Gibson Joe Walsh Les Paul

Gibson Joe Walsh Les Paul

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Joseph Fidler "Joe" Walsh (born November 20, 1947) is an American musician, songwriter, and actor. He has been a member of three commercially successful bands, the James Gang, Barnstorm, and the Eagles, and has experienced notable success as a solo artist and prolific session musician.

In January 1968, he replaced Glen Schwartz as lead guitarist for the James Gang, an American power trio. Walsh proved to be the band's star attraction, noted for his innovative rhythm playing and creative guitar riffs. The James Gang had several minor hits and became an early album-oriented rock staple for the next two years,including James Gang Live at Carnegie Hall. In November, 1971, Walsh left the group and formed the group Barnstorm, although their albums credited Walsh as a solo artist. Walsh and Barnstorm released their debut, the eponymous Barnstorm in 1972. The album was a critical success, but had only moderate sales. The follow-up The Smoker You Drink, the Player You Get (1973) was Walsh's commercial breakthrough. The first single "Rocky Mountain Way", received heavy airplay and reached #23 on the US Top 40 chart. In 1974, Barnstorm disbanded and Walsh continued as a solo artist.

Over the next two years, Walsh released a second studio album So What and a live set, You Can't Argue with a Sick Mind. These would be his last solo albums until 1978. In 1976, he joined the Eagles as Bernie Leadon's replacement. His addition steered the band toward a harder-edged sound and away from their early country-style work, and he featured prominently on their multi-million-selling album Hotel California, co-writing the Top 20 hit "Life In The Fast Lane" (with Don Henley and Glenn Frey) and "Pretty Maids All in a Row" (co-written with former Barnstorm drummer Joe Vitale).

As the Eagles struggled to record the follow-up to Hotel California, Walsh re-ignited his solo career with the well-received album But Seriously Folks (1978) -- which featured his hit comic depiction of rock stardom, "Life's Been Good". Joe also contributed "In the City" to The Warriors soundtrack (1979), a song penned and sung by Walsh that was later rerecorded for the Eagles The Long Run album.

Following the breakup of the Eagles in 1980, Walsh continued to release albums throughout the 1980s, but sales were poor. Musical trends had passed him by and he maintained a low profile until the mid-1990s. In late 1984 Walsh was contacted by Australian musician Paul Christie, former bassist in Mondo Rock, who invited him to come to Australia to perform with The Party Boys, an all-star group with a floating membership of well-known Australian rock musicians, which included acclaimed guitarist Kevin Borich, with whom Walsh became good friends. Walsh accepted and performed with Party Boys on their late 1984-early 1985 Australian tour and appeared on their live album You Need Professional Help. He remained in Australia for some time after the tour, putting together the shortlived touring group Creatures From America with Waddy Wachtel (guitar), Rick Rosas (bass) and Australian drummer Richard Harvey (Divinyls, Party Boys). Walsh returned to Australia in 1989 to tour with another incarnation of The Party Boys and also visited New Zealand, where he briefly joined NZ band Herbs.

Walsh toured with Ringo Starr in 1989, alternating a handful of his best-known songs with Ringo's tunes, as did all the members of the "All Starr" band. Walsh sang the US National Anthem at the beginning of game four of the 1995 World Series. In 1989, Walsh recorded a MTV Unplugged with the R&B musician Dr. John.

While producing their Homegrown album in 1989, Walsh briefly joined New Zealand reggae band Herbs. Although he had left by the time of its 1990 release, he still appears as lead vocalist on two tracks, "Up All Night" and "It's Alright", and the album includes the first recording of his "Ordinary Average Guys" (sung by late Herbs bassist Charlie Tumahai), which subsequently became a solo hit for Walsh as "Ordinary Average Guy".

In 1994, Walsh reunited with the Eagles for a highly successful reunion tour and live album, Hell Freezes Over. Walsh has toured regularly with the Eagles since then and the group released their first new studio album in 28 years, Long Road Out of Eden, in 2007.

In June 2004, Walsh performed live before a huge crowd at Eric Clapton's Crossroads Guitar Festival in Dallas, Texas. He was also featured in September 2004 at The Strat Pack, a concert held in London, England to mark the 50th anniversary of the Fender Stratocaster guitar.

In 2006, Walsh reunited with Jim Fox and Dale Peters of James Gang for a 15-date summer reunion tour. The tour lasted into the fall. Some of his most recent compositions, such as "One Day At A Time", deal with his struggles with substance abuse, particularly alcoholism. He is now a teetotaller and has been sober since 1995.

In 2008, Walsh appeared on the Carvin 60th Anniversary Celebration DVD as a Celebrity Endorser. In the recorded interview, he highly praises Carvin guitars and claims that the bridge design is "just like the first Les Paul models. I can't even get Gibson to reissue it."

Joe has been a contributor to such causes as halfway houses for displaced adult women in Wichita, Kansas.