10 Career Highlights Of Joe Walsh

10 Career Highlights Of Joe Walsh | I Love Classic Rock Videos

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It can be argued that Joe Walsh was famous (or infamous) for his excessive partying antics in his heyday, but one can’t take away his musicality as an artist as well. Because just as how Walsh loved to party, he was also someone that took his music seriously. From his time with James Gang, the Eagles, and then onto his solo work, Walsh knew how to draw emotions with his songwriting and playing.

Early Years

When Walsh’s family moved to New Jersey, he attended Montclair Highschool and played oboe for the school band. He then got his first guitar at the age of 10 and decided that he wanted to become a guitarist after learning The Ventures song, “Walk Don’t Run”. His first real rock band was the Nomads, which was quite popular in New Jersey. He attended Kent University after high school to play for various bands then, including the Measles who recorded the songs “I Find I Think of You”, “And It’s True”, and “Maybe”.

James Gang

After several lineup edits, James Gang finally took a solid trio form when they performed as an opener to Cream in 1968. Consisted of Jim Fox, Tom Kriss, and Joe Walsh, James Gang signed with manager Mark Barger and was introduced to producer Bill Szymczyk and released their first album, Yer’ Album, in 1969.

Guitar Great of the Band

Walsh became the center of attention for the band with his masterful guitar attack and creativity, even messing with his pickups by hotwiring them to get his signature sound. Down the line, Walsh sold a Les Paul to Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin and was able to open a show for The Who in Pittsburgh – where Pete Townshend took notice of his talents. “Pete’s a very melodic player and so am I. He told me that he appreciated my playing. I was flattered beyond belief because I didn’t think I was that good,” Walsh recalls.


Walsh’s last record with James Gang was James Gang Live At Carnegie Hall, where he left shortly after because he felt limited by the confines of the group. By 1971, he was invited by Steve Marriott to join Humble Pie as a replacement to Peter Frampton, who just left. Instead, he relocated to Colorado and formed Barnstorm, with Joe Vitale and Kenny Passarelli joining him. After some decent success with two albums, Walsh left and continued to be a solo artist.


After being taught slide guitar by Duane Allman, Walsh was invited over to the Eagles to replace Bernie Leadon. After some deliberation, if Walsh would fit the band, he was accepted and became part of the band’s fifth album, Hotel California. Walsh was known for powering half of the duet from the album’s title track, as well as being the proponent to the riff for “Life In The Fast Lane”. Walsh did a good five years in the band before it broke up in 1980, throwing him back to the solo stage once more.

Side Projects to Keep Him Busy

Even in bands like Barnstorm and the Eagles, Walsh was continuously exploring his solo venture with albums like So What and But Seriously…Folks. The Goes The Neighborhood became his first album after the Eagles broke up in 1980. Other albums continued to sprout until 2012.

Eagles Reunion

After almost 14 years, the Eagles came back together with the following lineup – Frey, Henley, Walsh, Felder, and Schmit. Touring went on until 1999, with the four-part Selected Works: 1972-1999 box set was released in 2000.

New Eagles Material 

By 2008, the Eagles released Long Road Out Of Eden, which was their first album comprised of all-new material since 1979. A supporting tour was kickstarted the following year, where it went on until 2009 in Europe. They also toured 2010 in the summer with Dixie Chicks and Keith Urban, continuing on to England in 2011.

Reminiscing their long run

The Eagles released History of The Eagles in 2013 that was a documentary that spanned their career. It had a supporting tour that Henley said, “could very well be our last… we’re gonna include at least one former band member in this tour and kinda go back to the roots, and how we created some of these songs. We’re gonna break it down to the fundamentals and then take it up to where it is now.”

Recognition in the Academe

Walsh received an honorary degree in music by Kent State University, while the Berklee College of Music awarded him, along with the other Eagles members, with honorary doctorate degrees for their accomplishments in music.