Joe Walsh: Life and Experience Rides Again

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Thor, Jun 24, 2008.

  1. Thor

    Thor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    I was particularly struck by these 2 comments quoted below
    about Joe Walsh. Since they were in a Duck Dunn thread,
    I thought I would extract them and ask for your comments
    and thoughts on Joe Walsh's career and experience.

    Stepford Joe. Good one. I heard a quote about Don Henley
    that said "No one could suck the fun out of a room faster than
    Don Henley".

    I really dug James Gang with Joe Walsh. I saw him a few times
    in concert and he was awesome. All 3 of the JG studio albums were
    excellent productions. The Live in Concert album was not as well
    produced, but has a power all its own, no holds barred.

    His solo career actually did pretty well I thought. Or I guess,
    the 'Barnstorm' era.

    And he wrote a lot of good songs on the journey. The Eagles
    gig was a real windfall for him for sure. And he has been busy
    right through his career, writing, performing and producing.

    On the negative side, I saw The Eagles perform J.D. Souther's
    "How Long" from their long awaited new release Long Road
    fFrom Eden
    last year at the CM Awards. I guess I was a
    bit struck with 4 vocalists including Walsh singing, plus a
    Nashville **** kickin' pickin' and grinnin' "clean as country water"
    guitar cat standing next to one of the most prolific and
    innovative guitarists on the planet while Walsh sang harmony
    for Don Henley. I just kind of didn't get that. But I guess Joe
    figures the deal is good, so do what they want.

    Now I wish I had been able to catch the JG reunion tour with
    Jim Fox and bassist Dale Peters. Dale was one heck of a bassist
    back then and I'd love to hear him now. Classy of those guys to
    go with one of the original Walsh lineups (the other bassist on 'Yer
    Album was Tom Kriss who was awesome as well).

    Any Joe Walsh comments here? Share the love.
  2. Lazylion

    Lazylion Goin ahead on wit my bad self!

    Jan 25, 2006
    Frederick MD USA
    The James Gang "Rides Again" album is the one recording that reminds me of my high school days more than any other. I'll always love Joe for that one!
    Ha ha nice! Heck, he's just being serious. Probably gotta concentrate hard when singing with Henley, Frey and Schmit. I know I would be! Funny Joe is his front man mode. He doesn't need to be that with the Eagles. I imagine they had all that ironed out when he joined.
    He looked to be in Funny Joe mode on the '04 Crossroads DVD.
    Is it just me, or is that song the least exciting cut on the album? I would have picked "Somebody" or Business As Usual" for the single.
  3. Mystic Michael

    Mystic Michael Hip No Ties

    Apr 1, 2004
    New York, NY
    I also really enjoyed the James Gang albums of the early 70s, as well as Joe's solo material after the Gang broke up (i.e. Rocky Mountain Way, etc.). But I wished he'd have started up a new band and/or developed his solo career a lot more than he did.

    One gets the impression that the rock 'n' roll lifestyle really did a number on Joe, i.e. burned him out, stifled his creativity, stymied his ambition, etc. Staying stoned all the time can do that... :meh:

    It doesn't take much reading between the lines to pick this up from the lyrics of Life's Been Good:

    Though I don't know any of this for sure, it isn't hard to imagine Henley, Frey & Co. (notorious partiers in their own right, at least at one time) reaching out to Joe on the basis of his talent, but insisting that he straighten up and keep it in bounds for the sake of the franchise. And Joe being more than willing to compromise for the sake of a good, steady gig, for which I don't blame him at all. I just wish he'd kept his own thing going as well. After all, The Eagles don't tour all THAT often. It's not as if JW wouldn't have the time. But does he still have the ambition? :meh:

  4. Lazylion

    Lazylion Goin ahead on wit my bad self!

    Jan 25, 2006
    Frederick MD USA
    Maybe he needed a gig where he had to be sharp, to save himself from his own bad habits... who knows?
  5. Mystic Michael

    Mystic Michael Hip No Ties

    Apr 1, 2004
    New York, NY
    My point exactly...

  6. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Retired Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    I heard an interview with him on a local radio station (he lives around here somewhere). They asked him how it came to be that he got back with the Eagles when they reformed for Hell Freezes Over. He said that Henley and Frey talked to him and asked him if he could stay straight if they got back together. His response was that he had gotten drunk only once in thirty years and that was behind him now.

    I'm just amazed that he can still perform and play guitar the way he does after cooking his brain all those years. He plays and sings a lot better than he talks these days.
  7. Thor

    Thor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    The Eagles breakup and re-formation was a long hiatus. 1980-
    1994. Joe didn't really have a lot of creative output during that time span.

    At 61, I don't expect that he has the burning ambition he used to have, especially given
    his overall success.

    LOL! He is an amazing guitar player, always was very talented both acoustically and electrically. The live album producer notes indicate that both Funk 48 and 49 were warmup riffs
    Joe did while in the studio. This guy plays better warming up than most guys do at their best.
  8. RED5


    Jan 14, 2008
    Suffolk County,NY
    When I was a kid I wanted to be in Joe Walsh's band, what ever band. He just summed it all up for me in a guitar player/songwriter/producer sorta way.Just pop on a set of headphones when you listen to his work next time, there's things goin'on! BTW? That offer still stands Joe.
  9. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    I don't understand the OP's complaining about Walsh's current gig. He's the one who makes decisions about his career. I find nothing inappropriate about him playing with the Eagles - or living in a way that won't kill him in the next six months - or singing harmony WITH Don Henley (a tremendously talented person as well).

    Why not just appreciate what Walsh is doing? I do.
  10. Thor

    Thor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    Actually, I am not complaining at all about his Eagles gig (despite the apparent incongruity of using a supporting guitar player that once). I think he brings a complete new dimension
    to the Eagles frat rock thing they did on their first album. I was struck by the two posters who discussed
    him briefly in a Duck Dunn thread, and rather than hijack, though I'd bring the discussion to a new thread.
  11. ryco


    Apr 24, 2005
    Joe is an enigma to me. I love the JG albums, esp the first one. I wished they would have hired a keyboard player seeing as the songs always contained predominant keyboard parts (this has always been a pet peeve with bands).
    His solo career was pretty good - a lot of cool sonic songs with some good hits. I like that he kept a lighthearted slant on things.

    That a guy of his guitar/key caliber and solo songwriting status would join The Eagles always baffled me. Never was a big Eagles fan, and although Joe added a lot to their band, I didn't see The Eagles doing much for his abilities.

    I know he looks like an insurance salesman now that he's clean and sober, but at least he's still with us. The price you pay for excess. Take note, kiddies.
  12. Thor

    Thor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    I was poking around looking for info on the 2006 James Gang tour, and found this link.

    Good stuff!

    The Denver Review notes this:

    Good work. You don't hear much about Dale, but he is a
    monster player. There is a great picture of him on the
    Live CD behind Joe with a P Bass. I think the rig was an
    Acoustic 330 with the 301 cab, but I can't find the image
    on the net to verify it.
  13. RED5


    Jan 14, 2008
    Suffolk County,NY
    Did you ever catch the Drew Carey story arc about Drew quitting his job to start a band? that featured Joe Walsh as the yard maintenance guy? There was a whole line up of players including Gene Simmons and Rick Nielson. At the very end of the series they had the original James gang play out the credits. I was glued! I think alot of the "Joe's done too many drugs" can be ascribed to his public persona.I'm not saying he hasn't,I have no real clue as to what he does on his own time. But just imagine Ted Nugent writing his own press? (which he pretty much does) it's all a projection of what people want to believe. Either way? Joe's still the man!
  14. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    Joe IS the man. But Joe is a bandleader, not a bit player, and it has to be a bit of a comedown to go from tremendously popular rock star to having to constantly hold Don Henley's hand. Glenn Frey doesn't seem so bad, but that Henley seems like a completely miserable piece of work. Has he ever smiled even once? It wasn't like Joe's career was so bad that he needed the Eagles.

    Then again, Joe has made the occasional stand. He delayed the original Eagles reunion by 5 years because he did "Desperado" on Howard Stern's old Saturday night TV show. And Joe was still wild and crazy with his music even when he got sober, so I didn't care that he wasn't plastered all the time anymore. But to know that a guy I admired so much for being such a fun guy has to suck it in around Nikon Don (who was once arrested with a 16 year old girl who OD'd in his house, so he's one to talk), it's kind of heartbreaking.

    Then again, the money's got to be exceedingly brilliant and I would wipe Henley's butt with dollar bills if I could make that kind of scratch ;)
  15. Thor

    Thor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    My drummer told me he had read an Eagles biography, and
    someone was quoted as saying:

    "No one could suck the fun out of a room quicker
    than Don Henley."

    I got a good laugh out of that one.
  16. Hey Mr. Thor!!!! How's it going!

    I too was a James Gang fan back in the day. Good writing, good playing, and as posted by others, always a bit of 'humor' in the music. I dug it.

    I also thought Joe gave the Eagles a little 'kick in the **s' back in the day when they brought him in.

    I did purchase the new CD, since I'm a big Timothy fan. I found it competent and soul-less. Slick, well played, and corporate:D

    Here's my Joe Walsh/Eagles reunion story (the first time around). A friend of mine (Jay Oliver.. wonderful keyboardist) was playing in Frey's band and they were mainly doing corporate work at the time. The way the story goes, Frey asked if Joe could play on a few gigs, and the audience reaction was so strong when both of them did the Eagle's tunes that it kind of set the reunion in motion. Jay actually co-produced the 'Hell Freezes Over' live disc, which is very good IMO.

    PS.... where I come from, we call guys like Henley 'fun vampires'... sucking the joy out of everything they come in contact with. That being said, I remember being blown away by his solo work with Pino on bass, etc... pretty darn good!
  17. Lazylion

    Lazylion Goin ahead on wit my bad self!

    Jan 25, 2006
    Frederick MD USA
    Henley has smiled at least twice. Once in 1975, and once in 1978. Check the May 29 '08 issue of Rolling Stone for the photographic evidence.
  18. DAcat

    DAcat Supporting Member

    Jun 14, 2005
    Hey- thanks for bringing up Joe Walsh and the James Gang-The Band we most wanted to open for in the late 60s-early 70s while we did some touring and opening for major acts, but we just missed it. But we saw Joe and the Gang many times,and Dale Peters was using 2 Acoustic 361 cabs and 1 360 head(preamp)in all those concerts before Joe left the band.Even when Tommy Bolin Played guitar with them after Joe left, he was still using the same amps. On the reunion tour, Dale was not using Acoustic(at least not on all the gigs I saw or heard about-though maybe he did in Denver??-I wasnt there)...but if my memory serves me well, he had a stack of Trace Elliot cabs and heads ?? type. Joe used a Marshall stack and a 1/2? and his Les Paul instead of the Carvin he uses with the Eagles and his solo stuff. Joe sounded fantastic in the old days and just as well on the reunion tour(too bad the concerts were so short on the reunion-he probably had to save his voice)...but he was always one of the hardest working performers out there-none worked any harder in a performance...he put his whole heart, soul, fingers, and voice into his concerts-no goofing off back then-though he did have a sense of humor. the goofing off came after ward and he is famous for the motel damage bills that his parties caused. Maybe the substances and the heavy peforming wore him out-but I've always hoped he could still pull out the stops one more time again...he still has amazing talent, and its just not used with the Eagles. If anyone saw him when he played at the Crossroads benefit in Dallas a few years ago-with James Taylor on Steam Roller Blues...He practically blew the crowd away, as well as James Taylor, Taylor's Bassist and Steve Cropper who was playing guitar on the song as well, with his impeccable timing, swooping licks, monster tone, and transcendent bends...that's the stuff I keep waiting for more of :D. I agree...he should be in a band that he picks out the musicians who have a similar vision... and then JUST TEAR IT UP :bassist: !!! And after seeing the Eagles many times( I also agree that the last CD is very weak)...who I do enjoy as well, but not like I did the Gang...I've noticed that there are certain songs that are certain "turning point songs" that really get the crowd on their feet and buzzing... and in a good mood...and at every Eagles concert I've been to, its ALWAYS been the Joe Walsh /James Gang songs the Eagles cover, that the crowd gets the most excited for :smug:...IMHO..."there's always a Parrot in every band of Eagles"...wise old saying :bag:...Peace...DAcat :cool:
  19. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    Fair enough! Guess I took it the wrong way.
  20. Thor

    Thor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam


    Good post!


    Just heard this on the radio a few minutes ago.
    I cranked it.


    I just pulled out the Rides Again vinyl album. I have 2. The first version had Bolero on it
    in The Bomber, and the second doesn't. I had heard years ago that they didn't get Ravel's
    estate's permission before the release, and that they refused it after the fact so the
    second pressing had that part of the cut removed. I noticed the CD's do have it.

    One other thing, the art inside the Rides Again album is absolutely awesome.

    PS: Thanks for the clarification on the Acoustic gear, it would make sense to have the
    preamp and powered cabs. Last time I saw them was at the Capitol Theater in Portchester,
    NY and THEY WERE LOUD!!!