Bob Welch, November 8 - 21, 1999
What other types of music do you listen to currently ? Which other artists have you worked with recently ? (Damon Garascia, Ferndale, Michigan, USA)
Hello Bob. It's great to have this opportunity to talk with you online. After so many years without hearing from you,this year has been like hitting paydirt. Your new album, plus I was able to transfer your LPs to CD a few months back.I couldn't wait to get some new music from you. You have always written about things that are topical, so I'm not really surprised with lyrics such as in "Hustler". I don't play it around the kids though.
Musically I think the sound is a nice fit for you. Quite natural. Will you be making more recordings like this in the future? Please say you won't take so long before the next album! I can only assume that the labels are responsible for the long lapse in recordings. And it's a shame. What have you been doing since the last record?
I think it was EYE CONTACT.Did you abandon music for a while or keep playing? For so long I heard nothing about your work at all. It was a hope of mine to see you possibly work with Fleetwood Mac after Lindsey departed, or in the early '90s.Would you ever consider that? I remember back in '82, the LIVE AT THE ROXY concert you did with them and others. It was great. I never had the RCA SelectaVision player but bought the disc anyway, thinking I might get one later. I was fortunate to be able to tape the Simulcast aired on the radio though. Concerning your back catalog...Are there any Paris CDs available anywhere? Could you bring us up to date on your plans? Thanks for taking the time to read and respond. (Timothy Kee, North Huntingdon, Pennsylvania, USA)
Bob, I just want to say that I love the new C.D! You mentioned that your first love in music is Jazz, especially Be-bob. Is the the record you've always wanted to make, but never had the opportunity until now? (Damon Garascia, Ferndale, Michigan, USA)
Bob, I have been a fan for years. The new album is great. Have you had any discussions with Mick about releasing any of the rare tracks from 1970-1974 that never made it to a Fleetwood Mac album? (Bill, Bel Air, Maryland, USA)
I'm glad you like "Bop" ! It makes me happy that somebody can enjoy a completely "non-commercial, non-marketing oriented" record !
Since the lawsuit in the early 1990s, have you been in contact with the other members of Fleetwood Mac? (Mark Trauernicht, Alexandria, Virginia, USA)
Will we ever get to hear that track that was left off of 'Mystery to Me', "Good Things (Come To Those Who Wait)"? (Mark Trauernicht, Alexandria, Virginia, USA)
Good Things" is owned by WB records, and if it was ever released, Mick , John Chris and I would have to mutually agree to it, and I don't think that's gonna happen anytime soon !;-) The tape's probably self-destructed by now anyway.. ;-)
Are there any plans to re-release the video presentation "Bob Welch at the Roxy" on videocassette or DVD? (Mark Trauernicht, Alexandria, Virginia, USA)
I don't even know at this point who owns the Roxy show.. As far as I know, no plans to release it on DVD... They probably wouldn't tell me if they did release it anyway ! ;-)
Who was "Avenue M", that band you recorded the one song with, for the Best of Bob Welch CD? Who were the other members? (Mark Trauernicht, Alexandria, Virginia, USA)
A question about Ave M ! I love it !
Who did you enjoy working with and why? (Jocelyn, Ruidoso, New Mexico, USA)
I enjoyed working with Jeff Baxter, because he pushes you really hard artistically. Also Alvin Taylor, my "French Kiss" drummer, and of course Fleetwood Mac, back in the happy "good old days", BWAGBAT- "Before We All Got Bitter And Twisted". ;-)
Hello Bob!! I am a huge fan of yours. The first FM album I had in my collection was Mystery To Me. I have a few questions for you. 1. Are there any plans to release any of your pre Mac recordings on cd? 2. I have a cd of a sound check from 1974 called Bermuda Triangle great show. Can you shed some light on the court's ruling in the case involving Clifford Davis? 3. How can you be contacted? I would like to speak with you sometime. Thanks for your time. (Tom Kirby, Roswell, New Mexico, USA)
Hmmmm... Bermuda Triangle.....all these questions from Roswell, N.M.......is there a connection...? ;-)
Hi again Bob-- I hope you don't mind another question. is the song "Good Things" recorded later as "Don't Wait Too Long" or are they 2 different songs? What do you remember from the Mystery To Me recording sessions? (Tom Kirby, Roswell, New Mexico, USA)
Tom.. I certainly don't mind another question, that's what I'm here for ! ;-) I'd be disappointed if there WERE no questions ! Can you imagine, a completely BLANK Q&A ? ;-)
First of all, I wanted to say your stuff is great-especially "Revelation" and your work on Heroes Are Hard To Find. My question is: what were you saying in the very beginning of "Coming Home" off the Heroes Are Hard To Find Record? It's barely audible & I always wondered what it was. In conclusion, you're a cool and krazy guy and I hope you tour in the central PA area soon! (Brian, Cornwall, Pennsylvania, USA)
Hi Bob, my question is if you ever had any regrets of any kind in Fleetwood Mac. For instance, when you know you've done your absolute best to get them further down the road, and the fanfare still isn't there. How was touring between 1972-1974 with them, was it still fun despite the fact that FM wasn't big in the states compared to what Stevie and Lindsey had done? Last do you plan to tour, if so, are there any east coast dates in mind? (Jeff Baer, Thorofare, New Jersey, USA)
Will we ever see 'Bob Welch and Friends: Live From the Roxy' on CD or DVD? (Bob Vanderburgh, Huntington Beach, California, USA)
I don't know of any forthcoming release of "B Welch And Friends" in any format.
Hi Bob! In the mid-late 80's I read a series of books by Carlos Castaneda of the teachings of Don Juan. As I was reading them I kept thinking about "Hypnotized." Is there any correlation between that song and Castaneda? Those books really changed my life at the time and I've always wondered if they had any affect on yours as well. (Bear, Atlanta, Georgia, USA)
Yes, in fact Hypnotized was primarily inspired by Castanadas books, the Hickson Pascagoula Miss UFO sighting, some stories told to me by friends, and some personal experiences. Thanks for asking !
Hi, Bob...I hear Marty's already warned you about me, but trust me...I AM NOT A STALKER! :-) Here are the "first 10"...
LOVE the new CD...Its just a JOY to hear new material from you again. Enough said, on with the Spanish Inquisition.....
1) I notice there are no musician credits other than "Beegie Adair guest vocal"...was this album pretty much a "SOLO" album in the true sense? Did you do most of the instruments yourself? (ala Buckingham's "Out Of The Cradle"; Paul McCartney's "McCartney" album)
1a) Are you planning to get a band together and do a tour to back this album?
1b) Being as how you've been out of the public eye on a grand scale for a while, have you been playing live in public at ALL??? (small clubs, guest appearances, etc)
2) The cover states "His 1st NEW work since "French Kiss""...explain that please. Is the capitalization of the word "new" to throw us off? Did you really have 5 albums worth of material written during the French Kiss sessions? Or, is what you're saying that the material that followed the French Kiss album was a continuation of the pop sound of French Kiss and this is a whole new direction?
2b) Being a long-time fan, it was easily recognized that "Hustler" is a revamped "Silver Heels" from Heroes Are Hard To Find...was that "tip o' the hat" to the Fleetwood Mac days, or is there a hidden meaning that we can read into it in regards to how it seems you were treated by the band (or Mick specifically). WOW! I guess I should be a "tabloid journalist"! ;-)
3) Ok, now that I touched on that, we finally we get to the Fleetwood Mac questions :-)
I've got the original Mystery To Me album with "Good Things..." listed instead of "For Your Love". How different in arrangement is your "Don't Wait Too Long" on Three Hearts to the original "Good Things Come To Those Who Wait" from the Mystery To Me sessions?? (and will we ever get to hear the original version???)
4) Was re-recording "Sentimental Lady" for French Kiss YOUR idea or Mick's since he was your manager at the time?
5) WILL the two Paris albums and the two albums you did for RCA ever be officially released on CD? Is that in the works? Or do we need to inundate some executive's email box with that request?
6) Ok, I promise I'm not TRYING to be Jim Gray to your Pete Rose, and it seems to be a bit of a touchy topic, but I think it has to be asked...and I won't dwell on it in future query submissions...
What IS up between you & the rest of F-Mac, individually or collectively?
Its an understatement to say that I was OUTRAGED at your omission from being inducted into the R&R Hall Of Fame with them! Mick's been quoted as saying, "Bob Welch saved Fleetwood Mac" and I remember the whole "bogus band" fiasco (even had tickets for one of the bogus concerts, but thanks to an informed DJ on the radio, I didn't go). Was Mick's book accurate in telling the tale of those days? (there has been speculation of the accuracy of events recounted in there being overblown for "book sales").
It just seems like you were given the short end of the stick for all you did for the band; and now it seems (from a public standpoint) in the Fleetwood Mac camp, your a "person non grata". Would that be an accurate assumption? If you would, please explain your side of the story.
Ok, back to lighter topics...
7) Did you do an entire album with "Avenue M".
8) Between Avenue M & now, have you done an album (or albums) that never got released (I know that many artists seem to have that "long lost album"...for example, in last month's Q&A, Walter Egan said he had an entire album done but it never got released.)
9) After the hard rock excursion of the first Paris album, "Big Towne, 2061" seemed like "the missing link" between "Heroes Are Hard To Find" & "French Kiss"...was that a conscious switch in direction, or a "natural flow"?
10) Going "back to the beginning", its been documented that there was somewhat of a kind of "bad blood" between you and Danny Kirwan right from the start, yet "Future Games" & "Bare Trees" were EXCELLENT albums. Did the two of you collaborate on the guitar parts of each of your songs, or did you do the parts yourselves and have to learn the parts for the live situation? And what was the reality of the vibe between you & Danny.
10b) During those early tours, who sang the Peter Green material, you or Danny? Were any shows from those days "officially" taped for a possible live album?
11) (ok a "bonus question" for now..."see it goes to eleven, that's one louder") I have a tape of a "King Biscuit" show back from 1974...on the tape you introduce Bobby (somebody or other) as playing 2nd keyboards...when I got to see the taping of the Don Kirshner show a guy named Doug Graves. Were these guys "add ons" to fill out the sound for the tour or official members? On the TV show, Don Kirshner introduced Doug Graves as being "the newest member"...just wondering. OH, and when I saw you at the Long Beach Arena in December of '74, which if my chronology is correct, your last show with the band (?). There was yet a different guy playing the B-333 and synth parts.
Thanks for taking your precious time to answer our questions here. And, once again, I can hardly express how glad I am to be able to listen to a "brand new Bob Welch album" again!
Less controversial questions next time, I promise! (Steve Denison, Long Beach, California, USA)
Marty DID warn me about you, but not so much as a "stalker" but as an essayist, a regular Ralph Waldo Emerson of questioners ! ;-) Do you by any chance teach school ? (I noticed the".edu" in your address) If not, you should ! You'd give great test ! ;-) To begin at the beginning, point by point:
What has been your greatest contribution to Fleetwood Mac? and how do you feel about the poor judgement of the Rock n' Roll Hall Of Fame excluding you as a member of Fleetwood Mac? (Anonymous)
I talked about the rock n roll HOF thing in an earlier question; please take a look at that ....;-)
Congratulations on your latest release! I'd really like to know anything you can remember about the writing and recording of "Did You Ever Love Me" from Fleetwood Mac's Penguin. Was that song a result of a jam between you and Christine? Did one of you write the lyrics and the other music? It's a great track and I think it would be a great cover for somebody to do today. And the steel drums...I believe that's the only time Fleetwood Mac has ever done that... (Raven, Cold Spring, New York, USA)
If I remember right, "Did You Ever Love Me" started with me, Chris and Bob Weston sort of "noodling" around. Chris came up with an interesting keyboard part, and the we worked the lyric out over several more days. It was a true collaboration, where you can't easily separate everything out.. Yeah, I wish somebody would cover it ! Mick probably still has those steel drums in storage somewhere. He always liked unusual percussion instruments. Cheers!
What was your inspiration for "Sentimental Lady?" I first heard this song on The Chain box set and it got me very interested in pre-Buckingham Nicks Fleetwood Mac. Thanks for all of your great music! (Erin, Spokane, Washington, USA)
Thank you for your interest ! "Sentimental Lady" was based on one of those messy girlfriend/boyfriend breakups, that you later wish hadn't happened, and you're sitting alone, wishing it had been different! Hope that's not too depressing ! ;-)
Hi Bob, thank you so much for doing this! I love your songs - Hypnotized and Ebony Eyes are two of my all-time favorites. With that said, I was wondering if you are to say which album you like the best of the ones you did with FM? Which one you feel you did the best work on, or you enjoyed the most. Or is it impossible to say? Also, do you have any comments on how you feel that the departure of Danny Kirwan affected the band? Thanks! (Sara, Charlotte, North Carolina, USA)
Thank you for your kind comments about my songs ! The "Mystery To Me" album stands out as the most "solid" album, all the way through, that I did with FM. I guess you could say it was my "Rumours" ! ;-) By that I don't mean I don't think that the other albums are good, just that "Mystery..." is the one I'd take with me to a "desert island"... Also, it was, for some reason, the "funnest" (excuse my English) album to make....
Hello, Bob! First let me say that your music is truly awesome! What are your plans for the near future? Are you planning a tour? Another new studio album? (If so, would it be more bop or a different style?) If given the opportunity, would you be interested in working on another studio album with Fleetwood Mac? (Hint, hint...) Thanks, and keep up the GREAT work! (John Mauro, Almond, New York, USA)
Thanx for your nice review of my new CD! I'm not planning a tour...Maybe if the CD does real well ! I don't think I'd do another "Bop" album again, because I'm not really a jazz musician, I'm really just a BE-Bop FAN ! I'll certainly be doing another studio album at some point though. It'd be fun to be in the studio with FM, but I don't think that's likely to happen, given that I don't speak to Mick, John, or Chris. Maybe me, Lindsey, Stevie, Billy Burnette, and Rick Vito should form a band...we could call it the "Ex-Macs"!
Did you make any music videos during the early 1980's? Also were you in Lindsey Buckingham's "Trouble" video as one of the guitar playing individuals? (K.E. Gil, Los Angeles, California, USA)
Thanks for the great musical memories. Is there any chance of you playing with Mick, John and Chris again ? Id love to hear a new live version of "Hypnotized" or "Sentimental Lady". (Dave Podolske, Round Lake Beach, Illinois, USA)
Right now me, and Mick , John and Chris have not spoken in 5 years. That may never change ! I may someday re-record "Hypnotized" etc on my own...
What was Stevie Nicks like? I hear she was very funny, is that true? Are you a fan of her music? Did you two ever date? Have you spoken to her recently? What did you think of Fleetwood Mac after you left and it turned from blues to the way it is now? Thanks. (Melissa, Hemet, California, USA)
Yes, Stevie has a great sense of humor..she always has a "twinkle" in her eye ! We never dated, although I would sometimes hang out at her house, often with my girlfriend along. Stevie seemed to like to have a lot of people, other musicians etc. around.
Hi Bob! Thanks so much for doing this Q&A! I love your new CD, and I especially love your work with Fleetwood Mac. Do you have any favorite song or album from your Mac days? Also, have you ever considered teaming up with any of the old Mac members for an album or some other project? You and Christine together wrote some of the best songs Fleetwood Mac has ever had, and you and Bob Weston complemented each other on the guitar beautifully. Thanks a lot! (Jim, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, USA)
I'm so glad you like my new CD! It means everything to an artist to get that kind of feedback, to know you've "connected"!
Hello Bob...Thank you for taking the time to do this Q&A with us fans!! I must tell you how much I love Come Softly To Me,what was it like in the studio working with Christine? Would you ever work with Christine again? When you redid Sentimental Lady,what was it like to work with Lindsey Buckingham? Which Fleetwood Mac album (that you worked on) is your favorite? Who is the lady on the French Kiss album cover? It was great talking to you and I'll probably visit again !!! Take Care..... (Christa, West Haven, Connecticut, USA)
So many questions, so few typing fingers ! ;-)
What was your reason for a change in musical direction (and hairstyle) for your self entitled LP for RCA Records in 1981. Gone were your hypnotic vocals and idiosyncratic songs and in general were replaced by pop songs that were not written by you. The album is OK, but it has what I call a "homogenous" feel to it......was this done on purpose?
Did the album or the song, "Imaginary Fool" chart or become a hit album in Japan? The reason I'm asking this is because, I recall that the album was re-released in Japan on CD format under the name "Bob Welch / Imaginary Fool". (K.E. Gil, Los Angeles, California, USA)
You asked some pointed questions and it gives me a wonderful excuse for a small "rant", and so if you'll permit me, ahem...cough..;-)
I hear that your friend Jeff Baxter is running for Congress out in California. That is very cool. What's up with that? Will he follow through with it? (Ernie Fuhr, Rockford, Illinois, USA)
I think Baxter will follow through if he gets the support he needs from his district. He probably will, he's a relentless worker...
Bob, I'm glad you kept your sense of humor through it all.I never knew about the troubles you had in the '80s, or the Mick Fleetwood rift.I hope you guys do come to terms. I thought it was odd that when Peter Green decided to record and tour again that he didn't include Mick, since he seemed to be the one who encouraged Pete the most to get back to work. Do you have any more you can tell us about recording and touring in the days when it was still fun? (Timothy Kee, North Huntingdon, Pennsylvania, USA)
Yeah, the late 80's was a "tale of woe" for me, but it builds character ! ;-) I was in a coma at Cedars Sinai in LA from heroin abuse, and six months after I recovered from that, I got busted for "possession". I was smart enough to see the writing on the wall and changed all my friends, and kicked myself in the ...... It's a common enough story, but it's still not easy, especially if you've done it to YOURSELF !