1973 Joe Walsh – Rocky Mountain Way
Joe and three other Kent State students formed The Measles in 1965. The group recorded some songs for Super K Productions when Kamenetz and Katz were working for Buddah. The label put their recording of When I Think Of You and one other song on the first Ohio Express album without crediting the band. A third song they recorded was an instrumental that was renamed and put on the B-side of the single Beg, Borrow, and Steal. The band never got credit for the recordings and went through several personnel changes by the end of 1967.
By mid-1968, the group had become a trio and began performing as the James Gang. Their first album, Yer Blues, was released in 1969. The highlight of the album was a cover of Buffalo Springfield’s Bluebird. For some reason, Joe sold his Les Paul Guitar to Jimmy Page that year. Their 1970 album included the single Funk #49, which took the group up to #59 on the Hot 100.
Joe left The James Gang at the end of 1971 and moved to Colorado and formed the band Barnstorm with Joe Vitale on drums and keyboards and Kenny Passarelli on bass. Several studio musicians helped complete the group’s sound for their first album. Not much came from the album, and the record label released the group’s second album as a solo album for Joe. The Smoker You Drink, the Player You Get came out in 1973 and contained Joe’s first top forty single: Rocky Mountain Way featured Joe’s lead vocals and peaked at #23 on the Hot 100. The band disbanded in 1974.
Joe joined the Eagles in 1975. Rumor has it the band had a few hits.
Joe continued to put out solo albums irregularly. He had his biggest solo hit when Life’s Been Good peaked at #12 on the Hot 100 in 1978.
His solo records began charting on the US Mainstream Rock chart in 1981, although his solo records never reached the top forty on the Hot 100 again. He topped the US Mainstream Rock chart once, had four more top ten records, and also had over a half-dozen top forty singles on the chart.
The Eagles took a long vacation beginning in 1980 and reunited and began touring again in 1994. Joe continues to participate as a member of the group and has also played on a lot of records by a lot of artists.
Joe appeared as a cast member on a strange attempt by Drew Carey to create an original kind of improvisation show, but the idea didn’t go over well and the television show quickly vanished.
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