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Q&A Sessions
Bob Welch: November 8 - 21, 1999
Page 4

Hi, Sorry, I should have put this in my other message, but I was wondering what you thought of doing the song by the Yardbirds, "For Your Love"? I like your (FM) version better than the original. Thanks again. (Jeff Bechdel, Beaver, Pennsylvania, USA)

For Your Love was always my favorite Yardbirds song, whether I said it or not.... The FM version was another one of those times when I feel the record company let a potential hit single "get away"...

Hey Bob, welcome back ! Everyone loves Ebony Eyes, but what about Emerald Eyes? Maybe you could do a commercial for laser eye surgery. In that song you make a reference to a weather bird / sky report is this a UFO reference ?

I really like your song Old Man of 17, great lyrics, have you ever had a song that wrote itself? (that is came easily almost no work). Again welcome back, I just ordered the new CD! (Andy Bishop, Arlington, Virginia, USA)

Hey I'd rather hear "Ebony Eyes" than that accursed song "Bend Me Shape Me" that's currently all over the TV on that eyeglasses commercial ! ;-) OOOOh how I dislike that song ! ;-)

"Weather bird, sky report " is a UFO reference, yes,, You get 10 points ! ;-)

"Bluesy" songs sometimes sort of seem to "write themselves". "The City" from MTM for instance.

Thanks, and hope you like the new CD !

Thanks so much for answering my other question=:-). I am really enjoying reading your answers - getting more insight into the band then before. I also wanted to tell you today when I was in Petsmart, lo and behold, they played Hypnotized! My question is, who wrote "Come a Little Bit Closer"? Did you have any part in the writing of it? I agree that "Come a Little Bit Closer" should have been a single... (Vianna, Alexandria, Virginia, USA)

...and I'm enjoying talking to you fans, because you already know so much about FM, and your questions are very intelligent, unlike, say 'Entertainment Tonight' or something !

Christine wrote "Come A Little Bit Closer"... I had nothing to do with the writing of the song. Yes, it could have been a big hit, I think...

Hi Bob, me again :) One last dose of questions...

What did you think of the whole 1997 FM reunion? Did it have any positive effects on your career?

Reading an earlier reply from you, I noticed that you are a fan of Wyclef Jean.....any chance of a collaboration? You and him could do a rapped up "Hypnotized" or something :)

Do you find you have many younger fans? I'm count me as one :) (Jason Fabbri, Oakleigh, Victoria, Australia)

Australia's a beautiful country... I've only been to Sydney and Melbourne and I loved it....completely unlike anywhere else !

I thought the '97 reunion was very well done...I don't think it helped my career at all though...

Wyclef Jean, and many other rappers, are real creative, and it would be fun to work with them...what they're doing is almost like Be-Bop, except without melody, just rhythm. But they "stretch out", which is what I like...

I don't know how many younger fans I have, cause there's no way to find out the ages of people who buy records etc. It's nice to know I have at least one ! ;-)

I am a 13 [year old] boy and really love the Mystery to Me album. I was wondering if you had a favorite song on that record? Also, did that whole fiasco with Clifford Davis bring all of you (the members of Fleetwood Mac) closer? How about when you left? Were they okay with your decision? Thanks! (Jeff Bechdel, Beaver, Pennsylvania, USA)

Jeff, you have a few parts to your question, and I could probably do a Steve Denison type essay on each one, so let me try not to do that ;-)

(1) Favorite song...easy, "Hypnotized" ( BTW; Denison "essay test" NOT passed......length of answer surpasses all previous records...see below !;-)

(2) The Clifford Davis lawsuit was probably the most difficult time FM ever had to go through.I was the one who first found out that Davis had been booking a fake Fleetwood Mac, after I happened to call a promoter named Rich Engler, who booked "The Syrian Mosque" in Pittsburgh PA. ( I think it was in P-Burg) I took on the job of rallying Mick, John and Chris to the idea that we had to fight this, or forever forget about Fleetwood Mac. There was some reluctance. Christine was (even back then !) tired of going on the road, and had talked about wanting to "retire" and run a small shop or something.There was a feeling that maybe Fleetwood Mac WAS over with anyway, since everybody knew that the most successful line-up since the Pete Green band was the "Mystery" line up with me and Bob Weston.If we had been able to continue to tour with that band, instead of canceling 1/3 of the way through, "Mystery To Me" probably would have "gone platinum" that same year... And Fleetwood Macs 1st platinum record would have been "Mystery.." instead of the "white" album...

The most difficult thing was to convince WB records to let us record another album. They at first didn't want to because they feared that the court might decide that Clifford Davis really did "own" the name Fleetwood Mac", in which case Warners would have been in deep you know what..

Mick and I, after I flew back to England and I had "pumped everybody up", began calling Warner's president Mo Ostin, and artist relations guy Don Schmitzerle almost every day. It became obvious that if we were going to be successful in convincing Warners BEFORE there was a formal court judgment, which might take years, that we would have to physically move to LA, where the WB head office was located. NOBODY, wanted to do this..except me, at first, because I was from LA ;-)

The English members of the band felt LA, although it was a nice place to act wild and crazy for a few days on tour,was too "scary" to live in. But by long-winded (as you can see !;-) argument, I managed to convince everybody that moving was the only choice. So, after all that, 2 years of lawsuits/moving to LA, negotiating with Warners, recording a new album under a NEW deal, and a 5 month tour....the album, "Heroes..." does just "ok", but the "buzz" that the Mystery To Me band had started to gone. I am totally exhausted by writing/singing/touring/negotiating/moving, and frankly so are Mick John and Chris. We're ALL discouraged that "Heroes.." hasn't done better. SOMETHING needs to change, but what ? We'll add some new people...but we already tried that with Weston and Walker! We'll write some new songs.....but I thought, "Heroes Are Hard To Find" (the song), "Come A Little Bit Closer" etc should've been hits...what are we gonna do, write more of the same? What.... Bermuda Triangle part 3 ? At this point I felt that Christine had really developed her songwriting/singing formula into a very catchy and "commercial" vein, and if she couldn't get a "hit" with some of her great songs on "Heroes...", then when COULD she get a hit ?

So yes Jeff, in a way we were brought closer together, but there was also a kind of fatigue, anger and bitterness that all the work we had done hadn't really "paid off" and we were just all sort of shaking our heads saying "what do we do now". What we DID do was, I left, and made room for the new and totally unexpected team of Lindsey and Stevie. My creative juices were flowing on MY wild and crazy solo projects, and Fleetwood Mac's were flowing with the "perfected" pop sound of S n L. (not "savings and loan !;-) Everybody was happy, the "log jam" had been broken !

So life has been wonderful...and my only question has to be...then why is everybody so pis--d off ?! Good Lord, don't we all have better things to do?

No, Jeff, they were not ok with my decision to leave, and in fact, until they started seeing the magic happening with Stevie and Lindsey, they were very worried about their future careers, and thought I was making a very bad mistake.

Thanks for your question (whew !;-)

Hello again, Bob! I just have one more small question for you... I've heard two different versions of "Lay It All Down," one on "The Chain," and the other on "Future Games." The version on "The Chain" had a couple more verses than the "Future Games" version. Do you remember why the version with fewer verses was included on "Future Games" instead of the other one? Thanks, and let me know sometime if you need any help on your new web site. I'd be more than willing to lend you a hand. (John Mauro, Almond, New York, USA)

John, I just noticed that it says "kagi" in your address...Is that the "software shareware" guy kagi?

I can't remember why "Lay It All Down" was shorter on "Future Games"... It was probably done for time reasons; vinyl records started to sound really bad if side lengths went much over 17 minutes, and so sometimes songs had to be edited. Other times, maybe the group just didn't like the song that much ! ;-)

Thanks for the offer of help...what I'd really like you to do is "crack" a few programs for me ! ;-) Just kidding, just kidding ! (copyright is my life, after all) !;-)

Bob, I have been a big fan for years and have almost all your records (w/ FM and solo). In fact, Future Games still stands as my favorite Mac album. Now, on to my questions (WARNING: My name is Steve).

1)In a previous response, you said something (jokingly) about getting a band together with Stevie, Lindsey, Billy, and Rick and call it ex-Mac. Frankly, I've always thought that you and Bob Weston (and maybe even Dave Walker) should form a group, since there was such a clear vibe between you guys.

2)What were your thoughts when you heard Dave Mason (whom you toured with in the late 70s) had joined Fleetwood Mac? Did you listen to the Time album? If so, what were your opinions on it?

3) I am shocked at Mick and the McVies' attitude of the time you spent in the Mac. Sure, the band might not have set any records in album sales, but I always thought of that era as being a wonderful time of musical discovery. And I think they're better musicians because of it. I've heard live shows from the Green days, and Mick and John were a good rhythm section. But they became a monster rhythm section during your years with the group. A listen to Manalishi from '69 and from '74 is proof, at least in my opinion.

4. I did not know that Doug Graves had passed away. When did this happen, and how? (Yeah, it's bleak, but I'm curious...and he's the first quasi-Mac member that I know of to have passed on).

5. I have a copy of the Don Kirchner Rock Concert that you did in 1974 (I was a newborn at the time of taping, so I don't really remember that time). While this show was totally amazing, I was disturbed by two things. 1) There were three Peter Green songs that were shown, and 2) There was only one song that Christine sang lead on (which she even commented on in a Rolling Stone interview in 1975). Why did the burden of singing and talking to the audience seem to fall on your shoulders? Was it like that through your entire tenure in Fleetwood Mac? What was the stage presence of Bob Weston, Dave walker, and Danny Kirwan like?

Thanks, and best of luck with your new album. (Steve MacDougall, Columbus, Ohio, USA)

Another 10 parter from another Steve !;-)

First, needless to say, thanks for your support and enthusiasm!

1. Unfortunately, the logistics and politics and, mainly, financial expense of forming a hypothetical group like I mentioned, make it really tough to pull off. It's fun to talk about though !

2. Dave Mason is a wonderful singer and writer, so I thought his joining FM might work fine. I haven't heard the "Time" album at all, honestly. For a lot of reasons, I resist buying Fleetwood Mac albums, cause they used to send me all of 'em until I became 'persona lawsuitas' !;-) And nobody I know here has the "Time "album.

3. Mick and John still are a monster rhythm section.... I wish they'd realize that without, singers, writers, guitarists etc. they're JUST a rhythm section ! ;-)

4. Yes, sadly Doug Graves died of AIDs something like 8 or 9 years ago. Bob Hughes, the engineer from "Heroes.." album and the 2nd "Paris" album also passed away, sad to say. They were both terribly nice, gentle people !

5. The Kirschner show from '74 would have been during the "Heroes.." tour,and I think that Kirshner choose to air the Pete Green songs,...We were certainly doing a lot of my, and a lot of Christine's songs too. I was the only "front man" during that tour, and Christine may have felt that I was "hogging" the spotlight, which I wasn't, I was just trying to get a little drama and excitement into the set. I did go overboard on the "talking" sometimes though ! ;-) Christine hated it when I did that ! She thought it was arrogant, boring, and self indulgent.... I thought I was giving myself a chance to catch my breath...;-)

Hi Bob, it is a real pleasure to have the opportunity to ask questions of you. You may not remember, but I had emailed you a year or so ago after discovering your addy on the 'net, never thinking it was really going to be THE Bob Welch! Much to my surprise and extreme pleasure it was you! And you were so gracious to reply to me, and so quickly too! :o) Anyway, on to my questions... I have always adored Sentimental Lady, and was in love with the solo version of it long before I ever knew that you had been with the Mac and recorded it with them! So, my question is, do you personally prefer your solo version or the "Mac" version of the song, and why? I prefer the solo version musically, however I love the song so much that it just seems too short for me, so for that reason alone I sometimes prefer the "Mac" version since it is longer because of the inclusion of the extra verse. Which brings me to my next question: why didn't you include that verse in the solo recording? Were you afraid it would have made it too long to release the song as a single? Oh, another reason I like the solo version better is that I think Christine's backup is much nicer on that one, when she sings "All I need is you." Who came up with that, you or her? Was it a spontaneous thing on her part? I've always thought that she sounded rushed on the Mac version, chiming in with the "Sentimental gentle wind" after you sing it, but that could be just me. ;o) One last question (for now anyway - I like to keep my options open :o) - is the "Bob Welch and Friends" concert from 1981 available on video anywhere? I have only seen 2 pieces of it, which are Stevie performing Gold Dust Woman with you, and then her coming out and singing with you on Ebony Eyes. I would LOVE to have a copy of the entire show - please tell me where I can find it!!! Thanks so much again for doing the Q & A session - you have a lot of fans here!!! (Lori Aimino, Indiana, Pennsylvania, USA)

Lori, I appreciate your enthusiasm for my "stuff"!

The Mac version of Sentimental Lady is not as "polished" as the solo version. That wasn't a necessarily conscious choice though. Techniques and our own styles had evolved in the 5 years between the 2 versions, plus, a lot of the way version # 2 sounds is due to Lindsey B. who produced it, and Fleetwood Mac's engineers Richard Dashut and Ken Caillat.

The 2nd verse wasn't in the solo version because the record company liked the shorter length of under 3 minutes, it was better for a "single".

Christine just invented a different counterpoint part for the solo version, it was all her idea, she's great when it comes to vocal parts !

"Bob Welch and Friends" is not available anywhere as far as I know...

Hi Bob. To start off, I promise not to ask any 'will you record with Christine/Mick/John' questions. ;)

I have been a fan of yours for many years, and I'm thrilled to see you back in the 'public eye' with your new CD. (I've just placed an order for 'Bob Welch Looks at Bop', having just found out about it) Several people have asked what your favorite FM album was, but I'd like to know what you consider to be your favorite (or best) work, solo or otherwise. Me, I'm quite partial to 'Man Overboard' (especially the title track and 'B666'), though I enjoy all your albums and love 'French Kiss'.

Also, you released 'The Other One' a mere 6 months after 'Three Hearts', and the musical style was quite different. What was the reason for such a short time span between releases? Was it a creative spurt, or a contractual obligation? It doesn't appear that the material came out of the same sessions. Do you have many unreleased songs that you'd like to see made available?

Who came up with the caricature of you? It's now been on the cover of 2 of your albums, and was on the inner sleeve of a third, as well as on your web site. I like it, and it seems to have been adopted as your 'logo'.

Lastly, you mentioned earlier about how the internet has made it easier for you to release 'Bob Welch Looks at Bop' without a major label deal. Is this in terms of promotion and/or recording, or is it something else? Not knowing much about the music biz, what factors made the album feasible to do? What are your expectations for the CD,and what would have to happen in order for you to consider it a success, in order for you to continue doing future releases?

Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions, and for participating in this Q&A. Congratulations for making it through a rough period in your life safely and sanely. I sincerely look forward to future releases from you. (Bob Vanderburgh, Huntington Beach, California, USA)

Bob, thanks for being a fan !

I tend to judge my stuff on how much I was able to "stretch" as a musician, try new things etc., and so my favorite albums are Mystery To Me, The Other One, Eye Contact, and Bob Welch Looks At Bop. Obviously, these are not necessarily the most "commercial" albums I ever made... The 5th one would probably be "Man Overboard", though not in any particular order.

By the time "The Other One" came out, I had quickly decided to try to jump on the "new" (really , retro) thing that the "new wave bands" were doing.

All the lavish production, Motown style strings etc. went out the window, and we stripped everything down to the basics. I was in a position similar to Lindsey's on "Tusk", where the record company wanted another "French Kiss" type hit, but the creative pressures, from "critics" and the scene in general, demanded that to be "hip" and "now", and modern, you had to be at least a little "new wave". That's still true today, for instance-- Celine Dion records, although wildly successful, are considered pretty "corny" by people who like, say, Alanis Morrisette. Sorry if I've offended anybody by that remark !

The Other One was a totally different recording session, and band, than 3 Hearts. I only know of 1 unreleased song, there may be more, but I don't have "control" of them.

The caricature was the work of Larry Vigon, who did the "Tusk" cover and several of my covers. I like it as a logo, yes.. ..I don't have to worry if I look like I just got out of bed ! ;-)

The internet makes it possible for an artist to take a record, (or book or whatever) directly to the public, without having to go through layers of bureaucracy, a&r men, etc. Also, some modern technology has made it so an artist can make a record for a lot less than the 70-100,000$ it used to MINIMALLY cost to record an album, which only record companies could afford to shell out...My hope for the CD, is only that it "find AN audience" ... How big that audience might be I don't know ! ;-)

Yes, it's nice to finally be, (more or less) "sane" ! ;-)

Hi Bob!! Thanks so much for doing this Q&A! It's a pleasure to be able to talk to you. First let me say that the first work I ever heard of yours was your solo Sentimental Lady and it was my absolute favorite song back then!! Thanks for writing it!!

I have a couple of questions about an answer you gave to K.E. Gill a bit ago concerning the pressures that the industry was giving pop/rock performers to get on the more new wave/punk bandwagon. You stated that "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."

Is this just your impression of why Lindsey did Tusk that way, or did this come up in conversation with him or people in the band?

Lindsey has long held firm that he didn't want to make a "Rumours II" even though the music execs were giving them all sorts of pressure to do so. This would seem to go against the idea that the industry was pressuring them to become more new wave. Lindsey's also said in interviews around that time that he would have rather been in The Clash than be in FM.

Can you help clarify all of this just a bit? (Diane, Chicago, Illinois, USA)

Diane, thanks for your comments about Sentimental Lady !

There are always two pressures in the music BUSINESS in any era. One, is to be, "commercial", which only means, "have a hit sell records". That part comes from the higher executive level of the company. The other "pressure", which comes from other bands, critics, fellow musicians, and the "lower" levels of the a&r department (by lower, read "younger", usually anyway) is be "hip", be "cool", be modern, be "up to date", DON'T be corny, DON'T repeat yourself, DON'T play to the "lowest common denominator", make ART, not a "product". When you're making a record, you're usually trying to do all these things, to some degree, AND please yourself.

Most true "musicians", as opposed to say, manufactured teeny-bop pop stars or something, although they want also to sell records, mainly want to be creatively fresh and excited about their work musically, sales be damned!

So WB wanted another, Rumours, and Capitol, in my case, wanted another French Kiss. 1 part of ME wanted another French Kiss's fun to be that popular...and lucrative ! But, like Lindsey, the ARTIST side of me wanted to branch out and try new things, stay up to date with my peers. And to say something musically we hadn't ALREADY said !

So, your half right; no, WB did NOT want FM to be "The Clash", because Rumours had just sold ten million records, But Lindsey, and me too, were under pressure from OURSELVES, as creative musicians, to to something new, and (for the male ego, ALL important).... be PERCEIVED as doing something new......We all want to be thought of as "cool" by our buddies ! ;-)

No, Lindsey never sat me down and said 1 2,3...but he alluded to it all the time, and I could easily tell, musically, where he "was coming from" and what he was trying to do... Does this help, or have I made it just more confusing ? ;-)

Hello Bob! While this might sound a bit like a cliche, this is like a dream come true. I just want you to know that there are a lot of FM fans who love you and what you contributed. Very honestly, the only albums I listen to consistently and the Bob Welch albums. As I have read the Q AND A's, it has saddened me to learn of your lack of a relationship with Mick, John, and Chris. I only hope that somehow time might heal the wounds. There are many things I would like to say, but I can't fit them all in: Will the Real FM Stand Up is a gem and is fun to listen your narratives and intros...'course the guitar work ain't bad either! Here are my questions:

1. In the Bob Welch and Friends video, on the song Blues in A, it appeared that perhaps Christine was gonna sing it and then the Wilson sister sang it...or could I just be totally off base?

2. How hard was it to work out harmonies with Chris and the other singers? in particular, Hypnotized?

3. Can you make any comment about The Ghost of Flight 401 --like, what was the frame of mind? I just LOVE that has a great mood/ feel to it...very haunting!

4. When you opened for FM, did any of the other members ever jam with you on your set? Did you ever play on any of their sets? Also, during that time, did they play Hypnotized?

5. Last question, (sorry for dwelling in the past,too) when Danny left, did the band still do Station Man? I am not a major Danny fan, but love that song.

Thanks again, Bob, for doing this. I just want you to really know how much this means to us ...and, by the way, K.E. might be your biggest fan...don't really know him, just know he is the resident Welch expert around here. Take care and I really hope at some point you will do some shows for us fans! (Mark, Missouri, USA)

Mark, you win 2nd prize so far in the "Steve Denison Competition" for longest essay-type question ! ;-) But I've got y'ALL beat with a, 2-count-em-2, page answer back there somewhere !;-) I can rise to the challenge ! ;-)

Thank you for your obvious enthusiasm for my work...

1. Christine didn't sing "blues in A" on the B Welch & Friends, because the band had tuned 1/2 step down, which put the thing in A flat, and Christine wasn't real comfortable in that key.

2. Everybody on that show had a lot of experience harmonizing, so the vocals came together pretty easily.

3. The Ghost of Flight 401 was supposedly a true story, BTW... The mood of the track primarily comes from Mick Fleetwood's trademark "out" drum part, the ultra-slow tempo, and the droning keyboard part of Christine's....

4.Yes, a lot of times opening for FM, John Mc Vie would come up, or I'd come up with them and do "Hypnotized". Not all the time, but occasionally. FM didn't do "Hypno", when I was doing it in my set...

Hello Mr. Welch!

I feel silly calling you Bob, because I have to tell you that you were one of my heroes growing up. Some people ask me how a musician could be my hero. Shouldn't I pick some world leader or Nobel Prize Winner or some courageous person who overcame some awful disease? Sure, they may be worthy of the "hero" distinction, but the reason I call you one of my heroes is that your music made me happy and truly brightened up my life growing up. It truly made an impact on me and has touched me in a major way. (Although I do remember being a bit embarrassed when I asked my mother what a "French Kiss" was!!) I used to write down the words to all of your songs and give a pretend concert in my room pretending I was you. That was many many years ago, although it still may be fun to do now that I am 30.....

Anyway, I had tons of questions for you, but many seem to have been answered. I do have a few that hopefully were not asked as of yet.

1) The new album is FANTASTIC! I was never a fan of Bop before, but I sure am now. Thank you for introducing this style of music to me. Are there any plans to release a new "pop/rock" album in the near future? I would like to reserve my copy now please!

2) Could you tell me/us a little bit more about the years 1984--1998 in your life, both personally and professionally? Thank you.

3) How would I go about getting your autograph? I want to put it right next to Paul McCartney's on a wall in my new house. (sorry if I am embarrassing you, I assure you I am being most sincere).

4) You stated that you have been married three times. Are you currently married? If so, could you tell us a little bit about your wife and how you met her?

5) What prompted your move to Nashville?

6) Are you artistic in any other areas besides music?

7) What instruments do you or could you play other than guitar and bass?

8) Who is a better bassist, you or John McVie? (come on, be honest!)

9) You mention Kurt Cobain on your new album. Were you a fan of his music? Do you think he was in any way original in any of his music? What do you like/dislike about his music? (I would love to have his autograph on the OTHER side of Paul McCartney!)

10) I love the album "Man Overboard" and am shocked no one has mentioned it thus far. Where does that rank among your favorites and what is your opinion of it?

11) If you could have written one song that you did not write, what would it be?

I will stop at 11 and possibly ask more later. Thank you so much for answering our questions and for your patience. We need more of your music!! You are the BEST!!!! (Rob Hylen, Boston, Massachusetts, USA)

Rob, wow, an 11 parter...Soon we'll have a novel ! ;-)

First of all, thank you for the sincere compliments ! Even though what we musicians do is not exactly "rocket science" or curing...anything !;-) I'm glad you like "Bop"...If I was to put out another 'pop/rock" type record, it would have to have at least something unusual about it, because at this time in my life I don't see myself as going head to head w/ "The Goo-Goo Dolls" or somebody. I just don't feel like "competing" in that arena ! But we'll see...

2. 1984-1998 was a story for me of pulling out of major depression, drug addiction and extreme negativity, which I was able to do, thanks to a. the LA Sheriff's Dept (busted), b. Cedars Sinai hospital (in a coma 2 weeks), and, especially, c. a lovely lady named Wendy Armistead, who helped me stop beating my head against a brick wall ! During this time Wendy helped me to get back into reading music again, to want to do a band again, (the Touch, Ave. M), and to regain my musical and personal identity, which had gotten pretty trashed. I also moved to Nashville where the whole world of co/writing, which I never got into (with total strangers) before, has made me much more flexible as an artist.

3. Marty has a certain # of signed CD covers which he's sending out [with the purchased Bop CDs]; otherwise write me at my website, which I check at least once a month.

4. Wendy and I are happily married (14 years now) and we've been through the ---t-mill together ! ;-) We met at "The Central" club on Sunset Blvd in LA (now Johnny Depps club, where River Phoenix sadly od'd)

5. Nashville is a much more low key town than LA, which I like, now.

6. I'm working on being a "book" writer, otherwise I couldn't paint or sculpt my way out of a paper bag ! ;-)

7. I used to play clarinet and some tenor sax, but it's been years...

8. I LOVE to invent bass parts, and love playing the bass, but Mc Vie is the true workmanlike and steady bass player among us. I just dabble !

9. I liked some of the songs very much that Nirvana did...however the reference to "Kurt Cobain" was mostly a reference to his (and my past) heroin use....

10. Some folks have mentioned "Man Overboard" actually...Man Overboard was my attempt to be "The Cars"...I think succeeded, at least artistically !;-)

11. I wish I had written "Oh Well" and "Through The Fire", sung by Chaka Kahn, written by.....??

Hi Bob, I am thrilled to get this opportunity to write to you. This is more of a very strong complimentary letter of praise than Q and A, Although I will ask a couple of simple questions. I have been a very big fan since the beginning of your career with FM. I am a 46 year old musician and play somewhat professionally in a classic Rock and Roll band in Huntsville, AL. I am speaking in this letter for my best friend as well as myself.

My friend Ken and I know good music. We have been scrutinizing the music of FM for years. All the past and present members of FM are so talented, it is so hard to compare talent, and of course music appreciation is subjective.

Let me say that the essence of FM lies in a few places. For one, some incredible contributions to FM have been made since your departure, with the highly successful, commercial, FM. Buckingham and Nicks have been great, as well as all the others.

Secondly, let me say our belief also is that the true essence of FM as a blues legend band, lies in what they did before your arrival,and particularly with the involvement of Danny Kirwan.

Finally, let me say that what FM evolved into when you joined, with the team of you and Danny Kirwan,as well as the rest of the band,is the true essence of FM and absolutely incredible. This "true essence" also extends beyond Kirwan's departure, and includes what you continued to contribute before you left the band.

It is a crying shame that you were excluded from the Hall Of Fame. You were cheated, big time. Fortunately, there are many of your fans in the world who know how good you are, but even if my best friend and I were the only ones that did, let me say that you are one great musician.

I hope I get the chance to correspond with you in the future and if I am lucky enough, meet you. My simple questions to you are,

1. What was the nature of the argument between you and Danny Kirwan, about tuning a guitar, that led to his departure ?

2. I noticed the name, R.Welch, on an old song from an Hourglass album. It is called "Out Of The Night." It is a great soul tune. Did you write that ? This was before the Hourglass evolved into the Allman Brothers. (Warren Rutledge and Ken Ellingsen, Huntsville, Alabama, USA)

Wow, Warren, my ego, which is already a size 11 1/2 is mushrooming again ! ;-) Thank you for your praise ! And a lot of praise it was too ! How are things in 'Bama, our neighboring state ? As to your questions:

1. I can't remember that exact reason for the problem which led to Danny not going on stage that night... I do remember that he threw his Les Paul Black Beauty against the bathroom wall though....

2. The "RWelch" on the Hourglass album, is not me.. ..

Hi Bob! I was so lucky to find "French Kiss" on CD at a second hand store, it's one of those albums I can play from start to finish, with no skipped tracks :)

Are you at all surprised at the number of people commenting on "Did You Ever Love Me"? I'd never heard it until I got The Chain box-set and it really blew me away. So dreamy....

If you had a chance, what would you like to say to Chris, John and Mick?

Did any FM album post your leaving, really make an impact on you?

Do you have any plans to collaborate with Stevie or Lindsey in the future?

Thanks Bob! Hope you can come down to Australia (Melbourne) and do a show for us! :) (Jason Fabbri, Oakleigh, Victoria, Australia)

No, I'm not surprised about "Did You Ever Love Me" getting attention... It seems a good song, is a good song, and Chris sings it beautifully.

To Chris, John and Mick, I'd say "lighten up", and come off your "holier than wouldn't have had a career without us" high horse... You wouldn't have had Stevie and Lindsey if I hadn't convinced you to fight Clifford D, and to move to LA... So were even !

Rumours was of course the "perfect" album in so many ways; a great combination of dark and light moods, interesting arrangements, and you always heard something new everytime you played it, a very detailed record, that didn't get boring with repeated listening.

No plans to collaborate with Stevie or Lindsey... I'd love to go back to Australia !;-)

Hi Bob! Thank you for doing this Q&A for us means a lot to us to be able to ask questions and its refreshing that you give honest answers:)

What you are stating about how FM was as a band is extremely fascinating...because I don't think many of us had that impression of the band. When you first joined the was the atmosphere...who did you clock with first? When did you first discover that this would not be a "fun band" and what made you stay as long as you did?

Also I must say...I really like your voice...when you started...did you feel that singing would never be a problem with you and did you just concentrate on writing/playing? I never seem really hear anyone ask men players who sing about their voices..hmmm.

Thank you once again...have a good day! You rock!:) (Janet, Palymra, New Jersey, USA)

Janet, it's refreshing to talk to people about FM who know almost as much (or more!) than I do about their history ! ;-)

The atmosphere when I joined in '71 was......different, to say the least. They had just lost their main frontman, Pete Green, and Jeremy Spencer within a year and a half. Everybody was sitting around, smoking a lot of hash, and sort of "brooding" about Spencer's recent departure, which had been fairly dramatic.

Mick and I immediately got along great...he was always the main person that I "hung" with in FM. Frankly, I didn't understand Danny K at all... He made me very nervous, and uncomfortable...not meaning to I suppose, he just did. John and Chris were married at the time, and I mostly saw them together, as a couple, in Chris's upstairs kitchen at Benifolds. Chris had a great, sarcastic sense of humor.

When I say they weren't a "fun group", I don't mean to say that nothing was ever any fun ! "Not Fun" more like in.... you go to meet some of your friends and everybody is sort of "vibey" and out of sorts, and somebody else kind of has a chip on their shoulder that day, and somebody else just broke up with their boyfriend, and you better NOT mention THAT, you know, "this is NOTa fun group"...that's how I meant it. Like it was not exactly a back-slapping laugh-riot!;-)

Also the atmosphere was, how to say it (?), "emotionally confining". I had just come from working in a band of American guys, Head West, who were all "high-five", and "gimme some skin", and "putting each other on" and "one for all and all for one" football team type of thing, and by contrast, the Fleetwood Mac'ers seemed, well, "constipated" and uptight. Also, it was not the type of music that I was used to playing, and, as a newbie, I wanted to do what they expected of me...but..they never flat out came out and told me what they wanted, because THEY didn't know. They only knew what they DIDN'T want, which I would have to guess at, if I played a lick that they "disapproved" of. They were very exacting in that way, and I learned a lot about "production" and "self-editing" from them, but it was HARD, not fun.

I never felt comfortable as a singer until just last year !;-) I'm only half kidding. I went from Head West, where I was doing maybe 1 (at most) "novelty" vocal a night, to FM where I was handling a third or more of the set... Singing didn't come easy for me at all.. I did work on it though, along with writing, playing, etc.

Your time in Fleetwood Mac is a period I find quite interesting, mainly because there's not a lot of information written on it. Like Mick, the press seems more interested in the Peter Green and Rumours eras of Fleetwood Mac (a crock, IMHO). Since I wasn't even alive for most of your tenure, I'm REALLY curious as to what songs would be in a typical set list. I know you did most of the old Pete tunes (though I think Christine did Duster Bennet's "Jumpin' At Shadows"). I'm curious as to what tunes Bob "Well Hung" Weston and Dave Walker did in concert. In short, what was a typical set list, and who (if it was not the songwriter) sang them? (Steve MacDougall, Columbus, Ohio, USA)

Steve, a typical set list for, say, 1973, might have been Just Crazy Love, Green Manalishi, Come A Little Bit Closer, Miles Away, Black Magic Woman, Why, Rattlesnake Shake, Oh Well, Shake Your Moneymaker, Jumpin At Shadows, Spare Me A Little, Sentimental Lady, and Hypnotized. Dave Walker did his song, "The Derelict" and the Don Nix tune ( a Nashville buddy BTW) "Goin' Down" live.

Bob Weston didn't sing lead, but sung bg's and played bitchin' guitar on everything ! ;-)

I sang most of the Pete Green stuff... Walker might have done Rattlesnake" when he was in the band for a brief time.

When Danny was in the band, he of course sang all his songs...we never did any of Danny's songs after he left as I remember.....they really needed his voice to sound right...

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