Bob Welch, November 8 - 21, 1999

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I've got a copy of a bootleg (gasp!) of a '74 rehearsal and in the middle of Future Games you go a little crazy ;) You are talking about what a bad year 1970 was and how you came about naming that song...did you ever do that live? Were you just playing around? Did you record that rehearsal yourself? It's just like a little mini Storytellers. I LOVE it! (Tracy G., Stockbridge, Georgia, USA)

I used to do a lot of talking, even on gigs, telling the story of the "Bermuda Triangle", the year in Paris (France) when I wrote "Future Games" etc. I think it really used to annoy Mick, John, and Christine, who would roll their eyes and give me these "if looks could kill" type looks ! ;-) I don't have that tape, but I do have a "filthy language" studio outtake of "Silverheels" that an engineer kept and gave me a copy of. I don't think I'll ever release it ! ;-)

Hell-o again Bob. I will try ask this again and get your take on it. During the Dance tour, Mick would have to think that FM had not played for 7 or so yrs when in fact they played from 93-95. What I meant about John was on the Best Buy CD was he said he really like being on the road with Bekka, Billy and Dave. Does Mick treat all past band mates this poorly. You being friends with Billy did you see this band play or listen to the time CD? (Bill Seamens, Buffalo, Minnesota, USA)

Yes, unfortunately, it seems to me that Mick treats most past band members as if they didn't really have anything to do with FM, with the exception of the "Rumours" band, Pete Green, and rarely, Jeremy Spencer. Everybody else who ever played with FM he "shuts out of his mind", kinda like in the old Soviet Union, where they used to "erase" politicians from official histories, and never mention them in public.

Mick is VERY lucky in that his last name just happens to be the name of the band...there is no Mr "Floyd", for instance, in "Pink Floyd". If Mick's last name had been "Jones" or "Smith", he would have never been able to get away with the heavy-handed tactics he has used with MOST former band members.

I personally think Bekka and Billy were wonderful together, although I never saw that line-up live, because I was suing Mick, John and Chris at the time. The thing I wish that all the fans would realize about FM, is that everyone, Stevie , Lindsey, Rick Vito , Billy, Bekka, Bob Weston etc are all really nice and fun people, the SOURPUSSES, are, and have always been, in my opinion, Mick, John and Chris, who have tended to act as if they were English "royalty" and "Better" than everybody else.

I'll tell you another little secret that is not known at all except to a few close "insiders" and me. I met Lindsey once at Chuck's Steak House, ( next to the old "Record Plant" studios) on Melrose in LA after Lindsey had been in the band maybe 6 months, and was in the middle of recording the white album. We had a couple of beers and then he confided in me, "how the hell did you stand it?" he asked me. I knew immediately what he meant...the "emotional atmosphere" created by Mick, John and Chris, all together in the same room could get intolerable at times. Imagine being locked in a room, for MONTHS at a time, with the 3 of your relatives that make you the most uncomfortable ! Maybe there is your uncle, who is always drunk, and who you have to "humor". Then there is your maiden aunt, who is alternately crotchety or making "crotch" references, and who is unmercifully sarcastic to boot. Then there is your brother who, although bright, has a slight learning disability, and rather than talk, he prefers to communicate in his own brand of "body English", gestures, and eye movements ! All of you are together in this tiny room trying to think up music, and it's costing you 300$ an hour to be there. Months go by...eyes are still rolling, sarcasm still flying, people never "say what they mean" and you have to keep guessing, flying blind. And it's still costing you 300$ an hour to do this.

Any body who EVER was in FM, had to put up with some version of this.

In the end, Lindsey was actually thinking of leaving FM 6 months after he joined...he didn't know if he could "take" it. At Chuck's, I told him, "you got 2 choices; get out, or swallow hard, bite the bullet and hang in there". I told Lindsey that this was a great "shot" for him, and if he could just persist with these people, like I had for five years, it might all be worth it. Maybe my advice helped him, or not...but he stayed.

But Bill... it was not a "fun group "....;-)

Hello Bob. I really appreciate your candor. Long after the Q & A is done, I'll remember how gracious you were to us fans. Your music with Fleetwood Mac is as memorable as any.....Now tell the truth, did you really plan for MYSTERY TO ME to sync with THE WIZARD OF OZ if you start the LP after the third lion's roar of the MGM logo? Just kidding. I wish you all the success on your new album. (Timothy Kee, North Huntingdon, Pennsylvania, USA)

Wow, that was a complicated formula !;-) Beats "backwards masking" by a mile ! ;-) The funny thing is, I've never met a musician who wasn't trying to do either 1 of 2 things with their music, (1) Make great music to the best of their own ability and vision, or, (2) make a lot of money, or both. Even people like Alice Cooper or Marilyn Manson or Ozzy Osbourne, let alone people like Fleetwood Mac, or the Beatles etc. are simply trying to do what they hear in their heads, or what pleases them ( as grotesque as that may sometimes be ).

I've been at a lot of sessions, with a lot of different KINDS of artists, and I never saw anybody that had anything like a "hidden agenda", or secret hidden clues to a cryptic puzzle.. Except me, of course ! ;-)

Caricature provided by Bob Welch

My favorite period of Fleetwood Mac is the Bob, Danny and Christine era. You've said that your favorite song you wrote for FM is "Hypnotized". What are your favorite songs written by Danny and Christine during that period? Other than "Good Things" and "Trinity", do you remember recording material that wasn't released? Finally, not including the new CD, what is your favorite solo LP? I want to thank you for your time, and for writing such great tunes as "Future Games", "She's Changing Me" and "Ebony Eyes". Can't wait to buy your new album, as I'm a BeBop/Hardbop myself (esp. McCoy Tyner and Horace Silver). (Chris Frohring, Cleveland, Ohio, USA)

Thanks ! I think "Woman of 1000 Years" was Danny at his best...and I liked "Why" and "Come a Little Bit Closer" of Christine's, which should have been a hit single, in my opinion.

I'm sure that there was stuff that was recorded and not released but I don't have any copies of it and can't remember what it was...

My favorite solo lp is, "The Other One", and "Eye Contact", probably because they're the "jazziest" and "stretch out" the most from a musician's perspective. I hope you like "BW Looks At Bop"...I sure don't put myself in a league with Mc Coy Tyner or Horace Silver though !

Greetings from Canada. Nice to see you have released some new material. Have only heard the clips so far but sounds good; the CD is treated as an import here and I have it on order. Will it be released in Canada? Also, any plans to release more of your later work on CD? [ i.e.: Eye Contact, Bob Welch] Have enjoyed your music for years, starting with Future Games, and consider your guitar playing to be excellent, and very unique. Caught your show in Vancouver B.C. at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre early 77?, brings back good memories, if I remember there was even a Paris tune. Best wishes on your new endeavors. (Charles Parkhurst, Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada)

Thanks Charles ! I always liked going to Canada, the gigs there, esp. Vancouver and Toronto (love those big cities) were the best part of any tour, along with Hawaii and New Orleans !

I'm planning to get the CD distributed in as many countries as possible, but it may take a little time...

I don't know of any plans to put "Eye Contact" on CD...I wish they would !

Ah yes, Vancouver '77...Trader Vics on the bay...the mist ringed mountains in the distance...never wanted to leave ! Such a beautiful place !

I love Sentimental Lady . . . I have it on the Fleetwood Mac Record, and saw that you also included it on your solo work French Kiss. I know you are fans of Stevie and Lindsey, and that Stevie did Silver Springs for Fleetwood Mac and when she wanted to include it on her solo work Fleetwood Mac wouldn't allow her to do that. Is there a reason why you could and she couldn't? BTW, I heard your interview on TNN, where you got a well deserved award for Ebony Eyes and Sentimental Lady a while back. Both beautiful songs--thank you for them. I also have your new CD and, while I didn't at first hear "your sound," now I am getting into it! Keep on making music! If there is a Buckingham Nicks remake, it would sure be great to expand it to be Buckingham-Nicks-Welch! That would be great music! Thank you. (Susan, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA)

Susan, you say some interesting things ! I think that Sentimental Lady was a different story from "Silver Springs" for a couple of reasons. One is, Mick John and Chris, and WB records care a lot more about Stevie's work with FM than my stuff with them; for good "business" reasons... Stevie after all is who made FM BIG stars. Also, I don't know if Stevie RE recorded "S Springs" with her own band, or whether she wanted to put the FM version of it on her solo record. Sentimental Lady was re-recorded for my solo album, and although all the members of the MAC were playing on the new version, it was NOT the "master" that was on "Bare Trees". The new CD of mine may be a little tough to "get" at first, but give it time (sounds like you are) and just sort of let it "wash over" you, without trying to analyze..and turn it up, like in a car, so you can get all the deep "sub-bass" that's on there ! Buckingham-Nicks-Welch.....? Why not ! ;=)

I was reading one of the (unfortunately few) articles on the Penguin, and one of them made reference to Lindsey and Stevie's joining the band while you were still a part of it. Had you already left the band by the time L&S joined? I know you eventually worked with them, but when did you actually meet Lindsey and Stevie? (Tracy G., Stockbridge, Georgia, USA)

I "hemmed and hawed for months about whether or not I would leave FM... John Mc Vie said, " Bob it'll be the biggest mistake you'll ever make." Everybody knew that we had to find some new creative "juice". Mick had gone out to check out studios to do the next album after "Heroes..." while I was still hemming and hawing. At "Sound City" studios is where somebody played him a tape of Stevie and Lindsey as "Bucking-Ham Nicks". Mick told me about hearing their tape, and how good they were etc. At that point I could've chosen to stay in FM, and add Stevie and Lindsey to the line up. It wasn't like anybody was ASKING me to leave, and there was a moment that I thought about staying.

I didn't actually meet Stevie and Lindsey until a few months after that, when I went to Sound City where they were doing the "white" album. Funny thing is, I was at first confused by the names; I thought "Lindsey was the girls name, and "Stevie" was the guy !;-) Like "Stevie" Ray Vaughn, or "Stevie" Wonder or something !;-)

Hi Bob. Thank you so much for doing this Q&A! My head is swimming from all the info you've shared with us already. Please forgive me if I repeat a question that has already been asked. My favorite pre-LB/SN album from the Mac is Mystery to Me, and one of my favorites songs on there that I never hear anyone talk about is Forever. Was that just a little 'throw away' tune? Can you tell me anything about how it came about? I notice that John McVie has a writing credit on it, too. What was it like working with him? (Tracy G., Stockbridge, Georgia, USA)

It's been fun talking with all of you who really know and care about FM. That usually isn't the case in a "straight" interview, where the guy (or girl) is most often asking questions because it's their job, not because they're really interested !

We tried not to do "throwaway" tunes on records, but we did (and still do, speaking for myself) like to have a variety of moods and feels on songs so things wouldn't all sound the same. "Forever" is one of those little "mood" pieces that wasn't written at all beforehand, and was the result of a "jam" between me and John. John Mc Vie was one of the most inventive bass players I ever worked with. He really made his bass lines COUNT, they're almost like little songs within the song, and were always very memorable in themselves !

I just want to say that I am really enjoying talking with you. By the way, I have just ordered your latest album from Marty and can't wait to listen to it. Here are a few more questions: 1. Did Peter Green play on the song "Nightwatch"? 2. If so, did you record with him or was his part recorded separately? 3. Why did Christine sing the lead on "Keep On Going? That song has a great string part, were they recorded using an orchestra? (Tom Kirby, Roswell, New Mexico, USA)

...and I'm enjoying doing the q&a, because I know I'm talking to people who really know about FM, and so I don't have to be as "bland" as I would in an ordinary interview situation..but the typing is hard work, and I run out of gas after a while..;-)

Pete Green plays some eerie stuff way in the background on "Nightwatch", I think during the "fade". He was there at the studio with the rest of us when he did it...he actually played the part standing in the studios echo chamber...

Christine sung "Keep On Going" because she liked it, and sounded better on it than me.... I've always written some things that I personally couldn't sing particularly well.....

The strings are a real orchestra, I think arranged by Paul Buckmaster, who did a lot of the early Elton John albums...

I guess its part of Fleetwood Mac lore that on the "Penguin" album, Peter Green made an uncredited guest appearance on your song "Night Watch"...were you involved in that, or was that overdubbed later?

Is "Miles Away" one of the songs on which you played bass? What a great bass line!!! WHEW!! I recall seeing you at the Universal Amphitheater right after the release of French Kiss and "Miles Away" was your encore tune! Blew me away! One of your tunes I thought I'd never hear live! Was the only time I've seen you that you played it. Also, two thumbs up to Todd Sharp for a great solo on "Outskirts" that same night.

I digress...

You referred in a previous answer to "Mystery To Me" as "my Rumours"...do you have an album that you'd call "your Tusk"?? (Steve Denison, Long Beach, California, USA)

Steve, so Long Beach is where you're hiding ! ;-)

Pete Green played on "Nightwatch" as a spur of the moment thing one night when he was hanging around the studio. I can't remember if it was "overdubbed", or if he was there when we cut the track. I have to give John Mc Vie full credit for the bass on "Miles Away", although I may have suggested some of the "figures". It's one of Johns most unique and smokin' bass parts ever... Bass is actually my favorite instrument, and never gets much "credit". Turn up "BW Looks At Bop" if you want some "ground-poundin'" bass ! It helps to have a "sub-woofer" !

Yes, the ever distinguished and wildly romantic Todd Sharp could, (and still can) play his "keester" off !

My "Tusk"....? "The Other One", when I stripped everything down and did my version of "raw" and "new-wave"...

Originally I was really amazed by your extremely flexible skills both as songwriter and especially a guitarist after I heard "Narrow Gate (Le Porte Etroite)" from the first LP by Paris. Can you tell me little bit about the strange lyrics behind this track?

What factors were at hand that eventually led you to create the hard-rock unit called, Paris? I've read that after you left Fleetwood Mac, you spent most of 1975 sitting around your sister's house till your brother-in-law started coming up with some ideas. Was "Paris" your idea or a collaboration between Jimmy Robinson and other players? I'm not sure if this true but, I also read that after going thought six managers (and various other problems) you were also supposed to go to New York to write song for a large six piece band?? (K.E. Gil, Los Angeles, California, USA)

You ask a very detailed question K E and I'll try to cover it all ! Get ready.. ;-)<[> "The Narrow Gate" is the title of a novel by French author Andre Malraux...."Porte Etroite" means "barrow gate" in French. Andre Malraux, and I, got the expression "narrow gate" from the Christian bible, where (in differing versions, but all essentially the same) it says, "the way to heaven is NARROW" or "like a narrow gate", and "few are those who find it". There is also a famous quote that says, "it's easier for a camel to get through the eye of a needle, than for a (rich) man to get to heaven". These ideas are echoed in most of the world's great religions, i.e that there is a MYSTERY, which is very HARD to understand, that is hidden in the world, BUT, that "mystery" of why we exist and for what reason, is difficult to find, like getting through a "narrow gate" or "the eye of a needle".

Even scientists are discovering that the secrets of existence lie in the very, very small...like the "eye of a needle"...maybe the sub-quantum world ? But on a human level, "Narrow Gate" is about finding meaning in a "meaningless" existence, which is also what Andre Malraux's novel was about.

My next class wil be at 12;30 ;-)

As I was thinking about leaving FM during '74, I had made friends with, AND my sister started dating, Jimmy Robinson, who was an engineer who had worked on some FM stuff in the studio.Jimmy and I were both big fans of Led Zeppelin at the time, and we conceived of forming a band, "Paris", which would be more like Zeppelin, than Fleetwood Mac. Glen Cornick was also in favor of this; we all wanted to rock "hard", yet with "depth", like we felt Zeppelin was doing....Alas...... ! ;-) Paris did go through a lot of managers, Alan Pariser, Ed Leffler, Larry Larson Tony Outeda...When Hunt Sales got bells palsy, Tony Outeda asked me to come to Long Island and look for players to add to Paris, which I did, ( Outeda was "Foghats" manager at the time.) All that obviously didn't work out, and I wound up going back to LA and writing what would turn out to be "French Kiss"...

Place your order for Welch's solo album, Bob Welch Looks At Bop now ! The supply of these albums is limited and are in stock now. They are autographed by Bob Welch and are priced at $14.25 + $1.75 S/H. You can place your order for this album now in The Penguin Album Corner. Thanks!

Let me first say that I am very happy to see that you are back on the music scene again after such a long hiatus. My question involves your FM songs which dealt with God, the supernatural, and the Apocalypse. Songs such as Revelation (my favorite), The Ghost, Lay It All Down, Angel, Night Watch, and so on all dealt with these themes. My question is simple: why did you often refer to these themes? Were they just interesting topics? Was it a 70's thing for artists to discuss such issues, as if they felt the end was near? Was it in part due to (and I mean this seriously) drugs influencing the mind, or all of the above? By the way, I left out Hypnotized too..:) Thank you for your time, and please say you will be recording more albums in the future. (Rick Spataro, New Kensington, Pennsylvania, USA)

Rick, you too are asking some very interesting questions ! And I thought nobody ever "got" a lot of my album cut stuff ! ;-)

The reason "Hypno", "Nightwatch", "Revalation" etc have the themes they do, is that I was at the time, and still AM, interested in things like "why are we here, does it have a purpose, or is it, are WE, just an accident". How, and why (if there is a why) did the universe come about ? If there is no "God", then it's ok to just go around and do whatever we want, right ? Just live for ourselves, right? Are there other beings in the universe who are as intelligent as we are? Is this reality we see everyday the ONLY reality, or is there something or somewhere that we can't see, feel, taste or touch with our 5 physical senses ?

To me, all this stuff IS what th '60's were all about...people were trying to EXPAND their horizons, their ways of thinking.. Maybe the moon isn't made of "Green Cheese" after all ! Maybe you won't fall off the edge of the earth if you sail around it ... Maybe machines can eventually think, like human beings.. Is there such a thing as a "soul", and if so ,WHAT is it and where is it. Why does everything seem so different when you smoke marijuana, or take LSD? Is the world really the way we perceive it, or do we just all agree, from childhood, that "the world is such and such a way because that's what my parents and teachers taught me?" When my sister and I, at 3 years old, used to talk to our "imaginary friends", what was that all about? Were we crazy? And the BIGGIE...is there life after death, or does everything we have ever done and been, just disappear, except in the memories of those left behind ? Not just a seventies thing at all, I'm still asking that stuff today! ( And no, I haven't found the answers, otherwise, believe me, you would have heard about it ! ;-)

Hi Bob, Bought any ice-cream vans lately? :) (Bob Weston, Hove, E. Sussex, United Kingdom)

Bob, how ARE you darling ...;-) Missed you awfully;-) Don't be a stranger, you mad, mad fool !

Giggleingly, Bawb Welch ( We have the same initials...does that mean something ?!)

BTW; I've heard you're very well "hung"....? Is this just a nasty "Rumour", or could it be.....true!!!

Breathlessly, Boeb Welché

Hi again Bob, I've seen two of your CDs out in the stores since I've been a Mac fan "FRENCH KISS and THE BEST OF. So, I decided to follow the solo projects as well. Does it bother you to know that some albums of yours are not in circulation anymore? What is your opinion on the subject of imports? I know it bothers me when I have to pay $25 for an out of print CD that suddenly became an import.

Last, thanks for doing the Q&A for all of us. I share the same opinion about the Peter Green one also, I didn't find that too enjoyable at all. The question that stirred most interest was the possibility of him Mick and John and Christine getting together. But I think we'll see Lindsey's new solo album out that we've all been waiting for for two years before an original FM reunion. (my opinion also). (Jeff Baer, Thorofare, New Jersey, USA)

Jeff, what it boils down to with the albums, is 'when you're hot, you're hot, when you're not you're not. One of the reasons I've put out "Bob Welch Looks At Bop" myself, is so I can have control of it... Even if it only sells 1 copy a year, I guarantee you it will NEVER be out of print. I really never have too much liked the way record companies repackage tracks that never went together in the 1st place. Of course, if "downloading" ever takes off, people will be putting together their own albums...

One small quibble....an 'original" FM reunion couldn't have Christine in it, because Christine wasn't in "the original" Fleetwood Mac. This sounds to me like another one of Micks' "marriages of convenience".. HE can do it of course, but nobody ELSE can; i.e, imagine if I put a band together with Vito, Burnette, Weston and Stevie, and called it "The Early Middle Period " Fleetwood Mac ? Don't you think Mick would scream bloody murder? Yet this is exactly what he does all the time. He "OWNS" Fleetwood Mac.. Until somebody's got the guts enough to tell him (he's only a drummer after all!) that he doesn't !

Ok, another "hit & run".... ;-)

...not sure of the chronology, but in last month's Q&A, Walter Egan said he'd spent some time playing bass with Spirit. Did his tenure coincide with yours?

(another one filed under "chronology")

Which of you actually recorded "China" (from the Three Hearts album) first, you or Sammy Hagar? And what did you think of his version? Did you play on his version?? (wasn't his album that had that on it produced by John Carter, as well?)

"Heroes Are Hard To Find" has one of my favorite Christine McVie songs, "Bad Loser"...it seems to have more of a "Bob Welch sound" than what we're traditionally used to hearing from her...did you have a large hand in the arrangement of that song? (Steve Denison, Long Beach, California, USA)

Steve, I don't know if I was before or after Walter Egan in terms of working with "Spirit".... I know he wasn't playing bass with them when I did that w/ Jeff Baxter...

I think Sammy Hagar did" China" first. I originally wrote it for Paris, and it didn't show up on one of my albums until "3 Hearts". Yes, Carter produced all of Sammys' albums on Capitol I think. BTW, Carter is now Paula Cole's manager...

"Bad Loser" (which was about Clifford Davis) was Christine all the way. Mick did the kind of beat to it however, that he didn't usually do on her pop songs.. Maybe that's what your hearing....

Well, your story about Stevie coming out on stage and giving those critics "what for" was absolutely hilarious! Thank you for sharing. I had one other question I forgot to ask, Was Ebony Eyes about anyone in particular? (LauraTN, Morristown, Tennessee, USA)

Thanks Laura...

"Ebony Eyes" was a sort of "what I woulda', coulda' said" fantasy about a girl I had seen dining late with her parents, in Mexico City. One of those, "she was enchanting, although we never met" things.......;-) I was all by myself at the time, and had nothing better to do but.......write a song ! ;-)

Bob - Is it my imagination, or does 'Bird' from the new album have a touch of Zappa about it ? I like what you've done with the vocals. Just wondering what you think of the late Frank's work.....also, can you tell us a bit about what it was like recording 'The Other One' ? There's a lot of atmosphere on that album - did you enjoy doing it at the time ? (Steve Ryan, Carlow, Ireland)

Steve, is it the vocals or the music part (at the end) that seems Zapp-ish on" Bird" to you? In the sense that Zappa used to like a lot of musical "suprises", then yes, it is sort of Zappaish I guess ! ;-) I'm actually not all that familiar with Zappas work.. He made a ton of albums, and I've only heard "the hits". I do know he could 'do it all" musically, except sing....

"The Other One" was meant to be "atmospheric" and not real "slick" or polished. I'm glad you like it, it's my favorite too... On "The Other One", I dispensed with a lot of the more "pop" trimmings, and tried to make things grind a little more....

That fall of '79 was a particularly happy one for me....after that, the s--- started "hitting the fan" ! ;-)

I guess this would be basically a question regarding the Fleetwood Mac days, but it could also cover your solo career as well.

Has there been a song (or songs) that you've recorded that you thought "WOW! This one will ROCK when we play it in concert" and for one reason or other either didn't work out as expected in rehearsals or was vetoed by the rest of the band, etc and it never made the set list??

No, I'm not "wearing out"....just day gig priorities too demanding for my usual essay questions! ;-) (Steve Denison, Long Beach, California, USA)

Steve, the day you wear out, will be the day Bill Clinton wears out his...well forget about that, you know what I mean...;-)

Yes, there are always songs that don't come up to what you expect them to be.. There are even entire ALBUMS, and tours that aren't everything you had hoped. There are no "formulas", and magic just has to happen, or it doesn't. Sometimes the "mental weather" is good, sometimes it's not. Of course if it's bad five years in a row, I think we call that "depression". ;-) It's tougher when you're working "solo", because, although nobody (except the producer or the record company) can veto a song, it's hard to get enough perspective to veto yourself ! And you HAVE to !

First, I have to gush a little. I hope you don't mind too much...but Sentimental Lady is one of those songs that I put in the "other dimension" category. It's something that, once you hear it, you are just totally thrown into another world...in this case, a very sweet, pretty world. OK-now that you know that I am somewhat sentimental...I know writers don't like to do this...but could you please tell me your "sentimental" favorites ..which of your songs you like the best for sentimental reasons; which you like to perform because of some memory it triggers?

Oh, and one more thing...is there any song that you performed (you can exclude your own creations, if you want) that you absolutely hated to perform and, given a choice, would never want to do again? (that's for my cynical side) Thanks! (Regina, Bronx, New York, USA)

The easy part is a song that I didn't really want to record, but did anyway, and tried to my best on it, and then the writer 'kicked me in the teeth" because I had changed a couple of things in the lyrics to make the song more singable for me. The song was "Bend Me Shape Me", on my 1st RCA album, which was a political nightmare to record from start to finish. I was trying to please everybody, and wound up pleasing nobody !

I think "Hypnotized" with the Mac, and my solo version of "Future Games" (on "The Other One" album) really affect me emotionally, and put me "back in the picture" somehow. The odd thing is that neither one of those are "love" songs...

There are also some songs, that although you like them as songs, they are just a little more difficult to perform live. I've finally found a way of doing "Sentimental Lady" for instance, that is comfortable for me to do, but for years I never looked forward to performing it live, although I loved the song !

My favorite songs to sing live, are "Hypnotized" and "Oh Well" (although I didn't write it, I probably have sung it live more than Pete Green did) !

Sorry to bug you again, but....I have a seal copy of "Man Overboard" which has a promotional sticker that states, "includes the hit single...Don't Rush The Good Things." Did the track "Don't Rush The Good Things" eventually become a U.S. hit single??? (K.E. Gil, Los Angeles, California, USA)

KE, that story about the "includes the hit single" sticker is the one I use to show how record companies work, or don't work! ;-)

That sticker was put on the "Man Overboard" albums BEFORE they were released. The company was planning IN ADVANCE to make that single, (which I had recorded because it was the national promotion directors favorite song) a hit. Then "something" happened, in the deep dark political recesses of Capitol records, I'll never know what, and the single was allowed to go down the tubes...

That's the music biz for 'ya ! ;-)

And incidentally, you're not bugging me, you guys are supposed to be asking questions, that's why we're doing this ! ;-)

Have you ever recorded with Stevie, other than what has been officially released? If so any plans to release the material? Also please explain how a band could keep an author from his or her own material. Was your music copyrighted by you or Fleetwood Mac? When you left the band did you just leave all your contributions behind because it was recorded in a band context? Things were a lot different then as far as artists and royalties. etc..etc.. (Carmine, Floral Park, New York, USA)

Carmine, there may be some, "at somebody's house", "jam" tapes somewhere, but nothing in the official "can" that I recall... Who owns what and the whole area of music copyright is a real complex subject, and if I went into detail here, I'd have everybody's eyes "glazing over" even more than they already are ! ;-) But briefly, there are times when an artist can own NONE of their rights and times when they can own ALL of their rights....and everything in between ! It all depends on the kind of deals they've made...

From what I understand your third solo LP, "The Other One," cost about $70,000 less to produce than "Three Hearts," due to lack of string arrangements & rehearsals before the tracks were cut in the studio. Why do you think the LP did so poorly in comparison to your previous LP's, I believe it only reached #105 on the charts? Was there a lack of promotional support or public interest in 1979-80?

By the way, "The Other One" is my favorite Welch album to date. Not only do I LOVE this LP, but certain tracks seem to a have bit of a jazzy-R&B's flair to it, similar to something "The Crusaders (Joe Sample, Wilton Felder, & Stix Hooper)" would have produced. In my opinion the track "Watch the Animals" is the best song you've ever written. Great vocals, rhythm section, and excellent guitar work, but Im puzzled in terms of where you received the idea for this song?? (K.E. Gil, Los Angeles, California, USA)

I think "The Other One" was cheaper to do than "3 Hearts", but I really couldn't say by how much... I wasn't paying too close attention to money in those days.......unfortunately ! ;-)

You're right, Capitol was betting all their marbles on "The Knack" at the time "T. O. One " came out, and they didn't give it much company attention. Yeah, it was a great band on that record; (the late, sadly !) Donny Francisco drums, Todd Sharp guitar, Dave Addlestein Keys, and Brad Palmer bass.

"Watch The Animals" is about some research that they had done in China, about animals behavior predicting earthquakes...I took it from there and turned it to one of my "end of the world" songs... ;-)

Bob, Thank you for the wonderful music. It is great to see your name out there again.

1. Your song "Hypnotized" always takes me out of the regular waking state. It is a good song to meditate to (in a dark room with headphones). Just wondering, do you have any formal spiritual practice or beliefs?

2. About the lawsuit thing, not too familiar with that...was it because FM owed you back royalties or because they never paid you back for the money you lent them when they were broke in 1974?

3. You consider Stevie a good friend. Has she ever taken her role as the "mediator" in Fleetwood Mac, as she claims she has, in your case?

4. Was the RRHOF omission of you FM's doing or the nomination committee's?

Thank you for being honest in this Q & A. (Yolande, Michigan, USA)

Yolande, thanks for your kind words ! Feedback like that means everything to an artist !

My "spiritual" practices I'm afraid jump around all over the place, like my music !;-) One minute I'm trying to do Tai-Chi, and the next minute I'm trying to meditate ( with the dogs barking1;-) Not too long ago I took a course in Virginia, where they purportedly teach you to do "out of body" travel in a week.... I didn't get "out of body", but it was VERY interesting.

As far as" beliefs", I feel that most of the worlds great religions and philosophies have at least some clue to the great puzzle of who we are, and why we are etc. But like the blind man and the elephant, nobody has the complete answer as to "what the elephant is" !;-)

I'm sorry, but I can't talk about any details of the lawsuit...

Yes, Stevie has "gone to bat" for me on a few occasions.... If Mick, John and Chris had INSISTED that I get inducted, like Don Henley did for The Eagles, and Jerry Garcia did for The Grateful dead, they could have overridden any "recommendations" the "board" was making..

Honest questions, honest answers ! ;-)

First of all, I want to say thanks for all the great music -- I've just found out about and ordered the new CD -- can't wait to hear it -- sounds interesting from what I've read ...

Have you written or played with former NRBQ guitarist Al Anderson since you've been in Nashville? Somehow I think that the two of you could come up with some really interesting stuff. (Rock Stamberg, Riverside, Connecticut, USA)

No, I haven't written with Al, but I know people who have, and I might at some point... I've written with a lot of other Nashville writers...!

Can you tell me about your influences behind the production of your "Eye Contact" album from 1983? (I think was in the 2nd grade when this one was released!) "American Girls," "Stay" and especially "Can't Hold Your Love Back" are great songs due to their fresh new 80's style pop feel to them. Overall I feel this album is quite good, but I only track I have a problem with is "Love On The Line." I guess what I meant to say is that it really doesn't sound like a Welch penned love ballad...

I have the 12-inch single (extended play version) of "Fever," which is a bit different from the album cut, but was it RCA's idea to release this as a 12-inch mix? Also, were you supposed to do a third LP for RCA Records? (K.E. Gil, Los Angeles, California, USA)

Yet another detailed fact-filled question from KE Gil ! ;-)

Actually, "Eye Contact," and "The Other One", and "Bob Welch Looks At Bop" are my favorite albums, from a purely musicians perspective. Jeff Baxter,who produced the album, and who is still a good friend, is one of the most influential pop/rock guitarists we have, and very inspiring to work with musically.

I had one of the first "Linn Drums" in LA, and our idea was to make the record mostly with the Linn Drum....and with the exception of 1 track, "Love On The Line", we did ! "Love On The Line" probably sounds different to you because that's really Al Jardine and the late Carl Wilson of the Beach Boys doing the high parts...so it sounds like the Beach Boys !

Yes it was RCAs idea to do "Fever" as a 12 inch. "Remixing" for dance clubs had only been going on for a little while back then. That's Nathan East on bass on "Fever" (Michael Jackson....and everybody else...) and Vennetta Fields, ace backup singer on vocals with me.

Hi, Bob!

I also was very disturbed by your being excluded when FM was inducted into the HOF! The unfairness of it (not to mention the lame reasons given) really bothered me, especially since I have always really liked the FM albums you were part of. I especially like the songs Future Games, S.L. (of course), Hypnotized, Bermuda Triangle, Bright Fire, and Night Watch.

But the question I have is this: If you feel free to do so, could you explain what the lawsuit was about, why you went that route, and why you think Mick, John, and Christine seemed to take it so personally? Was there anything else going on at the time that contributed to the hostility or was it just the idea that you sued them? And, lastly, what (if anything) do you think could bring about a resolution of the rift (I'd like to see you get into the HOF retroactively!!) (Dennis Goodyear, Denver, Colorado, USA)

Dennis, I think I've already done enough of a "rant" on my feelings about the hall of fame thing... What could be done....maybe a petition, but a petition to include ALL past members, me, Burnette, Vito, Weston, Dave Mason, Bekka.....That's the fair thing...

I'm sorry, but "the lawsuit" is one of the only things that I'm legally bound (ouch) not to reveal any details of... Any resolution of the "rift" would have to come from them.... I feel I was the "wronged" party here, and they feel they were the "wronged" party, so we've got an impasse......

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