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
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.