Welch also continued his penchant for the bizarre by tapping into some South Florida lore. His second album in 1979, Three Hearts, featured The Ghost of Flight 401, an atmospheric tune about the aftermath of the Eastern Airlines flight that crashed in the Everglades in December 1972. Nicks lent her trademark wails to another song on the album that sounded like a Rumours outtake, Devil Wind.
“I had many great times with him after Lindsey and I joined Fleetwood Mac,” Nicks said in a statement to the Associated Press. “He was an amazing guitar player — he was funny, sweet — and he was smart. I am so very sorry for his family and for the family of Fleetwood Mac — so, so sad.”
Welch’s fame was short-lived. Subsequent albums didn’t sell, and he had a falling out with Fleetwood, later suing his old band mates for back royalties. Welch believes this was one reason for his omission from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997 when Fleetwood Mac members who were in the band before and after him were inducted.
“The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame thing hurt my feelings, naturally,” Welch said in a 1999 online interview. “Mick (and John McVie and Chris) associate Peter Green with the high flying glory days of their youth, when FM was first breaking out in Europe. They associate Stevie and Lindsey, naturally enough, with the most glamorous, successful and exciting period in FM’s history. They associate my five years with the band, in contrast, with a very difficult time emotionally, which it was. Even though the band survived because of what we went through in that period, it’s not pleasant to think about for them, and so they don’t think about it and pretend it doesn’t exist.”
Yet Welch would never escape the connection. His final album, recorded in 2006, was titled His Fleetwood Mac Years and Beyond Two. The set featured re-recordings of songs he originally recorded with the band — and, ever out-there in the misty world of the supernatural, a cover of Nicks’ Rhiannon.