Bob Welch, a former Fleetwood Mac guitarist in the 1970s who helped bridge the gap between the band's blues-focused and pop-rock incarnations, died Thursday at his Nashville home of an apparent suicide, according to police. He was 66. WKRN-TV, Nashville's ABC affiliate, as well as other local news outlets are reporting that Welch's wife Wendy found the musician with a gunshot wound to the chest at their home in the suburb of Antioch, Tenn. shortly after noon.
Police spokesman Don Aaron said Welch left a suicide note. He also noted that the musician had a history of health issues, but did not elaborate further.
Mick Fleetwood, Bob Welch's former Fleetwood Mac band mate and the musician's manager during his solo career, called the suicide "incredibly out of character."
"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."