Fleetwood Mac Guitarist's Suicide Note Reveals Fear of Burdening Wife

Bob Welch Album Cover - P 2012

Bob Welch Album Cover - P 2012

A family friend revealed the 65-year-old, who died Thursday, had suffered from health problems and did not want to be an invalid.

More details are emerging in the death of former Fleetwood Mac guitarist Bob Welch.

Welch, 65, had undergone spinal surgery three months ago and it appeared he would not recover, reports the Tennessean. A friend of the guitarist, Bart Herbison, said that troubled Welch, who feared he would be a burden to his wife. 

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“It had become apparent to Bob that he was not going to recover, that he was going to become an invalid,” said Herbison, executive director of the National Songwriters Association. “He had seen his father become an invalid and watched his mother care for him for many years. In the letter he left, he told (his wife) Wendy, ‘I’m not going to do this to you.’”

Welch’s wife discovered his body in the couple’s Nashville home Thursday. Police determined he died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the chest and confirmed he had left a suicide note.

Welch was a member of Fleetwood Mac from 1971 to 1974, and later earned hits with his British rock band Paris and through solo efforts.

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His death shocked the music world, including former collaborators. Mick Fleetwood, a founding member of Fleetwood Mac and Welch’s former manager said Welch was a “profoundly intelligent human being and always in good humor, which is why this is so unbelievably shocking.”

Singer Stevie Nicks released a statement calling Welch “an amazing guitar player."

“He was funny, sweet - and he was smart - I'm so very sorry for his family and for the family of Fleetwood Mac,” Nicks said.