Bob Welch, November 8 - 21, 1999
Hello Bob!! Thanx a lot for sharing your music with us through the years and for your time now!
-Take a look at your discography page listed in the Penguin. Is there any other record you have played on that we don´t know about?
-Can you tell me about your meeting with Bob Weston for the video Live at The Roxy? Wasn´t he living in Europe at the time? Have you talked to him after that?
-Is it true that you were thinking of playing and recording with Lee Michaels around 1974? Are there any tape of that?
-Who was and what has become of Carter?
-Listening to the Headwest album (except for "Czar", which is a very mystical track), one feels it is a very different stuff to that of Future Games and your albums with the Mac. How did your style developed so fast? What has become of Henry Moore and Robert Hunt?
- What do you remember about your period in Madrid?
-...And Finally, What can you tell us about the lyrics of Bright Fire (Maybe my favourite one)? (Daniel Galera, Madrid, Spain)
Daniel, I think Marty's discography is up to date...He might have missed the "Bruce Channel" (of Hey.. Hey.. Baby...fame) version of my song with Jim Weatherly, "Find A Litte Grace"...
Hi Bob. I find your Q&A very interesting. Being a VERY big Stevie fan, as well as FM fan since the early 70's, I was fascinated by your description of what it was like being around Mick, John and Chris. Stevie always said that her life was made miserable while she was in FM and pursuing her very successful solo career at the same time. I always assumed it was Lindsey who created this situation for her, but do you think the rest of them also treated her badly? She also used to always say how much fun they all had together, so it's a bit confusing.
Also, what did you think about Stevie's "personal" relationship with Mick? Were you aware of it at the time? That's one I find very hard to swallow. Did Lindsey really treat her as badly as they say?
Thanks for answering these questions. I especially enjoyed hearing about the incident where Stevie got on stage to tell off those critics. Any more good Stevie stories you can share? (Carol, Campbell, California, USA)
Thanks for doing this Q and A. I'm a huge fan of yours and I'm thrilled you have a new album out. I have a few questions for you..... I recently bought the CD "Stone Alone" by Bill Wyman. I heard you were on it so I had to have it! I enjoyed your guitar parts on it. What was it like to work with Bill Wyman? I was also wondering about the album "The Other One" This is a great album! "Rebel Rouser" and "Watch The Animals" are standouts on it. The album as a whole seemed more raw than "French Kiss" or "Three Hearts". I know I had a question in here, oh yeah, did you play lead guitar on "The Other One" or was it the lovely and talented Todd Sharp??? And I was also wondering about the song "Oh Jenny". I was curious if that song was about Mick Fleetwood's wife Jenny Boyd?? You'll probably be hearing more from me soon. I'm full of Bob Welch questions ;) Keep up the good work Bob. (David Gaines, Norwalk, California, USA)
Bill Wyman was very professional, and at a time when everybody else at those sessions, which included Steve Stills, Dallas Taylor, me, (the late) Nicky Hopkins, Tom Johnston etc were completely wacked out on drugs, Bill seemed completely straight. Of, "sex. drugs and rock n roll", my impression was that Wymans first choice was SEX. ;-)
One last short battery of queries before I give you a break from me for the weekend! ;-)
There's some conflicting reports about your leaving Fleetwood Mac and Lindsey & Stevie joining. The basic story is that Stevie & Lindsey were asked to join BECAUSE you left. Others intimate of the possibility that they would've been asked to join even if you hadn't left. Did you know of them before you left Fleetwood Mac? Had Mick mentioned them at all to you, since he'd obviously had met them and heard them while doing his "studio search" before you made your decision to leave?
Ok, and now one about "Be-Bop"....I haven't had the time to sit down and play along with it yet. Did you play the new tunes in "horn" keys (Bb, Eb, etc), or did you use "guitar" keys (E, A, G, etc)? What ARE your favorite keys to play in?
Have a great weekend..."talk" to ya again next week. My continued thanks for taking the time to appease our curiosities of you & your life and your music. (Steve Denison, Long Beach, California, USA)
Steve, I'm typing this on Tuesday, after a long weekend......of typing ! ;-) Lord have mercy, y'all are sure workin' me ! ;-)
Hi Bob, I like your new CD very much. The first thing I noticed. You still play a mean guitar. I liked Hustler best of all. I listened to it and said I've heard this before. Very good. I like the fact that you weren't afraid to be different.
My first Mac album was Mystery to Me. To this day it's still my favorite. Who came up with the album cover concept?
The song 'Why', is my all time favorite. I've seen different song writing credits. Did Chris write that or you?
I saw you and FM on late night a long time ago doing Bermuda Triangle. Have you or other members had any experiences with UFOS? There is an area, in Colorado, that is very Roswell-like.
I don't want to flood you with questions. After being a fan of your music for so long I can't believe I'm doing this! Take care and stay away from temptation. (Chris Diviney, Fort Lupton, Colorado, USA)
The cover of MTM was done by an artist who I think was a friend of Mick's sisters husband. I think we all sort of threw ideas at the artist, and that's what he came up with and we liked it. The meaning I think was sort of supposed to be, "no matter how much knowledge you get, everything is still a mystery, and you're still a monkey!";-)
Bob, it's such a shame that Mick has chosen to limit himself in the way you described since he is mostly an out of work musician. I mean, Stevie has said that he's not really happy unless he's working and he has to wait for everyone else to be ready for Fleetwood Mac, after solo albums etc. I should think he'd be very willing to work with any former Fleetwood Mac players. The fans would love to see you and Lindsey, Rick, Bob Weston etc, work together. I mean, a couple of years ago Mick actually showed up at an audition for Spinal Tap. I just don't get it.
Also, I always loved Danny Kirwan's playing in Fleetwood Mac and on his solo work. His SECOND CHAPTER is one of the sweetest albums I have. His lyrics were so pure and sometimes childlike. Can you shed some light on his condition,and how he receded like he did? There was never an indication of trouble on the solo LPs he made post Fleetwood Mac...Thank you once again. (Timothy Kee, North Huntingdon, Pennsylvania, USA)
Mick's only thing is playing drums, since he doesn't sing or write. He, for many reasons is bitter toward any ex-member......except Peter Green, who he idolizes, AND who Mick feels he can control, I think. He also doesn't want to p--s Stevie or Lindsey off too much, by going out with a lot of ex-macs, (even though he could because he "owns" the name) because S&L are his main meal ticket and he never knows when a tour with them might be possible. If Mick could, he'd be on the road and playing 360 days a year.... I don't fault him for that, he LOVES playing, and it's his only outlet. I think he probably tried out for "Spinal Tap" simply because he loves to play, and he enjoyed the humor.
Hello again Bob!!! Thanks for answering my second round of questions and now onto the third time around!!!! What can you tell me about working in the studio with Stevie on Devil Wind? Were you satisfied with the second version of Sentimental Lady...and which version do you like best or what features do you admire in both versions? I noticed that the line..cause we live in a time when paintings have no color, words don't rhyme was not in the 1977 version ...any reason why? Would you ever redo Hypnotized or Bermuda Triangle? A new fan story ....a friend I used to work with came to me one day and said you're a Fleetwood Mac fan in epic proportions, he heard a song on the radio and he said it definitely wasn't Stevie or Lindsey...I mentioned Peter Green ...he wasn't sure, so I told him to sing it ..."seems like a dream you got me Hypnotized!! He couldn't believe that F.Mac had other lineups, he knows better now and owns Mystery To Me. !
I love the Rumours lineup because it was the one I discovered first but I've gone back and I admire everything the Mac has done and I want you to know that your contribution will never be forgotten by me. Bye for now.....:~) (Christa, West Haven, Connecticut, USA)
Christa, thanks for your words of appreciation for my work ! It means a lot to us artists to know that somebody is really listening !
Hi Bob! Thanks for doing this Q&A; you obviously spent a lot of time answering these lengthy questions. So I will be brief! I am a huge fan of you (in FM and solo). I disagree with the people who say you were just "filling in the spaces" in FM. Have you ever heard the "Kiln House" album? There's really something missing, and it turned out to be you! Frankly I prefer your FM days to the Buckingham-Nicks commercial-pop period! (Blasphemy!! :-) When you were making the Mystery To Me album, what was it like to collaborate with Weston and J. McVie on 'Forever'? There's been a lot of talk about 'Hypnotized', but what about 'Emerald Eyes'? I love the haunting refrain and mystic lyrics of that song. What are your thoughts? "Bare Trees" seems to have a sort of lonely, bleak wintry feel to it. Was that planned? It definitely worked, and your eerie guitar playing helped. Who came up with the idea for the zany cover of "Mystery to Me"? Before you left FM in 1974, did you know that they had planned to hire Lindsay and Stevie? Did you contribute anything to the 'white album'? Thanks for your time, Bob, and keep on rockin' in the free world! (Mike, Havertown, Pennsylvania, USA)
Mike, yes I'm spending a lot of time typing, and my right arm is "killing" me, not to mention my rear end, from sitting, but I figure that if I'm going to do this, I might as well do it right, and answer questions as fully and completely as I can (without giving away the "dirty bits", which I'm holding out for my book!;-).....because I'm probably only going to do a Q&A like this once, and I want to make damn sure my answers to the "pointed" questions aren't trite or wishy washy.
Thanks so much for participating in this forum. Along with your FM albums, I've enjoyed the French Kiss album a great deal over the years. It's one of my ten favorite albums of all time. I find the album to be remarkable in the consistent high quality of the songs and the fact that it seems to have an overriding theme. Thus, my questions are:
1) Other than the big hits, "Sentimental Lady," "Ebony Eyes," and the charting "Hot Love, Cold World," what song do you think had the most potential to be a big radio hit? Seems to me that "Dancin' Eyes," "Carolene," "Easy to Fall," and "Mystery Train," might all be candidates.
2) What was the idea behind including three versions of "Lose Your Heart." This is also a neat distinguishing feature of the album.
3) Can you tell the story behind one or two of the lesser known song on this album (see #1 for the songs I'd most like to hear about).
4) For fans of your FM material and French Kiss, what would you recommend most highly from your subsequent work. I have to confess that I bought "Three Hearts" when it came out and liked some songs but did not feel that it lived up to its predecessor. I don't mean any offense by this -- remember that I think FK is absolutely outstanding.
Like others, I do hope you are able to tour soon. (Ray, Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, USA)
Hi Ray...sounds like you are a fan of my more "pop", "Motown influenced" stuff. You might like the 1st album I did for RCA, called "Bob Welch"... Unfortunately, it's out of print...
Hi again Bob. I have a few more question I'd like to ask of you.
First off, out of ALL of the FM albums ever recorded, with and without you, what would you consider to be the best that the band has ever recorded?? (In my honest opinion, I think Behind The Mask is the best, and I have all of them so I know.:))
Secondly, and this really isn't much of a question, I strongly, strongly, STRONGLY urge you to consider working with Lindsey in the future...you two could set the world on fire I believe...do you agree?
I've always been curious...how did Danny Kirwan feel about your music? You two seem so different from each other, and I was wondering how he took to your sound?
Lastly, while I'm here, would you please consider looking up my band's website which is under construction, in which I play drums.:) We will have music previews on some of our songs on there when it is finished...thanks.:) (Rick Spataro, New Kensington, Pennsylvania, USA)
Rick, I honestly haven't heard ALL of FMs albums,so it's hard to say which one I think is the best. I heard "Behind The Mask" at a friends house once, and it seemed very rich, and moody but I'd have to hear it again.
Bob, thank you for your participation in this Q&A and for your HUGE contribution to Fleetwood Mac. You have most certainly been inducted in my Rock&Roll HOF. There's a radio station around here that plays a lot of 'deep album cuts'and it's always a treat to hear 'Forever' or 'Miles Away'-something about your music takes me to a serene and mystical place on the water every time I hear it. A few questions:
'Future Games' is a wonderful and haunting song, can you recall any memories from the sessions back in '71?
'Keep On Going' is one of my favorite FM songs-the lyrics really speak to the truth. I love Chris' vocal take-I can't imagine Dave Walker pulling that one off. Can you tell me about the production of that tune, in particular, the string parts and how they were done?
I've caught a video of the 'Mystery' line up performing 'Believe Me' and 'Miles Away' from a '73 stint on Rock concert. You guys sounded absolutely tight and inspired. I know that tour was cut short, but did you play any other gigs with that line-up before the ax fell?
Back to the present...I wish you much success, health and happiness. Now I must run out to find 'Bop'! Thank's again Bob, it's an honor. (Doug LeVasseur, Providence, Rhode Island, USA)
Doug, "Future Games" was the first song I did w/ FM, and also the title of the album...which I didn't at all expect, I was thrilled !The first gig we did supporting that album was in Holland, and I must admit I was terrified.
Maybe you answered this already but, Why did you sue Mick, John, and Chris? If you answered this already, sorry. Thanks for answering all these questions, it's really fun. (Edna, Boston, Massachusetts, USA)
Edna, I can't talk about details of the lawsuit, except to say that I sued them because I felt I was being treated unfairly.. Can't be more specific than that, sorry....
Hello again....My girlfriend and I were listening to 'Three Hearts' while having breakfast on Sunday morning - not a bad start to the day ! What kind of synth did you use on 'Church' ? It's a great sound....kind of hard to find software synths that sound as good as those old ones... (Steve Ryan, Carlow, Ireland)
Steve...The synth on "Church" was a Yamaha CS 80 which cost a fortune and needed 6 guys to lift, WITHOUT it's roadcase ! Times have changed !
Bob, I have one question, and five comments:
1) It has been an unsurpassed JOY reading your comments, and having the opportunity to speak (okay, TYPE) directly to you. It’s a rock fan’s dream come true. Thank you so much for participating!
2) What the hell does “fourteen joys and a will to be merry” mean? This has PLAGUED me for over 20 years now, and it’s time to put this nightmare behind me!
3) Straight from the Nothing-New-Here Department: The music industry, like so much of life, is filled with people who get way too much credit for doing very little or nothing (the pop charts today are filled with ’em, as you know), and a lot of people who’ve never gotten their due. I’ve always felt, in spite of your hits and successes, that you belong in the latter category, but I hope you realize now that you have a large fan base out here that “gets” what you’ve been doing, has appreciated your IMMENSE contributions not only to FM but to music PERIOD, and is positively electrified with the release of new material from you. We’d love to see more, and we’d love to see you on stage. You’re awesome! Thank you for all you’ve done!
4) There are several angry people out there right now who never want to hear “Ebony Eyes” again. When I was in college, I used to put that mother on, crank up my electric and my little Fender, switch on the ol’ fuzz box, and BLAST that son-of-a-%#$&! until it made my eyes water! I performed this service with my door open (not that it made any difference, of course), and got the door slammed on more than one occasion. “Ebony Eyes” is one of those songs that sounds as amazing today as it did back then; it easily has one of the COOLEST riffs in rock history, your vocals are absolute VELVET on that song, and the lyrics are oh-so-fab. Kudos to you for writing one of the true classics.
5) My first viewing of the cover of “French Kiss” was a personal milestone: being an innocent lad of 13 or 14, I was just beginning to “awaken,” and didn’t know what a French kiss was, but that picture excited the hell out of me! That woman showed just enough to send me over the top, the expression on your face was priceless, and I spent the next several weeks trying to find out what a French kiss was! Thanks, Bob--you started me on my lifelong journey into the perverse!
I wish you much success, but mostly for selfish reasons, i.e., the more Bob Welch we see, the better off (musically) we are. (Joe, Syracuse, New York, USA)
Wow, Joe, what can I say to all of that but, ..."stop...before my ego runneth over "! ;-) You are also obviously a "creative" writer, and if not, you SHOULD be !
Hi Bob. I agree with you about THE OTHER ONE -- that's my favorite of your older solo records, but I think that MAN OVERBOARD is quite underrated. Those two records came out fairly close together (Nov. 79/Sept. '80), yet it seems like MAN OVERBOARD got "lost in the shuffle." What are your feelings about that album? Did you know that you were leaving Capitol Records by then? Are you as fond of that record as you are of THE OTHER ONE? Also, thanks for doing this Q&A. It's good to know you're still around and musically active. I look forward to hearing the new CD when it arrives! (Rock Stamberg, Riverside, Connecticut, USA)
Rock, I also like "The Other One", and "Man Overboard" as far as "creative stretching out" goes. When I made "...Overboard", I had no plans to leave Capitol...they stickered the album with "includes the HIT single..." even before it was released. Then they totally "pulled the chain" on it, and only after that did I start looking for another deal. That was probably a big mistake, in retrospect....what I SHOULD'VE looked for is another LAWYER ! ;-) (inside joke, sorry !;-)
Hi,Bob it's nice to see so many people writing to you, it must be encouraging. I just love your music on French kiss, is that album on C.D?. I haven't been able to find it here in Canada. I love your cord progressions on "Hot Love,Cold World" what cording are you using there?.Do you use mostly rhythm cords or open cording ?. One dumb question, what is it you are holding in your hand on the cover of French Kiss?That has bugged my for years! Thanks Bob for giving us so many years of good music, May God Bless you and Keep you in health. Alison in what was the sunny Okanagan, B.C Canada. By the way we have the BEST wine here, you have to try some. (Alison, Oliver, British Columbia, Canada)
Alison, yes it is very encouraging to have all these questions, although the typing is a little rough on me ! Before the internet, something like this q&a of Marty's wouldn't have been possible, without a long, long time lag waiting for print or something. And phone in stuff on radio was always much too brief to give any detailed answers to anything...
Hello again.....I can see that your extremely busy answering our questions but I hope you don't mind a few more from me!! Were you ever allowed (within the confines of the Mac) any opinions as to song selections,sequences,& album cover art? Did you ever write a song for the Mac that they disliked but it turned out to be a hit? Lindsey wrote a negative song in regards to Mick,would you write one or do you feel that Mick doesn't deserve even that? Thanks again for doing this ...Take Care and Have a Great Thanksgiving!! (Christa, West Haven, Connecticut, USA)
These 2 weeks have been fun Christa, but I ain't gonna be doin' NO typing after it's over, that's for sure !;-)
What do you remember about the affair with Bob Weston and Mick's wife Jenny? Did you know it was happening or was it kept a secret? (Edna, Boston, Massachusetts, USA)
I remember the "thing" between Bob Weston and Jenny as if it was yesterday, Edna...her loving arms twined tightly around his oh-so-masculine-neck, the furtive glances in the dark, the giggles, the wiggles, the impassioned thrusting and cries of, "darling more ! more !" ;-) Just kidding !;-) But yes, we all knew what was going on. Bob Weston is next month though, so let me leave it to Bob to tell you all THOSE details !
Hi Bob, This is Damon Garascia again, with another question from the "Outskirts", of the Motor City.
Thanks for your answers regarding the "French Kiss" Album. That one has always been a favorite of mine. But, I notice as I get older, I seem to have more of an affinity for "The Other One", and "Eye Contact". Those records came out when I was in my teens, so I have a greater appreciation for them now. I recently purchased the C.D release of "The other one/Man Overboard, (another cool Album!, and am "hoping for the day" when Eye Contact will be released on C.D. You mentioned earlier that you possibly will have a Live C.D coming out maybe in the future. Would this be recent recordings?, or recordings from previous tours?. I also had a question about the song "Something Strong". It was released as the B-side to Precious Love. Why did Capitol Choose to not put that on the Three Hearts Album? While I am on the subject, do you have other songs from your solo efforts that were recorded, but never released?
I know you do not have plans to tour at the moment. But if you should decide to, I hope you will consider a stop in the Detroit area. Thanks for taking the time to answer my other questions as well. (Damon Garascia, Ferndale, Michigan, USA)
Damon, the "live' stuff that I may release at some point, is all from quite a few years ago, nothing later than 1979. It's all mostly tour stuff, with various line-ups. "Something Strong" was an extra track, and the album was already pressed and out when they decided to use it as a "b"side. I don't know if there are many unreleased tracks from all those Capitol sessions, but I'm sure there are at least one or two per album, maybe more.
Bob, I was glad to hear you mention that "Eye Contact" is one of your favorite works, I love all your albums, but "Eye Contact" in particular. A lot of folks have been (justifiably) praising your 'heavier' metaphysical songs, but to be honest with you, my favorites are your romantic ballads. "Bernadette" is my favorite BW song, was it written for a lady in your life at the time? I hope you will record a pop/rock CD again soon. How about a new BW composition, "Wendy", for the ballad?! Thanks for your music Bob, it's meant everything to me. (Andrew Abel, Santa Monica, California)
Andrew, I'm glad you like "Eye Contact"...it sort of got lost in the shuffle...