Mick Fleetwood and Stevie Nicks have issued statements paying tribute to former Fleetwood Mac guitarist Bob Welch. “He was an amazing guitar player -- he was funny, sweet and he was smart," Nicks recalled. "I'm so very sorry for his family and for the family of Fleetwood Mac. So, so sad."
Welch was found dead at his home in Nashville, Tennessee, on Thursday. A police spokesperson said the 66-year-old musician died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. A suicide note was found at the house.
"He was a very, very profoundly intelligent human being and always in good humor, which is why this is so unbelievably shocking," Fleetwood told Reuters. "He was a huge part of our history, which sometimes gets forgotten…. Mostly his legacy would be his songwriting abilities that he brought to Fleetwood Mac, which will survive all of us."
Welch brought a more commercial sound to Fleetwood Mac during his tenure with the band, which lasted from 1971 to 1974. He went on to forge a solo career that yielded several successful albums, including 1977’s platinum-selling French Kiss. Among his best-known singles were “Sentimental Lady” and “Church.”