I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book. - Groucho Marx

Bob Welch's Hollywood Heartbeat went Pop-Pop-Pop


by D. Strauss
May 6, 2016
It’s particularly sad, on a mythological level, when a woulda-coulda-shoulda dies from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, as the former Fleetwood Mac guitarist and songwriter Bob Welch did on June 7th. Welch, along with Christine McVie, midwifed the Mac from the end of the British blues boom into witchy-cokey superstardom, leaving right before the bigtime of the Nicks-Buckingham era, and he was a consistently great guitarist and occasionally excellent songwriter. Best known for “Sentimental Lady” which was originally recorded with Fleetwood Mac, and then souped up by Lindsey Buckingham to become a worldwide hit years later, Welch could never quite capitalize -- the lawsuits and heroin didn’t help, and he was recently best known for his occasional missives to The Lefsetz Report. It’s not easy growing old in the world of rock ‘n’ roll.

The Beatlesque roots of Welch’s melodic leanings would also merge with the Kim Fowley-Rodney Bingenheimer strain of Britishized L.A. glam to blossom into the power pop movement that would briefly command the City of Angels at the turn of the Eighties. From 1980-81, shortly after the peak of his fame, Welch would host an L.A. tv-show, Hollywood Heartbeat, exposing the Bingenheimer-inflected shadow of the Los Angeles scene, while also featuring videos from The Police, Tom Petty and other larger names that reflected the ethos. It’s a real New Wave Snapshot, one that would briefly go Cinerama during the whatever-we-can-find ethos of early MTV, which would launch toward (and eventually eclipse) the moon in August of 1981. This program looks like a lot of young, white kids hopped up on weird innocence, but then Hollywood’s Heartbeat, has always masked a Hollywood Heartache, hasn’t it?
D. Strauss, host of the upcoming Network Awesome offerings The Network Awesome Show and An Evening with Prince Charles, is Senior Editor with EXBERLINER Magazine and has written freelance for just about everyone. Once. Thanks to a variety of questionable circumstances, he continues to reside in Berlin.