Joe Walsh #67B & 23B

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November 20, 2013

Joe Walsh was born Joseph Fidler on this date in 1947 in Wichita, Kansas.  Adopted by his stepfather and taking his surname of Walsh at the age of five, the family lived a number of years in Columbus, Ohio before moving to New York City and finally settling down in Montclair, New Jersey, where he attended Montclair High School.  His mother was a classically trained pianist.  Joe first began his musical journey playing the oboe and clarinet, before switching to bass guitar, and playing in local New Jersey bands The G-Clefs and The Nomads.  While going to school at Kent State University in Kent, Ohio, Walsh finally switched to over the guitar, playing in a local college band, The Measles from 1965-1968.

During January 1969, Joe joined the James Gang, a Cleveland, Ohio based band that at that time was a five piece unit, but soon became a power trio when the lead singer and keyboardist quit, leaving only Walsh, bassist Tom Kriss and drummer Jim Fox to carry on.  Dale Peters soon replaced Kriss, forming the classic lineup for which the band is most famous.  While in the James Gang, the band released four albums:

Yer’ Album  (1969)
James Gang Rides Again  (1970)
Thirds  (1971)
James Gang Live In Concert  (1971).

The live album, recorded at Carnegie Hall in New York City, features an album cover of three horses tied up out front of the world-famous theater, in an obvious nod to the notorious western outlaw gang.  The James Gang is most famous for their songs Ashes The Rain And I, Walk Away, Midnight Man, Funks #48 & #49, The Bomber, Tend My Garden and Take A Look Around.

Leaving the James Gang, Walsh formed the band Barnstorm along with bassist Kenny Passarelli and drummer Joe Vitale.  Barnstorm released two albums, Barnstorm (1972) and The Smoker You Drink, The Player You Get (1973), however both album covers are credited only to Joe Walsh.  Barnstorm contains the classic track Turn To Stone, while Smoker features Rocky Mountain Way and Meadows.  Becoming a full-fledged solo artist, Walsh released So What in 1974 before joining the Eagles in December of 1975, replacing Bernie Leadon.

As a member of that band, they have released the following albums:

Hotel California  (1976)
The Long Run  (1979)
Eagles Live  (1980)
Hell Freezes Over  (1994)
Long Road Out Of Eden  (2007).

While still a member of the Eagles, Walsh has continued releasing solo album through the years.  They include:

You Can’t Argue With A Sick Mind  (1976)
But Seriously, Folks…  (1978)
There Goes The Neighborhood  (1981)
You Bought It, You Name It  (1983)
The Confessor  (1985)
Got Any Gum?  (1987)
Ordinary Average Guy  (1991)
Songs For A Dying Planet  (1992)
Analog Man  (2012).

Over the years, as a guest musician, Joe has played on many other artists’ albums.  Among them are albums by Ringo Starr, Manassas (Stephen Stills), America, Rick Derringer, Dan Fogelberg, Keith Moon, Jay Ferguson, Steve Winwood, Al Kooper, Bob Seger, Warren Zevon and the Beach Boys.

These two photographs were shot on June 17, 1981 at the Palace Theater in Columbus, Ohio, a historic theater seating 2,827 patrons.  The price of the ticket was $10.00.

Steven H. Spring

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