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Joe Walsh

Joe Walsh

Joe Walsh was born 20 November 1947, New Jersey, USA. Guitar hero Walsh started his long and varied career in 1965 with the G-Clefs. Following a spell with local band, the Measles, he found major success when he joined The James Gang in 1969.

Walsh's growling, early heavy metal guitar technique was not unlike that of Jeff Beck's, and the Walsh sound had much to do with the achievements of The James Gang.

He left in 1972 and formed Barnstorm with Joe Vitale (drums) and Kenny Passarelli (bass). The self-titled album promised much and made a respectable showing in the US charts. Despite the follow-up being credited to Joe Walsh, THE SMOKER YOU DRINK, THE PLAYER YOU GET was still Barnstorm, although the band broke up that same year. SMOKER became his first gold album and featured some of his classic songs such as "Meadows" and "Rocky Mountain Way." On the latter he featured the voice bag, from which his distorted voice emitted after being sung into a plastic tube. Walsh, along with Peter Frampton and Jeff Beck popularized this effect in the early '70s.

In 1974 he produced Dan Fogelberg's classic album SOUVENIRS and guested on albums by Stephen Stills, The Eagles and B.B. King. SO WHAT in 1975 was another gold album and featured the Walsh classic, "Turn To Stone." During the summer he performed at London's Wembley Stadium with the Beach Boys, Elton John and The Eagles. Five months later Walsh joined The Eagles when he replaced Bernie Leaden and became joint lead guitarist with Glen Frey. His distinctive tone contributed greatly to their milestone HOTEL CALIFORNIA; his solo on the title track is one of the highlights. Additionally he retained his autonomy by continuing his highly successful career and released further solo albums including the excellent BUT SERIOUSLY FOLKS which featured the humorous autobiographical "Life's Been Good." The song dealt with his fortune and fame in a light- hearted manner, although there is a degree of smugness attached for example; ‘I have a mansion, forget the price, ain't never been there, they tell me its nice’. Such was Walsh's confidence that at one point he announced he would stand for President at the next election. He was wise to have maintained his solo career, as The Eagles only made one further album. Walsh shrewdly kept his best work for his own albums.

In 1980 Walsh contributed to the best- selling soundtrack URBAN COWBOY and was rewarded with a US Top 20 hit "All Night Long." Both THERE GOES THE NEIGHBORHOOD and YOU BOUGHT IT—YOU NAME IT maintained his profile and although his 1987 album, GOT ANY GUM? was uninspiring, his career continues to prosper as a solo and session player.


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