Green and Welch: The Fleetwood Before

by Edgar Rider

Fleetwood Mac in 1969Many know Fleetwood Mac under the guidance of Buckingham and Nicks. But there were two incarnations before one was under the creative direction of Peter Green and the second under Bob Welch.

Peter Green wrote the song, “Oh Well” which contains screeching loud guitars and thunderous drumming. It is considered one of those songs that is a precursor to the music known as Heavy Metal and when you think of Fleetwood Mac hard rock does not immediately come to mind. “Oh Well” has lines like “But don’t ask me what I think of you. I might not give the answer that you want me to…” He had the serious snotty attitude that makes all primal rock great. Part of the song he just shouts as if trying to antagonize his subject, “Well. Oh Well. Oh Well.” He also wrote the blues classic “Something Inside of Me”. Green left Mac in 1969. He has been touring as a solo star even today in his mid sixties. Green may have left the band but his sound remains. Most probably don’t know there is a best of album called The Best Of Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac.

Bob WelchThe second leader of the “Mac Attack” was Bob Welch. Bob Welch wrote the great song “Hypnotized” from the album Mystery to Me. This is considered his best album as leader of Fleetwood Mac. The music of “Hypnotized” has a spaced out musical atmospherical feel and the lyrics support it, “It might be out on that lawn. Which is wide, at least half of a playing field. Because there’s no explaining what your imagination. Can make you see and feel. Seems like a dream. (They) got me hypnotized…” The music for “Hypnotized” might be even be considered more soft rock which appeals to my inner secret Tears For Fears side.

Bob Welch committed suicide in 2012. He did leave a suicide note which talked about his physical pain. But I still wonder did he never really get over the disappointment of watching the band he helped form become global international superstars after he was fired in 1975. He must have had to do some real soul searching. “Oh Well” and “Hypnotized” are my two favorite songs by Fleetwood Mac and neither were written by the current lineup of this monstrously successful band of more than four decades.

If you put Green and Welch together and added in the poppier music flavor of Nicks and Buckingham you have the bands wide surround sound. There album Tusk was a bit more experimental under the Stevie Lindsey banner. But you can hear the influence of Green and Welch.

The only thing I can say to the former leaders of the band is – Peter Green and Bob Welch is thank you both for showing me no matter how old I get there is always room to explore in the annals of rock music history; those who have come before.


Edgar Rider has been published in the Criterion International literary journal, Existere, Scissors and Spackle and the Copperfield Review among many others. Edgar would like to give credit to rock musicians who have given extraordinary contributions to the world of music who are not exactly household names.


2 thoughts on “Green and Welch: The Fleetwood Before

  • This is terribly inaccurate. Green didn’t write “Something inside of me”, it was written by Danny Kirwan. As to whether it’s a blues classic that’s also open to debate – it’s not a very well known Fleetwood Mac song at all. You can use the word classic with Oh Well, Black Magic Woman, Shake your moneymaker and Albatross. Maybe people will go out and listen to Something inside of me – it should be a classic and Kirwan deserves a lot more recognition than the Peter Green sidekick that most people view him as.

  • Bob was not fired by Fleetwood Mac. Everybody involved agrees on this. He left the band in late 1974 feeling he could no longer contribute anything new to the band. The other remaining band members, the McVies and Mick Fleetwood wanted him to stay even after Nicks and Buckingham joined the band. Mick was even Bobs manager during Bobs solo career and Christine Mcvie Mick Fleetwood and Lindsay Buckingham all contributed to Bob”s
    platinum solo album French Kiss back in 1977.

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