Really.. i am glad to have a mint first issue cassette copy of his first real solo album..
The album isn't rare at all.. it was a good seller.. this cassette issue is, though.. as they changed cassette formats right about the same time the album came out.. (and soon introduced bar codes as well).
He's still making music, you know, and giving it away.. head over to his website if you're curious
Not long after I posted this, he commited suicide, as probably most of you know by now.
The media has , up to this day, still not released details as to why. I feel , however, that any real fans of his ARE owed an explanation of his motives, in order, at least to prevent any "easy way out" accusations..
Although I do NOT agree with his actions, I do understand them. He had recently undergone spinal surgery, and it appears he suffered complications from the surgery that were irreversible, and were bound to eventually cause complete paralysis. He felt he would not only lose his ability to play guitar, which was the only thing that really meant a lot to him, other than, of course, his family, but he would eventually also become an unmanageable physical and financial burden on his family, needing care for basic functions day and night. I am sure he considered this for some time, before writing a detailed note explaining his feeling on the matter.
Many of us have grown up alongside of Fleetwood Mac, and I myself since 1970. I completely missed the "blues years" period, and my firstr introduction was with Kiln House & Future Games. Future games was a sea change for the band, and was entirely due to the new combined talents of Dan Kirwan and Bob Welch.. the title track even being Bob's first contribution to the band.
For the next four years, Bob proved a mainstay of Fleetwood Mac, carrying the band as it's unacknowledged leader (IMHO) It wasn't until the mid 70s that Mick Fleetwood "took up the reigns", as it were, to really run the band per se...
So for most of my formative years, musically speaking, Bob was a significant influence. After leaving the band, which he managed to steer through an overwhelming number of bad breaks and financial, legal, and musical personnel troubles, the remaining members, along with the new additions of Nicks and Buckingham, shot up to mega mega stardom.. Bob meanwhile released two awesome completely uncompromised albums as "Paris", and subsequently a really cool solo album. (French Kiss) . Also, aside from his subsequent solo releases and other musical projects, he also developed a stronger interest in the paranormal, which led to fascinating extra content on his website. Over the last few years, we became site-mates on a music promotional entity called "Audiocandy", where Bob recorded hundreds of experimental tracks of various styles, and just gave them away.. I got to know Bob somewhat well during our time together on "Audiocandy", a great thrill for someone who had grown up with his music for 40 years.. I can tell you.
In all this time, NEVER did I see any evidence of Bob being a "quitter" or someone who ever took the "easy way out".
His suicide must be seen, then, in this light, with a good understanding of the reasons behind it, so that his memory avoids the stain it would otherwise develop.
Bob was a good person, and caught more than a few bad breaks...
Rest In Peace, Robert Welch...