Monday, June 11, 2012

Episode 900: In Memory of Bob Welch

Today is our 900th post of “Reading Between the Grooves.” We are in the home stretch because when our one-thousandth post is made on September 26 – our third anniversary, I am retiring this blog. It will be a fitting time to close the annals on this work. The fat lady has not sung yet, so we still have a 100 more posts to go. We’ll look at the blog in retrospect in a few paragraphs, but for now more important info comes with today’s blog post.

On Saturday, I learned of the tragic end of Bob Welch. Three months ago, he had spinal surgery and was apparently told that he would not recover and would be an invalid. He apparently told friends that he did not want his wife of 27 years, Wendy, to bear the burden of caring for him. He was found dead of a self inflicted gunshot wound to the chest on Thursday, June 7. Welch was 66 and was survived only by his wife.

Bob Welch laid the groundwork for Fleetwood Mac’s rise to pop stardom via his replacements and friends Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham; however, his many contributions as a member of Fleetwood Mac for four years have largely been ignored. When the band was inducted into the Rock ‘N Roll Hall of Fame in 1998, Welch was not invited to the ceremonies. Others who served in the pre-Buckingham/Nicks' version of the band, however, were inducted.

It is thought that a lawsuit for back royalties several years previous was the catalyst for Welch to be snubbed by his former band mates. During his tenure, Welch contributed to five Fleetwood Mac albums: “Future Games,” “Bare Trees,” “Penguin,” “Mystery to Me,” and “Heroes are Hard to Find.” Welch inspired the titles of two of those albums, “Future Games” – as he penned the title cut, and “Mystery to Me” that was named after a line found in his song “Emerald Eyes.”

I have already featured his two best known songs with Mac, “Sentimental Lady” from “Bare Trees” and “Hypnotized” from “Mystery to Me.” For the purpose of extending your understanding of Bob’s contributions to Mac, here’s a classic from 1971 “Future Games.” His distinct guitar rhythm technique and octave runs are recognizable on this cut.

When Welch left the band, he went on to form the band Paris which recorded two albums. His next album, “French Kiss” was originally slated to be “Paris 3”; however, it became his first solo album and produced three hits “Sentimental Lady,” “Ebony Eyes,” and “Hot Love, Cold World.” While Welch released twelve albums (including compilations), he only had one other Top 40 Hit, “Precious Love” in 1979.

Mainstream Americans are probably more familiar with Welch’s solo material, but I wanted to feature one of his Fleetwood Mac contributions to emphasize his pivotal role in the band. The world mourns Bob’s passing.

RBTG’s 900th Post Retrospect

Like I had reported with every other 100th post anniversary, I took a look backward on how we are doing visitor wise. I began this blog on September 26, 2009, but did not start monitoring the visits until October 16, 2009. Currently, we have 51 declared followers of the blog – up from 41 in February 2012. There are many others who have visited frequently without declaring themselves as followers. The statistics are listed below:

Unique Visitors65,975
Times Visited73,349
Number of Pages Viewed92,533
People Visiting 200+ Times1,198
People Visiting 101-200 Times483
People Visiting 51-100 Times288
People Visiting 26-50 Times255
Number of Visitor Countries Represented155
Percentage of Visitors Referred from Search Engines65.25%
Percentage of Visitors Referred from Other Sites25.47%
Percentage of Visitors via Direct Access9.30%

The Top Ten Charts

As one would find in music trade magazines, I have prepared some Top Ten Charts for "Reading between the Grooves."

The Top Ten Visitor Countries

The rankings remain static when compared to the previous 800th Anniversary. New countries and territories added include the following: Åland Islands, Bahamas, Cameroon, French Guiana, and Madagascar.
1United States36,488
2United Kingdom6,238

The Top Ten Pages via Direct Access

While most people (4,392) have visited the home page for “Reading Between the Grooves,” others enter distinct pages through page specific links and via search engine returns. Two new pages joined the list –Fleetwood Mac’s “Landslide” and Sister Rosetta Tharpe’s “Up Above My Head.” This particular chart is slow moving as it is cumulative – newer features on this site will have to be really popular to catch up to the total direct access of these ten songs.

The Top Days by Total Visits

This chart represents the days that encountered the most visits and the content that was featured on those particular days. Only two of the selections came from the last 100 posts and two days since February that had no associated content placed in the top ten.
The #1 and #4 days are anomalies as they represent two days that had intensive viewing of the entire blog by two new visitors. These two individuals spent a great deal of time on the blog and looked at hundreds of pages during one single weekend.

RankDayDateAssociated ContentVisits
1SAT16 JUL 2011Nektar – Let it Grow625
2MON30 APR 2012No Post Made281
3TUE05 JUN 2012Michael Hedges – Aerial Boudaries274
4SUN17 JUL 2011Liberty ‘N Justice & Robert Fleischman – The Lord’s Prayer271
5FRI20 APR 2012Levon Helm’s Last Waltz270
6SAT28 JAN 2012Steely Dan: My Old School267
7WED26 OCT 2011John Zacherle: Dinner With Drac 264
8MON23 JAN 2012Outkast vs Queen: Hey...We Will Rock you...Ya262
9THU09 FEB 2012The Brother’s Johnson – Strawberry Letter 23259
10SAT04 MAR 2012No Post Made281

The Top Days by New Visitors

This chart represents the days that encountered the most visits by first time visitors and the content that was featured on those particular days. All but two of these songs are new to this chart and eight are not older than 100 posts.

RankDayDateAssociated ContentNew Visitors
1MON30 APR 2012No Post203
2SAT11 FEB 2011Johnny Guitar Watson – Real Mother for Ya198
3TUE13 MAR 2012Jeff Beck & The Jan Hammer Group – Freeway Jam181
4TUE04 JUN 2012Lisa Loeb – I Do 181
5TUE05 JUN 2012Michael Hedges – Aerial Boundaries174
6SAT09 JAN 2012The Rolling Stones – Gimme Shelter173
7THU07 JUN 2012Journey – Anyway You Want It171
8MON27 FEB 2012Dramatics – In the Rain170
9FRI09 MAR 2012Creedence Clearwater Revival – Who’ll Stop the Rain168
10TUE17 APR 2012Return to Forever – No Mystery168

As always, I want to take this time to thank all of you for your support of this site and the encouragement to keep going forward. Thanks again for Reading between the Grooves and remember, this blog will be wrapping up with our 1,000th post on September 26, 2012. The countdown begins.

1 comment:

  1. Well I came upon this blog rather late but better late then never. I loved Bob Welch and his music and long before he went solo I made a compilation tape of just his songs from his time with Fleetwood Mac. I believe the feeling between Fleetwood Mac and Welch was mutual because he characterized the other members of Mac as somewhat snooty and "on some kind of mission" that he didn't understand. He was a unique guitar player and composer preferring Major7th and Minor7th and larger chords to just 7th which flavored his music.