Bob Welch Part One
I looked through my iTunes library and I found his album, so for today, I’m doing Bob Welch Part One.
Robert Lawrence Welch Jr. (August 31, 1945— June 7, 2012) was an American musician who was a member of Fleetwood Mac from 1971 to 1974. He had a successful solo career in the late 1970s. His singles included “Hot Love, Cold World“, “Ebony Eyes“, “Precious Love“, “Hypnotized“, and his signature song, “Sentimental Lady“.
Bob Welch (left) and recording engineer Jimmy Robinson at the Record Plant in Sausalito, California
Welch’s Background Information
His Birth Name
Robert Lawrence Welch Jr.
When And Where He Was Born
August 31, 1945.
Los Angeles, California .
Died. June 7, 2012 (aged 66). Antioch, Tennessee,
Vocals, guitar, bass guitar.
Capitol, RCA, Curb, Edsel, Rhino, One-Way.
Seven Souls (1964— 1969).
Head West (1970 ).
Fleetwood Mac (1971— 1974).
Paris (1975— 1977).
Welch’s Early Life
Welch was born in Los Angeles, California, into a show business family. Welch‘s father was movie producer and screenwriter Robert L. Welch, who worked at Paramount Pictures in the 1940s and 1950s, producing films starring Paramount‘s top box office stars, Bob Hope and Bing Crosby (solo, not as a duo). He also worked as a TV producer, responsible for the 25th Annual Academy Awards TV special in 1953 and The Thin Man TV series in 1958— 59. Bob‘s mother, Templeton Fox, had been a singer and actress who worked with Orson Welles‘ Mercury Theatre in Chicago, Illinois and appeared on TV and in movies from 1962 to 1979.
As a youngster, Welch learned clarinet, switching to guitar in his early teens. Hehad received his first guitar at the age of eight. The young Welch developed an interest in jazz, rhythm and blues, and rock music. After graduating from high school, Welch eschewed attending Georgetown University, where he had been accepted, to move to Paris, professedly to attend the Sorbonne. Welch told Peoplein a 1979 interview that, in Paris, “I mostly smoked hash with bearded guys five years older.“ He spent time “sitting in the Deux Magots café“ rather than attending to his studies, and eventually returned to Southern California, where he studied French at the University of California, Los Angeles.
Dropping out of UCLA before graduation, Welch joined the Los Angeles-based vocal group The Seven Souls as a guitarist in 1964, replacing band member Ray Tusken, a guitarist who went on to become vice-president in charge of A&R for Capitol Records. The Seven Souls lost a battle of the bands competition whose prize was a recording contract with Epic Records, to Sly and the Family Stone. The original line-up included lead singer Ivory Hudson, saxophonist and singer Henry Moore, drummer Ron Edge and bassist Bill Deiz, who later became a television news anchorman and reporter in Los Angeles. (Later band members Bobby Watson and Tony Maiden subsequently formed the funk group Rufus with Chaka Khan.)
The Seven Souls‘ 1967 release “I‘m No Stranger/ I Still Love You“ (OKeh 7289) made no impact at the time of its release, despite subsequent issue in France and Italy. However, the B-side “I Still Love You“ has become a Northern Soul anthem over the past 30 years with original copies on OKeh (or French CBS/ Italian Epic) changing hands for anything up to ₤ 400. “I Still Love You“ was co-written by Henry Moore and Bill Deiz. The Seven Souls broke up in 1969.
Welch moved back to Paris and started a trio, Head West, which was not a success. He later told People that the two years in Paris between 1969 and 1971 were spent “living on rice and beans and sleeping on the floor.“ While in Paris, Welch became friends with future CBS correspondent Ed Bradley, who would later be present at Sunset Sound Studios during the making of French Kiss.
Welch And Fleetwood Mac
Welch struggled with a variety of marginal bands until the summer of 1971, when the remaining members of Fleetwood Mac, a British blues band that had lost two o fits three front-line members, Peter Green and Jeremy Spencer, held auditions at their retreat in England, Kiln House, seeking a guitarist to replace Spencer. Judy Wong, a friend of the band who served at times as their secretary (Danny Kirwan‘s song “Jewel-Eyed Judy“ was dedicated to her), recommended her high school friend Welch to the band. Welch (who has sometimes been described as Wong‘s high school boyfriend) was living in Paris at the time. The band had a few meetings with Welch and decided to hire him without actually playing with him or listening to any of his recordings. Welch was given the role of rhythm guitar, backing up lead guitarist Kirwan. It was felt that having an American in the band might extend Fleetwood Mac‘s appeal in the States. Welch eventually went to live in the band‘s communal home, a mansion called Benifold, which was located in Hampshire.
Along with fellow newcomer Christine McVie, a keyboardist/singer-songwriter(formerly of the British blues band Chicken Shack, and newly married to Fleetwood Mac bassist John McVie), Welch helped to steer the band away from the blues genre to a more melodic direction, particularly after lead guitarist/singer-songwriter Danny Kirwan was fired from the band in 1972 after an argument with Welch.
Using mobile equipment borrowed from The Rolling Stones, the band recorded material for three albums at Benifold: Bare Trees, Penguin and Mystery to Me. The band‘s first album to feature Welch and McVie, Future Games, was recorded, however, at Advision Studios in London (as is cited on the back of the album jacket) and Bare Trees was mostly recorded at De Lane Lea Studios in Wembley.
In September 1971, the band released Future Games, with the title song written by Welch. This album was different from anything the band had done up to that point. In 1972, six months after the release of Future Games, the band released Bare Trees, which featured Welch‘s song “Sentimental Lady“. The song went on to become a much bigger hit for him five years later when he re-recorded it for his solo album French Kiss. Christine McVie also sang on the remake and was a producer of the song.
Friction From Within
The band were comfortable playing in the studio, but their tours were moreproblematic. Kirwan developed an alcohol dependency and became alienated from Welch and the McVies. Welch held contradictory attitudes towards Kirwan in the sixteen months they were bandmates in Fleetwood Mac: On the one hand, their personal relationship was difficult as Welch felt that Kirwan was playing mind games with the band; and on the other hand, Welch had enormous respect for Kirwan‘s musicianship. In 1999, Welch stated: “He was a talented, gifted musician, almost equal to Peter Green in his beautiful guitar playing and faultless string bends.“ In a later interview, Welch said: “Danny wasn’t a very lighthearted person, to say the least. He probably shouldn’t have been drinking as much as he did, even at his young age. He was always very intense about his work, as I was, but he didn’t seem to ever be able to distance himself from it … and laugh about it. Danny was the definition of ‘deadly serious‘.“
The end for Kirwan came in 1972 during an American tour. Before a concert in August, Kirwan argued with Welch over tuning their guitars and flew into a rage, smashing his guitar and refusing to go on stage. He reportedly smashed his head bloody on a wall backstage, then moved into the sound booth and watched the band struggle through the set without him, with Welch trying to cover his guitar parts. After the fiasco of a show, he criticized the band.
Fleetwood subsequently fired Kirwan, partly on the recommendation of Welch. Theartistic direction of Fleetwood Mac essentially was left in the hands of Welch and Christine McVie.