25 March 2011

Something 4 The Weekend # 198

It was 1971, and who the fuck was playing this sort of music besides the James Gang?

You know, sometimes I wonder if Joe Walsh doesn't get enough credit...Of course, when it comes to this kind of power trio brilliance, I've gotta mention bassist Dale Peters and drummer Jim Fox too because, seriously, who else was playing this kind of Prog Funk Metal Blues in 1971? Three dudes blowing up, live on stage...
But Joe Walsh...
I think we're all in agreement that Rolling Stone magazine's infamous list of the 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time is mostly a load of flaming hot poop, and as further proof - Joe Walsh didn't make the list. Joan Jett (whom I loved as a teen) is on the list. Adam Jones of Tool in on the list. Paul Kossof of Free made the cut (at #51, no less).
Joe Walsh is nowhere to be found, and I think it reflects the fact that as his career progressed, especially through the 1980s, his tendency towards jokey titles and general silliness got the better of him. He probably smoked too much weed, quite honestly, and while he continued to be a fantastic guitarist, the songs were less frequently good or great, the plight of almost all middle-aged musicians.
But Joe Walsh was consistently good or great through the 1970s. Those James Gang records with him are all outstanding, his solo output is almost as good, and when he joined The Eagles, they unleashed Hotel California, a legendary album whether you like The Eagles or not. I'm fairly ambivalent about The Eagles myself, but "Life In The Fast Lane", Joe's signature tune on that album, still excites me.
Ahh, Joe Walsh...
James Gang's "Funk #49" was #3 on that list.
And thus concludes tonight's Joe Walsh Lovefest.
Hotcha! Hank

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