Q&A Sessions
Bob Weston: August 4 - 17, 2003
Page 1

Hello, Bob! I just put in an order for your new CD, and I'm really looking forward to hearing it. Thanks for taking the time to participate in this Q&A session.

Now that you've finished "There's a Heaven," what are your future plans? Another studio album? Maybe a tour?

What was it like working with the other members of Fleetwood Mac? Did you have a lot of input when writing the songs?

How would you characterize the band's morale during the Penguin/Mystery To Me era? How long did it take before realizing Dave Walker just didn't "fit in" with the Fleetwood Mac sound?

Thanks again, Bob! I just checked out your new web site, and it looks great! (John Mauro, Almond, New York, USA)

Hi John,

Thanks for your interest in the new album - hope you enjoy it (we do <g>). It's a pleasure to get the opportunity to do this Q&A, so thanks to Marty and Lisa.

The next studio album is halfway written. It's a creative period, so I'm pursuing the recording; it's flowing so I'm staying with it. Ideally a tour to follow it up later in the year, if it can be put together.

Overall, working with FM was a very pleasant experience. As far as writing was concerned, I wasn't interested at the time, I was totally into guitar playing. I considered myself the "baby writer"; I was just starting out. Bob and Christine were past masters at tune smithing, so I deferred to their talents.

Re morale: I think the "elder statesmen" in the band were beginning to feel the pinch of constant touring - young families growing up etc. For me, it was great; being the new boy, it was all a new experience.

Dave was obviously a talented front man, which we needed at the time; but his raw British R&B style didn't blend with the way the band was tending in its direction - we were seeking a new sound... He cut a couple of tracks, "The Derelict" and "Road Runner" if I recall correctly.

Glad you like the website; it's early days.

Bob. I´m very lucky to have original copies of both your solo albums "Nightlight" and "Studio Picks". In fact I´m the one who provided all the info about them to the Penguin. They are absolutely amazing! Your guitar playing is as STYLISH and unique as always, full of natural harmonics, breathtaking solos and deep musicianship. So this is a real oportunity for me to know more about them ...and about many other things I always wanted to know. Thanks to you, Bob, and to the Penguin for doin´ this.

1- Apart from those albums (and There´s A Heaven), did you ever release any other solo project? What´s the story behind them? How many copies were pressed back in 1980 & 1981? What had become of Simran Productions? Who is Alan Callan? Who were The Voice Squad?

2- Mick Fleetwood plays drums on Ford 44, that´s for sure... But... did he really join you at Eel Pie Studios? The way that track begins is a bit confusing. Was it a loop or something? Does he own a copy of the album? He doesn´t mention any of your solo albums on his books. Do you know why?

3- What kind of Gretsch guitar are you holding on the cover of Nightlight?

4- Your career before and after Fleetwood Mac is absolutely brilliant. Your guitar work on the Ashkan album is superb. Was that "your band" as opposite to, say, Ashman Reynolds? I´ve heard that you played on an album by an obscure band named Wildwall around 1970. Is it true? Did you really play on Black Cat Bones´ Barbed Wire Sandwich? It seems you are not credited on the back cover. Take a look at your discography page listed at the Penguin. Is there any record you have played on that we don´t know about? (At least there is one! -Marty, I´ll send details about this very soon- I´m talkin´ about Garth Hewitt´s I´m grateful. It´s not a good album... but it´s Bob Weston on guitar!) Any other?

5- You also played on Danny Kirwan´s third and final solo album. What do you remember about that? Did you talked about Fleetwood Mac with him?

6- Which are your favourite rock albums (if you have any)? Where did the roots of your guitar playing come from?

7- What do you remember about playing at the Roxy with Welch, Fleetwood and the McVies? Have you seen them after that? What do you think of Bob Welch as an artist? Do you have any of his post-FM albums? Have you ever considered the possibility of doing a Welch&Weston album?

8- What have you done all those years beween 82 and 98?

9- What kind of heaven are you describing on There´s A Heaven?

That´s all for now. Sorry for the length, but as I said before, this is a unique opportunity. Thanks for all your music and for doing this Q&A. I can hardly wait to have your new album. (Daniel Galera, Madrid, Spain)

Hi Daniel,

I'm surprised you've managed to retain original vinyl of those two albums; the copies available from the Paris label AZ were somewhat limited as they were a subsidiary of Matra-Simca; I got the impression they were a convenient tax loss, and not good for the artists involved. I'm really flattered you liked them as the albums didn't reach too many ears, unfortunately.

Q1: Yes, there were other solo albums, but they were structured for film and TV, therefore not commercially available. I think there were about 5000 albums and maybe 5000 singles pressed for each of the two Paris albums. Simran Productions has disappeared; Alan Callan was the producer and owner of the production company. Last I heard he was promoting top-level international golf tournaments. The Voice Squad were a London session trio, recommended by Alan - 2 girls and a boy; all I can remember is that one of the girls was the wife of Alan Spenner from the Grease Band.

Q2: Yes, Mick guested at Eel Pie Studios and performed on "Ford 44". There were no loops, it's just the way it came down, loose and relaxed - it was about 2am after a long day. I'm sure he doesn't own a copy; he was probably unaware of my solo projects in Paris as he was having a very busy time himself.

Q3: It was a Gretsch Astro Jet, circa 1960.

Q4: I was with Ashman Reynolds simply as a sideman on guitar and vocals. The nice thing was the opportunity to tour the US for the first time; we in turn became the backup band for Long John Baldry. No, I had nothing to do with the Wildwall album. I'm not sure about Black Cat Bone; you have to realise one did 1001 sessions in a short space of time. Same answer re the discography.

The Garth Hewitt thing again isn't me; we did a bit of research this afternoon on the web and found several Bob Westons - one is a bass player with a band called Shellac who also engineers for other artists; another is an actor; yet another is a baseball pitcher <g>. Not sure which one was on Garth Hewitt's album <g>.

Q5: Danny wasn't well, so the communication was sparse. I've been quoted talking about those sessions at some length already on the Unofficial Danny Kirwan Site at:

[ Note from MEA: Specifically, here ]

Q6: Favourites: there are so many... BB King Live at the Regal, that's the classic one... some of the very early Peter Green was delicious, beautiful. Layla was pretty fab... Lonnie Johnson... Django was a big hero of mine. It's a difficult question to answer as there's never just one influence.

Q7: I remember the Roxy being very exhausting, as I didn't go on until about 3 in the morning. As soon as I'd finished I had to drive to LAX to fly to Paris to promote my own album on a live TV show. I met them all in a London hotel for dinner maybe a year later - a very pleasant evening.

I've spoken to Bob Welch a lot on the phone since; we indirectly saw one another on the BBC "Rock Family Trees" interviews. Bob is a very prolific writer and an excellent performer. I'm aware of his post-FM music; always of a high quality. As we've stayed good friends we hope to rendez-vous in the near future; it would be fun to do some recording together.

Q8: The 82-98 period: tours with Murray Head in France and Canada, promoting the platinum album "Say It Ain't So"; a lot of London studio sessions; and then into film/TV music. For example I was musical director on a full-length TV movie for London Weekend Television called "Palmer". I took some time out too, to rethink it all... and came bursting back with renewed energy and enthusiasm to write and record "There's A Heaven"!

Q9: Good question. It's not a heavy religious thing. If you listen to the lyrics you'll hear that it was written for my sister, who was going through some tough times. It's a suggestion of optimism, i.e. there _is_ hope, instead of all this dark 3-dimensional stuff that we all invariably have to face and go through. To transcend that amounts to a good place - some call it heaven. You could say it's a gospel, inspired by Curtis Mayfield <g>. How's that?

Madrid, huh? And we thought the Spanish Inquisition was all over <g>.

Recognise the surname. Yes, I'm Harry's girl. I found his site last night whilst searching the net for Ashman Reynolds. I thought it was quite spooky that it was your Q & A next. Cosmic timing and all that. Anyway, how are u? Looking good in the pics on your website (couldn't email you at webmaster, email returned?) I'm waffling. I'd really like to get hold of a copy of Stop Off, I may be prejudiced but I think it was a preety cool album and I would like my children to hear it, as would Zoe, my sis. Anyways, its great I've found you. I hope you remember us all. Please email me with any useful info and with any Q's re:Harry. Love and stuff. (Kay Reynolds, London, England)

Hi Kay,

Great to hear from you after all these years - last time I saw you, you were knee-high to the proverbial grasshopper. And now you're a mother!

We think we can do you a one-off CD from the vinyl copy that I own. Would that be any good?

Please send my love to your parents. You should be able to contact me via the website; not sure why you had trouble. Will be in touch soon, I hope.

Hello Bob,

Thank you for doing the Q & A for us. I've never heard any of your solo work before. I ordered a copy of your new album a couple of days ago, but don't have it yet. Can you tell us what we can expect musically from you at this stage, and what you have been doing since Fleetwood Mac? How many LPs are in your catalog? Who were your early influences? And lastly, are you Y2K compliant? Since it's about three weeks away, I thought I'd ask. Thank you. (Timothy Kee, North Huntington, Pennsylvania, USA)

Hi Timothy,

The new album is extremely eclectic, offering 50% songs and 50% instrumentals. It's a bit of a world journey, touching on latin, gospel, indian tabla, delta blues (slide and straight guitar). Blimey - you have to hear it <g>.

I think I've answered your remaining questions in response to previous questions. I appreciate your interest and support!

Re Y2k: I'm heading to Paris for New Year's Eve by British Airways. If I'm never heard of again, you'll know the answer <g>.

Congratulations on your new record! I don't own it yet, but I really like the cover that your own? What was the inspiration for the title "There's a Heaven"? (Raven, New York, USA)

The cover is from a favourite original painting that I bought in New York in the early seventies. We haven't managed to decipher the artist's signature yet, but will continue to endeavour to do so. Glad you like the cover; I think it's really refreshing. Also Fin Costello did a great job of the photographs and pulling the whole thing together graphically.

Please see my previous answer re inspiration for the title. Hope you enjoy the music.

Hello Bob!

Thanks for taking the time to do this Q&A. I love your work on 'Mystery to Me' and 'Penguin'. Bob Welch made it obvious that it was unpleasant being around Mick, John, and Chris so much. What did you think? Have you had any affiliations with the band since you left? What was your favorite song from the Mystery to Me album? Thanks again! (Mike, Havertown, Pennsylvania, USA)

Hi Mike,

Obviously Bob Welch had a lot longer to see all the aspects and facets of the family, which as we know is not always tickety-boo :-). It was much later when I'd left the band, and they were in the Stevie/Lindsey incarnation, that I visited LA as a working guest of Christine (Robbie Patton project) and ran into the ivory tower routine; untouchable, above it all. I thought: how sad, when time's so short... Communication was impossible, and so were they :-). I guess that's pop stars for you!

From the Mystery to Me album: I like "Why". I asked one or two of the band to give me an hour or so while I finished the guitar parts, as Christine was getting a trifle concerned about the way her song was going. Upon their return everyone had a smile on the dial. Sadly I missed out on the arrangement credits as they brought in a string arranger who had my parts played, practically note for note, on strings, and he took the credit. Bummer, eh?

Hi, Bob!

I'll leave the obvious "tabloid" questions for the others (nudge, nudge, wink, wink)

Unfortunately, I've not had the good fortune of hearing your work other than the two Fleetwood Mac albums you were on and the session work you did for Danny Kirwan's third solo album. I look forward to hearing your new material and "catch up" on your career. My apologies for not being MORE familiar with your work outside of Fleetwood Mac.

I found it a bit odd upon seeing your name on Danny's album, due to the fact that you took his place in Fleetwood Mac. Did you actually get to play WITH him, on this album, or were the circumstances such that you just came in and overdubbed your parts? I forget the actual tunes you were credited for, but the solo on "Only You" sounds alot like you. Is that your solo on the end of that track? (From hearing the guitar work on "Penguin" & "Mystery To Me" it sounds like it has your fingerprints on it)

From reading where you were in Long John Baldry's band while on tour with Fleetwood Mac when Danny & Bob Welch were in the band, seemingly (according to Mick's book) were the first called when Danny was let'd obviously had alot of contact with the members of Fleetwood Mac during that tour. Did you have any reservations about leaving Baldry's band for Fleetwood Mac at that time?

Obviously, at least from hearing the little I have of your work, your influences seem to be along the "blues" line...what other types of music have influenced your playing.

Technical question...being a guitar player myself, (as you probably have surmised, since you seemed to be lurking throughout Bob Welch's Q&A last month), "Caught In The Rain" from Penguin & the slide intro to "Why" from "Mystery To Me" seem to be in open you use open tunings ALOT (other than for slide), or "just when the mood strikes"? And, do you have "special tunings" that you use (ala Jimmy Page's on "White Summer" & "Black Mountain Side" come to mind)?

Thank you for taking your valuable time to answer our questions here on the Penguin and I look forward to reading your answers and getting to know more about you & your music outside of the realm of Fleetwood Mac. (Steve Denison, Long Beach, California, USA)

Hi Steve,

It's a pity that, as a fellow guitarist, you've missed out on the albums I recorded in Paris for the European market. There were some nice bits and pieces in there, in particular a blues track, "Ford 44", which Mick Fleetwood guested on. The track was in the classic Slim Harpo mode. After the Mac I diversified, by choice, with the artist Murray Head; we created a predominantly acoustic album "Say It Ain't So". It was a new departure for me. It could have been almost the original "Unplugged", apart from one or two electric tracks. It was a massive success in France and Canada.

I've dealt already with the Danny question; please see my previous answer. Re the solo on "Only You": I'm not sure, but - probably. As I've said earlier, I did so many recording sessions around then - I'm not entirely sure but I think it was me. I'd have to check.

Leaving Long John Baldry for FM was a natural progression; it fitted like a glove. It was an amicable parting of the ways. Baldry went on to make a solo album produced by Rod Stewart and Elton John. I believe my guitaring can be heard on said album.

Please again see a previous answer for influences; it's always a tough question. Also obviously the great blues masters; Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, Hubert Sumlin, etc etc etc.

Open tunings: yes, I do use them. As well as the usual majors and minors, I also sometimes use some obscure tunings, depending on the character of the piece. I pull them out when I need a little something extra, as a kind of colour relief.

I wish you all the best with your own guitar journey. May it always be a friend.

Hi Bob! Congratulations and thanks Steve for your help. I see the album can be purchased on line. I wish you much success with it. Bob.. Will you be planning any mini tour when the album becomes well known and will you decide to visit the USA to promote it and tour there? thanks.... LIKE YOU!! (Mark Chevalier, Brighton & Hove, E. Sussex, United Kingdom)

Hi Mark,

Mangetout, mangetout (sorry, in-joke). Fancy meeting you here. Looking forward to meeting you in Paris.

Touring plans are pending on whether I record a follow-up album beforehand; as I'm in "creative mode" this is a strong possibility. It also depends on demand - the supply is willing and able. So perhaps a tour in the New Year... it'd be nice to hit both the UK and the States. Watch this space.

Hi Bob, thanks so much for doing this Q&A session! I ordered your new CD, and can't wait to get it in the mail! Now, for my questions.

1) What songs were in a typical set list when you were in the band? How many songs did Dave Walker sing lead on?

2) Aside from Bob Welch, do you keep in contact with any other members of Fleetwood Mac?

3) Are there any plans to reissue your two solo albums from the 1980s?

4)What has been the funniest memory of your career?

5)What was your greatest memory of your time in Fleetwood Mac?

6)And finally, the question that has been burning in the heads of many: Was that you in Lindsey Buckingham's "Trouble" video? (Steve MacDougall, Columbus, Ohio, USA)

Hi Steve,

Q1: Setlist: we would do a warm-up consisting of Pete Green's FM music, such as "Oh Well", "Rattlesnake Shake", "Jumping At Shadows", "Shake Your Moneymaker", that sort of very bluesy guitar thing. And then change gear into a more melodic blues-influenced sound, as represented by most of the songs from the "Mystery to Me" album. Some evenings Christine would perform an early Chicken Shack hit of hers, "I'd Rather Go Blind" (originally an Etta James song), just to give the evening a change of pace.

Dave would sing the heavier songs like "Going Down", "Roadrunner" in which he would feature his harmonica playing - which was rather clever as the song was in two keys. Probably a couple more standard blues, but the titles evade me...

Q2: Keeping in touch: no. I tried; cold response.

Q3: Re-releases: not at this time; maybe later as a retrospective.

Q4: Funniest moment: I did a concert with Long John Baldry in front of 40,000 people in Puerto Rico. He'd been spiked with Angel Dust and was off his trolley. He asked to borrow a guitar - I handed him one and immediately realised, as he struck the first chord, that it was tuned to open D. The look of horror was almost wonderful - probably not for him though :-). He told me later that, partly because of the floorboards on the stage, he thought he was on the deck of the Titanic as she was going down. Nevertheless, being a true artist, he recovered his senses (with a different guitar) and we went on to play a blinding set. (Haha!)

Q5: Greatest memory with FM: that's a hard one. The first few months, I felt it wasn't gelling. Then one night in Norway it suddenly locked in. A very satisfying feeling. Also seeing an album we'd worked hard on, "Mystery To Me", climbing into the US Top 10.

Q6: Lindsey video: yes, it was me; along with a great many other guitarists. Video making is very tedious... I'll try to avoid it at all costs!

Hi Bob! Thanks a lot for doing this Q&A with us! As you probably gathered if you saw last months, there are quite a few fans of the band when you were in it. So, without further ado:

1) First of all, I won't ask you tons of details about the whole Jenny affair, but was your leaving the group a mutual decision by all parties, or did you want to stay? Did any of the others want you to stay?

2) Do you have favorite song from your time with the band? I know you didn't write many songs with the Mac, but which were your favorite to play?

3) "Why" is probably my all-time favorite Mac song. Who plays the incredible guitar solo in the beginning - you or Bob Welch? Did either of you write that part, or did Christine write the whole thing?

4) Who are some of your musical influences? When did you first pick up the guitar?

5) Have you ever considered a collaboration with any of the other Mac members? I think you and that other Bob W. could do some amazing things together.

6) What's your take on Bob Welch's Q&A from last month? He brought up a lot of things about the band that were unknown before, especially about the characters of Mick, John, and Chris. Was he pretty much on the mark?

7) How do you feel about being omitted from the Fleetwood Mac RRHOF roster?

My, what a lot of questions I had. Just call me Steve Denison. ;) And thanks again, Bob! I just ordered your CD from Marty, so I'm sure I'll be writing again soon with comments. (Jim Wagner, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, USA)

Hi Jim,

Q1: Leaving the group: it was midway through an American tour. I had an early morning call from the tour manager, insisting I come up to his room, whereupon I was greeted with an air of hostility by the crew chiefs of lighting, sound etc (all from contracted companies, all suddenly halfway through an abandoned tour). My tour manager told me very simply that the tour was cancelled, Mick had already left for Africa, John & Christine for London - obviously it was a fait accompli. Certainly no mutual decision-making. I was handed a plane ticket and driven to the nearest airport. I didn't see any of the band between waking up and getting on the plane, so any opinions for/against remained a Mystery to Me :-).

Q2: Favourite song: I've mentioned "Why" already. I liked playing "Rattlesnake Shake" and "Oh Well", as they're beautifully structured for playing live.

Q3: "Why": guitars were all me, mate. And as I mentioned in an earlier answer, it was arranged by me - sadly uncredited.

Q4: Influences etc: I've dealt with this above. My influences were, as you'd imagine, the Great Blues Masters, such as John Lee Hooker, Muddy Waters, Buddy Guy, and other such sidemen as Hubert Sumlin, to name but a few. I got my first guitar when I was 12. Before that I was playing violin from the age of 8, so it was a comfortable progression i.e. the fingers were already mobile...

Q5: Mac collaborations: I haven't, until now. I think your idea of a collaboration with the other Bob W. would be more than interesting. But our monogrammed underwear could be a problem if we toured together :).

Q6: Bob Welch's Q&A: I haven't read it all yet, to be honest. I've been a bit busy with final touches to my own project, and eight sections... wow! I'd be happy to come back to this a little later, as I do have some comments to make about said question.

Q7: RRHOF: until you mentioned it, I hadn't given it a second thought :). Perhaps you should ask Mick Fleetwood. But would he give you an answer?

I hope you enjoy the CD. Speak to you soon re Q6.

Think back to when Dave Walker was fired and the reasoning behind it. My question is, do you recall him being angry about it and not understanding? As bandmates, did you sense that it was coming on? How long from the time he started did you all get the feeling that he just wouldn't click? (Ernie Fuhr, Rockford, Illinois, USA)

Hi Ernie,

Dave and I joined on the same day; we were the new boys. It looked very promising from the start. Dave's forte was as a frontman, in live performance. Initial rehearsals were full of energy, and we all felt he was the right man for the job. This was further endorsed with the initial Norwegian tour, structured to break us in as a team. Then the Penguin sessions began, and so did the doubts.

It was simply a case of two forces pulling away, rather than together. Dave was feeling it from the off, and we were too. The divide grew, and it was something we just had to face. Crunch time came, and of course he was hurt - who wouldn't be? And just like anybody else, a little protective anger. But in the long view, he cooled out; he found his niche again.

From what I understand, you played a bit of guitar on the video "Bob Welch & Friends live at the Roxy" in 1981. I'm just wondering if Bob Welch ever approached you about joining his band solo band during this period? (K.E. Gil, Los Angeles, California, USA)

No, because I was already contracted as a recording artist to a Paris-based label. So it wasn't possible. Anyway Bob had a kicking band; I wished him all the best and rode off into the smogbound sunset (cough, splutter, cough) - goodbye LA...

A good day to Bob. I have a couple of things for you Bob.

1. You played with the late great lady of all time Sandy Denny that must have been great! What songs did you play on the album Bob?

2. Did Cliff A manage you after you lets say moved on from Fleetwood Mac?

3. Did Cliff ask you to join the fake Mac ?

4. What's the story about you working on Danny's last record just mop up work because Danny wouldn't finsh it for Cliff.

Thats all Bob. Thanks a lot for your time Sir. (Bill Seamans, Buffalo, Minnesota, USA)

Hi Bill,

Q1: Playing with Sandy Denny was a great privilege, not only because she and her husband (now also deceased, I understand) were both very charming, but also because of the poignancy of the fact that she died not long afterwards. We recorded several songs throughout the evening, but the one that immediately springs to mind was Elton John's "Candle in the Wind".

Q2: Clifford Adams/Davis (he used both names) did not manage me after the Mac. We kept in touch, said hello from time to time. We had no argument; unlike subsequent developments between him and the Mac.

Q3: No, Clifford didn't ask me to join the fake band.

Q4: See previous answers for detail re the 3rd Danny album.

I appreciate the interesting questions. Thanks for your time too.

Hi Bob !

1. You made an appearance on Danny Kirwan's last album "Hello Big Boy" in 1979 on a song. What was that experience like for you ?

2. Had you known Danny before appearing on that album ?

3. What was he like as a person and a musician in 1979 ? It seems to me that he played no Lead Guitar on that album at all vs. playing the Lead Guitar on his other previous two solo albums and the Fleetwood Mac albums that he was on.

4. Was he incapable of playing Lead Guitar anymore at that point in 1979 ?

5. When was the last time you saw and/or talked to Danny Kirwan ?

6. Danny's solo albums & songs didn't seem to have the punch/rockin' edge his Fleetwood Mac songs did. Was this the result of Clifford Davis's production (i.e. heavy strings/orchestration)? 6. Not ever having heard your own solo albums how would you describe your brand new album and your debut album ? Any U.S. release, yet ?

Thank you, Bob !! (Steve Elliot, Arlington, Virginia, USA)

Hi Steve,

Q1: Hello Big Boy: Checking the cover, I find I played on two tracks ("Getting the Feeling" and "You"; not "Only You"). As an experience it was a tough job; difficult inasmuch as Danny was barricaded in a self-made womb of studio baffle boards much of the time. All rather strange. And that was about it... end of session. What a waste of a great talent.

Q2: Yes; I had met Danny in a musician's bar in London (The Speakeasy) shortly before I joined FM. He was aware that I was taking over, and rather sarcastically wished me the best of luck - then paused and added "You're gonna need it". I read between the lines that he was pretty angry with the band.

Q3: Danny had become totally reclusive; as regards personality it was hard to find one to engage with. Danny appears to have played rhythm guitar on that solo album, but couldn't hack the lead work; it was evident he'd fallen totally apart.

Q4: As far as I can gather, yes, he was incapable of playing lead at that point.

Q5: That session was the last time I saw or spoke to Danny.

Q6a: No, the guy was ill. I think the solo albums reflect his mental state.

Q6b: My new album is an eclectic mix of all the various things I've been involved in over the years. Personally for me, it's very satisfying and a great opportunity to express the many different avenues of music I love to venture into. Re US release etc: pending; watch this space.

Hi Bob. It is a real thrill to have a chance to communicate with you. Thanks for doing the Q&A. What are your memories of the Mystery To Me and Penguin recording sessions? What have you been up to since 1973?? (Tom Kirby, Roswell, New Mexico, USA)

Hi Tom,

Both of those albums were a blast to be involved in. Being surrounded by so much creative writing talent, i.e. Bob Welch, Christine McVie, and a very serious rhythm section, was perfection for a guitarist like myself. It seemed I'd be building up for years to hit this zenith. Bullseye! In addition it was a wonderful opportunity to tour America on a very professional level. I learned a lot.

Since '73 it's been a constant shedding of skins; refining one's art; inevitably screwing up musically from time to time, and occasionally getting it right. Which brings us right up to date to the last album - I hope you agree!

Mystery To Me is my favorite Fleetwood Mac album. It's the perfect example of a true album album, as opposed to a collection of songs. Every song on it is rock solid with not a single throwaway in the bunch. In particular, the sequencing of the songs and flow of themes from one to the next is brilliant. Great work! Who made the decisions as to the song order, etc?

What prompted you to begin working on solo projects again after such a long hiatus?

What's your opinion on the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame thing? (Jeff Kenney, Yuma, Arizona, USA)

Hi Jeff,

Mystery to Me: I agree! It's a fine piece of work. With regards to its continuity, it was a group decision. As far as I remember, it presented its own natural sequence.

I've been pursuing solo projects since '80 onwards in Europe, and in the last 7 or 8 years devoting energy to film and TV music, which I find totally fascinating. The latest solo album was something that pretty much suggested itself; it was born out of the style of writing that was occurring over the last year. So, going with the flow, here's the CD!

I don't have an opinion on the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame thing. Of course it's great to be recognised; who wants to be ignored? (Only the famous, perhaps :).) I don't understand the method of selection, or the Hall of Fame's significance. Does one get a wax effigy, like Mme Tussauds? :)

Hey Bob! I was just wondering if you ever met Lindsey or Stevie? If so, what were (or are) your impressions of them? Thanks and take care! (Brandon Jones, Little Rock, Illinois, USA)

Hi Brandon,

Yes, I've met them. I found them both very interesting in their own ways, and extremely creative. I was invited to the FM "Mirage" sessions; I noticed Lindsey in particular was constantly searching, leaving no stone unturned, finding new ways of creating and recreating sounds. On the night of the "Bob Welch & Friends" session at the Roxy, Stevie and I found ourselves whiling away some hours together in the dressing room before appearing on stage. I realised then she was a real good soul; no big star bullshit, and very compassionate. She obviously thinks of others; a good egg.

Thanks for doing this Bob! A few questions... 1)What was your first impression of Christine McVie and what was it like working with her? 2)What was your favorite song from your work with Fleetwood Mac? 3)What was your experience at Benifols like? 4)What is your fondest memory of being in Fleewtood Mac? and 5)What other artists are you currently listening to? Thanks again. (Ali, Montgomery Township, Pennsylvania, USA)

Hi Ali,

Q1: Christine: she struck me first as a homely person, content to be a wife and a musician. She was quite retiring and not very confident, which I found endearing, comfortable to be around - in complete contrast to the Christine I met and hung out with later in her Beverly Hills home, very much the controller, and capable of wielding her status like a weapon.

Q2: Favourite: a song called "Why" on Mystery to Me; see previous answers.

Q3: Being at Benifold (aka Benifols aka Benifolds) was ideal; a great rehearsal situation, plenty of space, lots of lovely food, and a great little pub down the road :).

Q4: Fondest memory: answered this one already; basically realising we had a good band on our hands.

Q5: I'm listening to Robbie Robertson's new solo album; British band Faithless; James; and of course interspersed with a splash of classic blues from time to time:).

Thanks for your interest; all the best.

Hello Bob! I've always enjoyed your guitar work with FM. I've noticed that in the discography section of the Penguin site, and other sites, that Peter Green is listed as a "guest" on the song "Caught in the rain". I don't here him there. Is that a misprint? I understand he played on "Night Watch", but "Caught in the rain"? Were you ever musically involved with Peter in your tenure with FM? Thanks for taking time for this Q & A. BTW, I love that song! (CITR) (Russell B. Wright, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA)

Hi Russell,

No, Peter wasn't involved with "Caught in the Rain"; that was just myself on guitar with copious amounts of Bob Welch oohing and aahing, which he did beautifully :). (Lovely boy!) Peter did play on "Night Watch". I remember it clearly; it was at Air Studios in Oxford Street in London.

Peter would occasionally pop in to the studio to see how we were doing; inevitably a jam session would ensue. That was the extent of our musical involvement.

I'm pleased you enjoyed the song; one of the few that I wrote at that time.


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