Sunday, June 10, 2012

Bob Welch/Fleetwood Mac - Hypnotized - YouTube

   News of another tragic passing  from the music world this past Thursday with the death of Bob Welch at his own hand.
   I am not all that familiar with Welch or his career though he had several solo hits that I heard regularly growing up.
Reading -up about Welch shows how pivotal his role was in the evolution of Fleetwoood Mac -one of the most influential bands of the 70s and early 80s.  If you were listening to radio during that period they were unavoidable. If you listen to this track below, from the 1973 release 'Mystery to Me' you can hear the the basis of the sound that would define the band and Top 40 rock for the better part of a decade.
   My first awareness of this song came a few years back when I began hearing it regularly as bumper-music on late-night radio's towering bastion of X-Files-ness Coast to Coast AM. In it you can hear the genesis of the pre-Buckingham/Nicks Fleetwood Mac sound. You can also hear why it is used on a radio show that specializes in stories about UFOs and the paranormal.
This is a very vivid song. It is full of imagery and thought-and is also a super-cool groove.

I normally excoriate suicides, but, in this case I will step aside:
Musicians-like people of any other unique profession-are a breed unto themselves. In the world of Rock and Roll (that is the only one I can speak to as a member) guitarists are often viewed in the same way old-school westerns viewed gunslingers. Part of that comparison is cheesy, self-promotion, but there is some basis in fact.
Different people play different instruments for different reasons. Guitarists are often people who, while wanting occasional  time in the spotlight, don't always want to be the sole center of attention. They tend to like flexibility and freedom of expression. The desire for freedom of expression is often tied to a desire for as much personal freedom as possible in day-to-day life.
In a few words: wanting to belong to a group, but also wanting to be an individual, as independent as possible within the structure of the 'family unit' of a band.
Sort of like a 'middle-child' in birth-order.
According to the Wikipedia article, Welch took his life rather than be not only deprived of the freedom caused by  spinal damage from a recent surgery, but to not be a burden as an invalid.
As a guitarist, an independent, and one who suffers from a spinal condition (scoliosis) I can relate to that.
And I can't say I wouldn't make the same decision.
In this case, I will not judge or be angry.

This song is just fucking cool-and it will be in rotation forever.
Peace and Love to a fallen Brother.

Fleetwood Mac - Hypnotized - YouTube: ""

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