear she was very funny, is that true? Are you a fan of her music? Did you two ever date? Have you spoken to her recently? What did you think of Fleetwood Mac after you left and it turned from blues to the way it is now? Thanks. (Melissa, Hemet, California, USA)

Yes, Stevie has a great sense of humor..she always has a "twinkle" in her eye ! We never dated, although I would sometimes hang out at her house, often with my girlfriend along. Stevie seemed to like to have a lot of people, other musicians etc. around.

I'm a big fan of her music.... I think she's one of the most UNIQUE writer/singers ever ! I spoke to her last time she was through Nashville, maybe 6 months ago....

Fleetwood Mac was already making the change from straight blues to the more harmony vocal type sound when I was in the band. In fact, I think I helped them do that.. Thanks for your question !

Hi Bob! Thanks so much for doing this Q&A! I love your new CD, and I especially love your work with Fleetwood Mac. Do you have any favorite song or album from your Mac days? Also, have you ever considered teaming up with any of the old Mac members for an album or some other project? You and Christine together wrote some of the best songs Fleetwood Mac has ever had, and you and Bob Weston complemented each other on the guitar beautifully. Thanks a lot! (Jim, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, USA)

I'm so glad you like my new CD! It means everything to an artist to get that kind of feedback, to know you've "connected"!

My favorite song that I wrote from the old days is "Hypnotized". It had the "magic". My favorite song from before me is "Oh Well" and "Black Magic Woman", Pete Greens tunes. My favorite Christine song from the old days is probably "Jumping At Shadows" and " Come A Little Bit Closer" (cause I LOVE "overproductions"! ;-). Thanks for your compliments about me and Christine! I don't see us ever working together again....they dislike me because I sued them, and I dislike Mick John and Chris, on that level, because I felt they "blew me off" and treated me as a non-entity, "less-than", and didn't try to work things out when they could have. So it's all a matter of attitude. Now were like one big DYSFUNCTIONAL family ! ;-) Bob Weston and I are still good friends, and I agree; I love Bob's guitar playing !

Hello Bob...Thank you for taking the time to do this Q&A with us fans!! I must tell you how much I love Come Softly To Me,what was it like in the studio working with Christine? Would you ever work with Christine again? When you redid Sentimental Lady,what was it like to work with Lindsey Buckingham? Which Fleetwood Mac album (that you worked on) is your favorite? Who is the lady on the French Kiss album cover? It was great talking to you and I'll probably visit again !!! Take Care..... (Christa, West Haven, Connecticut, USA)

So many questions, so few typing fingers ! ;-)

Christine is a total "professional" in the studio; she usually knows what she wants something to sound like, and works till she gets it. I'd love to work with Christine again, but unfortunately we don't speak anymore.

That's Lindsey playing the "chiming" intro guitars on "Sentimental Lady". He's great to work with, because he has a unique "vision" and he persists and persists until what he's hearing matches his "vision". He's also a fantastic guitar player; I've never seen anybody play with an "index finger" the way he does...

The lady on the French Kiss cover is "Ellie Siebert", who at the time was a model at Neiman Marcus in Dallas, and the wife of the Capitol Records regional promotion man Mike Siebert.

What was your reason for a change in musical direction (and hairstyle) for your self entitled LP for RCA Records in 1981. Gone were your hypnotic vocals and idiosyncratic songs and in general were replaced by pop songs that were not written by you. The album is OK, but it has what I call a "homogenous" feel to it......was this done on purpose?

Did the album or the song, "Imaginary Fool" chart or become a hit album in Japan? The reason I'm asking this is because, I recall that the album was re-released in Japan on CD format under the name "Bob Welch / Imaginary Fool". (K.E. Gil, Los Angeles, California, USA)

You asked some pointed questions and it gives me a wonderful excuse for a small "rant", and so if you'll permit me, ahem...cough..;-)

By the time I got to the "Bob Welch" album, I was fried emotionally from all the record company politics of the preceding 5 years. I remember a promotion man at Capitol records in the back room at a radio station, cutting a deal for the Knacks soon to be released "My Sharona", while my album was still on the charts ! Essentially what the guy was telling the station program director, was that the Welch album was "history", and that Capitol was betting all their new marbles on "The Knack" and the whole "new wave" thing.The attitude was, at the companies, "dinosaur" rock is OVER, (this INCLUDED Fleetwood Mac) and the new thing, for the "kids", was gonna be new wave, epitomized by The Knack, Pat Benatar, Sex Pistols etc.

This was the EXACT reason that Lindsey did "Tusk", changed HIS hairstyle, and made FM's music sound rougher and more harsh than it had been on "Rumours" and the "White Album". We were all under the same pressure, from the record companies, and the notoriously trend oriented "critics", to be "hip" and to get on board the new thing, or be thought of as laughable old dinos.

The music BUSINESS is a cold blooded business K.E., the competition among the record companies is fierce, and they way they survive is on a new trend coming around every couple of years, although today it seems there's a new trend every month! ;-)

At RCA records, when I signed with them, my main "rival" for record company promotion dollars was the ever suave, (and he is a nice guy) Rick Springfield, who had the double barreled promotion of also being a TV star. To justify my record deal, which was brand new, I had to "play politics", meaning do the songs the company suggested, play ball with the "higher ups", in hopes that they would push my record a little. There are some songs on the "Bob Welch" album, that although I worked very hard on them, I would have NEVER recorded if I had been more secure and/or hardheaded.. The haircut goes along with all that....survival, in a "corporate" sense...

Thank God I don't have to live that way now ! The "homogenous" sound you mention is the sound of politics !;-) As far as I know, "Imaginary Fool" was not a big hit in Japan... Thank ya for getting my morning going ! ;-)

I hear that your friend Jeff Baxter is running for Congress out in California. That is very cool. What's up with that? Will he follow through with it? (Ernie Fuhr, Rockford, Illinois, USA)

I think Baxter will follow through if he gets the support he needs from his district. He probably will, he's a relentless worker...

Bob, I'm glad you kept your sense of humor through it all.I never knew about the troubles you had in the '80s, or the Mick Fleetwood rift.I hope you guys do come to terms. I thought it was odd that when Peter Green decided to record and tour again that he didn't include Mick, since he seemed to be the one who encouraged Pete the most to get back to work. Do you have any more you can tell us about recording and touring in the days when it was still fun? (Timothy Kee, North Huntingdon, Pennsylvania, USA)

Yeah, the late 80's was a "tale of woe" for me, but it builds character ! ;-) I was in a coma at Cedars Sinai in LA from heroin abuse, and six months after I recovered from that, I got busted for "possession". I was smart enough to see the writing on the wall and changed all my friends, and kicked myself in the ...... It's a common enough story, but it's still not easy, especially if you've done it to YOURSELF !

I don't know if Mick and I will ever talk again. As far as Peter Green and Mick go, my IMPRESSION, and it's just my opinion, is that although Pete Green is a lot better than he was, he still is not really making all his own decisions...somebody else, ( who I can't name) is doing that for him, putting his bands together etc. It seems to me that Pete just sort of goes along for the ride, in a daze. When Pete did this Q&A, it was sort of obvious to me that he wasn't answering the questions, but somebody else was doing it for him, at least partially. Like I said though, this is only my IMPRESSION, and I could be wrong.

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