The Clown Prince of Rock

December 20, 1975

As I noted in my previous post, Bernie Leadon left the Eagles on this day in 1975. But as one door closes, another opens and in walks The Clown Prince of Rock himself – Joe Walsh!

At the urging of producer Bill Szymczyk, Average Joe was invited to join the Eagles to replace outgoing guitarist Bernie Leadon. He was met with a degree of hesitation – especially from Don Henley – for being too wild for the Eagles. Ironic considering what the Eagles were capable of themselves. It was announced on this day – December 20, 1975 – that Joe Walsh was an Eagle.

Already a successful artist in his own right (James Gang, Barnstorm) Joe brought the heat to the Eagles. His first album with the band was Hotel California. The guitar solos on the title track between Don Felder and Joe Walsh are routinely considered to be the best guitar work in rock.

If you want an interesting story, read up a little about Joe Walsh. The guy gets around! He sold a 1959 Les Paul guitar to Jimmy Page, which became Jimmy’s #1; his brother-in-law is Ringo Starr; he was friends with Jim Belushi and was in the Blues Brothers movie, the list goes on and on.

One other accomplishment for Joe’s impressive resume. After years of drug and alcohol addiction Joe kicked the habit and has been clean and sober since 1994.

Way to go Joe!

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