Early Fleetwood Mac Guitarist Bob Welch Dies at 65

Early Fleetwood Mac Guitarist Bob Welch Dies at 65
Former Fleetwood Mac guitarist Bob Welch died earlier today (June 7) of a self-inflicted gunshot to his chest. The musician was 65 years old.

WKRN-TV [via USA Today] reports that Welch's wife found his body this afternoon at their home in Antioch, TN. A police spokesperson noted that Welch had recently suffered undisclosed health issues. A suicide note was apparently left.

The guitarist joined Fleetwood Mac in 1971, when the English act was more blues-minded. He performed on five albums -- 1971's Future Games, 1972's Bare Trees, 1973's Penguin and Mystery to Me, and 1974's Heroes are Hard to Find -- before leaving the group in 1974.

Welch had formed the group Paris in 1976, and went on to record solo albums for the rest of his career. His solo work achieved acclaim in the late '70s via his solo singles "Ebony Eyes" and "Sentimental Lady," which was a reworked version of a number off of Bare Trees. The later version featured backing vocals from Fleetwood Mac successors Christine McVie and Lindsey Buckingham.

Welch is the second member of Fleetwood Mac to pass away this year, with fellow guitarist Bob Weston succumbing to gastric intestinal hemorrhage, cirrhosis and throat problems in January.