1978 Bob Welch – Ebony Eyes
Robert Lawrence Welch Jr. was born in Hollywood and learned to play first the clarinet and then the guitar. He simplified his name to Bob Welch and joined a series of different bands beginning in 1964, but none of them achieved any lasting success.
Fleetwood Mac formed in 1967, long before the hit-making machine got rolling in 1975. The first incarnation of the group recorded British blues on several albums. They had several huge singles in the UK the next three years beginning with the chart-topping instrumental Albatross, but did not reach the Hot 100 in the US. Guitar player Peter Green ran into a bad batch of LSD and left the group in 1970. In early 1971, Jeremy Spencer walked away from a concert and essentially quit the band as well. The group auditioned Bob, and he took over the position of lead guitar in the band in 1971. Christine Perfect had married John McVie and become Christine McVie in 1969, and she also joined the band full time. The band’s 1972 album included Sentimental Lady, a song written and sung by Bob.
Bob and Christine soon were writing most of the band’s material. Single hits eluded the new line-up of the group, although FM radio played that album cut Hypnotized a great deal beginning in 1973.
Bob had marital problems and felt used up by the band and resigned from the group at the end of 1974. Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham joined the group and Fleetwood Mac became superstars the next year.
Bob began work on a solo career, and had help on his first album from several Fleetwood Mac members: Mick Fleetwood, Lindsey, and Christine McVie. Bob reworked and released Sentimental Lady as the first single from the album. The record peaked at #8 on the Hot 100 in 1978. The second single from the album did nearly as well. Ebony Eyes reached #14 a few months later.
Bob had two more top forty singles in the next two years, but none of his albums or singles cracked the charts after 1979. Mick became Bob’s manager in the eighties and had Bob perform as an opening act for Fleetwood Mac and even come back on stage to sing Hypnotized with the band. His three new albums in the early eighties failed to produce any results, and Bob’s career wilted.
Bob became addicted to heroin and cocaine as his career faded. When he came out of rehab, he married his second wife, who helped him with his recovery. He became permanently drug free in 1985.
The inducted Fleetwood Mac into the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame in 1998. They inducted members from the line-ups both before and after Bob’s tenure with the group, but omitted Bob from the honors. Bob later said that he they likely left him off the list of honorees because the members of the committee and some other influential insiders did not like Bob’s style of music.
Bob had spinal surgery in 2012. His doctors were not optimistic about his recovery and informed him he likely would become an invalid. He was also in constant unrelieved pain and took his own life a short time later.
My books are on sale on Amazon (or free with Kindle Unlimited) and contain a lot more Lost or Forgotten Oldies. You can visit my author page to see them and you can read them for free with Kindle Unlimited!