How did Bob Welch invade my stream of conciousness?

The most ubiquitous Welch baseball card of my childhood. I must have owned dozens of them.

If you do an impromptu internet search on Bob Welch Death, the information wave catches your surfboard and guides you to the former guitarist for Fleetwood Mac and his shocking suicide from a self-inflicted gunshot in 2012. Remember that song, Ebony Eyes? Neither do I, but apparently Bob scored a top 20 hit with it in 1978. The song is painfully repetitive, is derivative of Fleetwood Mac’s worst songs, (and that’s being generous) and could possibly cause one to scratch their eyes out…I hope I never have to hear it again. In the zeitgeist of “good” late 70’s music, this turd should stay safely sound on a piece of old vinyl relegated to grandma’s attic or the local town dump. Believe me, I’m sighing on the inside as I write this.

The death of Bob Welch, the baseball player was just as tragic, and even more so, as poor Bobby slipped on what I’m assuming to be a tile layered with condensation in his bathroom and broke his neck. The University of York Department of Physics recently hosted a presentation titled, “5 Ways the Universe Is Trying to Kill You,” and I felt that this applied to the unfortunate and freakish situation. There are typhoons, hurricanes, asteroids, cancers, plagues, nuclear meltdowns, the sun and its inevitable enveloping of the earth, and, of course…a slippery tile. They all want your existence as nil. And this is just the tip of the iceberg of proposed cataclysmic events, although I suppose everything isn’t all that terrible on this planet considering 99 percent of the places in the universe would snuff out any life instantly if it had a chance to exist at all.

I’m not even sure why Bob Welch invaded my cranium this morning as I sipped my coffee and flipped through an old Playboy from 1969 with an extended pause at the Brigitte Bardot layout. Sometimes feelings are hard to pin down, with so many subclauses and digressions. Maybe it was because I was thinking about an ex-girlfriend and how she had dropped me off at Dodger Stadium on a a perfectly lazy, brilliantly blue Los Angeles summer afternoon. Larry King pulled to the side of her car in his Mercedes and asked her if he could cut in line. (I learned later that he was in a hurry because he was throwing out the first pitch, which was just as horrible as you would expect.)

There was an “Old Timers Game” before the real contest, with the Dodgers facing the Yankees, and Bob Welch was on the mound for perhaps his final outing on a big league field with his marvelously exaggerated wind-up and leg-kick. All these memories coalesce and swirl and there is little attention to any small fragment of detail as I pull them from the blanket of obscurity: except for my questioning and confusion of Billy Crystal playing Short Stop for the Yankees that day which now seems as if it happened a lifetime ago.

14 Comments

If memory servers me, I think he wrote Sentimental Lady also…

I remember hearing that song a lot on the radio as a kid. I would recommend the video if only for the “1970’s losing-your-hair-puffy-mullet”

Will also remember being at Dodgertown one Sunday morning before a spring training game. Loafing around in the lounge that had a section with cubicle walls for the media. Mostly the room had the feel of a 1960s nightclub, complete with a bar and a piano. Sure enough, I start hearing piano music, really good music. I look over, and there is Bob Welch, in uniform, at the keyboard. Multi-talented guy for sure.

Great story…thanks for sharing Mark.

The Everly Brothers also did a song called “Ebony Eyes”. It couldn’t be more opposite from the Bob Welch one. (I hate when they’re both stuck in my head at the same time.) I didn’t know BW committed suicide. How sad. I’ve never heard of Bob Welch the baseball player. That’s really tragic too.

That’s a great song. They also had some stylish bouffant pompadours on the album cover.

You drew me in with Bob Welch and rewarded me with fun observations about Fleetwood Mac, Bridget Bardot and Larry King. Well done. I was impressed Larry King asked permission to cut in line rather than force his way in with the Mercedes.

Thanks for the compliment Simba. Ol’ Larry even let us take a picture.

When I heard “Ebony Eyes,” I wondered, “How did that crap get recorded?” Then the DJ said it was by Bob Welch who had been with Fleetwood Mac. Mystery solved. On the other hand, I always liked Bob Welch, the pitcher. Good stuff.

Crap is exactly right. Thanks for the comment Hugh.

Ebony Eyes, the video, is right down there with the song.

The video of Bob Welch striking out Reggie Jackson is still one of my favorites

As a kid I remember him striking out Reggie Jackson in the 78 World Series…that was a classic at bat.
The one song I liked by Welch and Fleetwood Mac is Hypnotized.

“Sentimental Lady” is a legit tune, and I really like the version by The Autumn Defense (Wilco side project).

I’ve never heard the latter version, I’m going to have to check it out. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

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