Legendary guitarist Joe Walsh has been a member of multiple groups over his career, including James Gang and Barnstorm, but perhaps most significantly for the iconic Los Angelels-based group The Eagles.
With a brand new solo album, Analog Man, out now and fresh off playing a show at The Greek Theatre with his famous brother-in-law Ringo Starr over the weekend, Joe joined us live in studio this morning to hang out, share stories from his amazing career with The Eagles and preview a few new tracks off his album.
It wasn’t until 1975 that Joe actually joined The Eagles and helped change the sound of the group by introducing a little rock and roll guitar to the first hit he played on, which was none other than “Hotel California.”
“Bernie [Leadon] was a real acoustic country guitar purist, and Don [Henley] and Glenn [Fry] thought they needed to kick it a little more,” explained Joe. “The deal was that I would try it. I just thought with those voices, some rock and roll guitar would be a powerful thing, so we decided we’d try it and out of that came ‘Hotel California’ and there was no turning back.”
He added, “We were young, we were passionate and we just happened to be in a an extremely creative period. Thank God somebody remembered to push record, that’s all I can say.”
In part two of the interview, Joe talks about the difficulty of playing the complex guitar hook on “Life In The Fast Lane” and singing at the same time, joking “just because you write ‘em, doesn’t mean you can play ‘em!”
He also touches on The Eagles’ legendary turmoil and declaring on ‘The Hell Freezes Over Tour’ that they’d never get back together again. Of course, the group eventually did after things “mellowed out” and they found the key to getting along.
“One of the things we discovered was sleep, that made a lot a difference when we got back together,” he said. “Controlled friction I think is good for the creative process. When it goes overboard, it’s mostly because you’re tired or hungry. You environment can make it so you’re easily agitated.”
In part three of the interview, Joe talks about what it’s like being the brother-in-law to another iconic artist, Ringo Starr, and working with him on his new album.
Joe also talks about the inspiration behind some of the songs on his new album, Analog Man. Many of the songs touch on recovery, self-improvement and a new dynamic in his life as a family man.
“Well, with my wife came this huge family that’s very close and it’s a dynamic I’ve never been around. Learning to be a part of is an ongoing thing for me,” said Joe. “To be part of a big family dynamic where everybody has each others’ back is a new thing for me and I get it now.”
Hear a snippet of Joe’s track “Family” and hear a surprise call from his daughter, Lucy!