New information has emerged about what apparently led former Fleetwood Mac member Bob Welch to commit suicide on Thursday. The Tennessean reports that, according to a family friend, the singer/guitarist had undergone a spinal operation three months ago and had been told by doctors he was going to be an invalid, and he was worried about burdening his wife with having to look after him.
“He had seen his father become an invalid and watched his mother care for him for many years,” explained Bart Herbison, executive director of the National Songwriters Association. “In the [suicide] letter he left, he told [his wife] Wendy, ‘I’m not going to do this to you.’”
Herbison also spoke fondly of the close bond between Welch and his spouse, noting that he’d been acquainted with the couple for around 15 years.
“I’ve been privileged to meet a lot of famous musicians throughout the years,” he said. “Your fame and notoriety will take you to a lot of places where you have to go by yourself, but not Bob. He never went anywhere without Wendy.”
Welch apparently shot himself in the chest and was found dead by his wife in their home in Nashville. He was 66.
The musician joined Fleetwood Mac in 1971 and left in 1974, which led to the band hiring Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks. Welch went on to score solo hits with his compositions “Ebony Eyes” and “Sentimental Lady,” the latter of which he originally recorded with Fleetwood Mac.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio