Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Joe Walsh is 71 and is still rocking. Finding stardom as the guitarist and keyboardist of the rock band Eagles, Walsh has enjoyed a long-spanning career as a musician both in bands and as a solo artist. Initially, Joe was part of The Measles, a garage band he formed with three fellow students at Kent State University in 1965. He remained as the frontman of the band until 1967. That same year, Joe applied as a replacement for James Gang guitarist Glenn Schwartz. He was accepted and worked with the band until he left in 1971 to form Barnstorm, which became another brief stint for Joe. Walsh played slide guitar under the tutelage of Duane Allman for former Barnstorm bandmate, Joe Vitale’s debut album, Roller Coaster Weekend before the biggest break in his career.
In 1975, Walsh was invited to join The Eagles as the replacement for founding member Bernie Leadon. Initially, drummer Don Henley, who was often criticized for being too serious, had reservations about Walsh and considered him to be far too ‘wild’ for the band. However, the bandmates clearly moved on from their differences and came up with the iconic Hotel California album in 1976, which took a year and a half to complete. After the song, Life in the First Lane, based on a riff by Walsh made it to No.11 on the charts, it helped cement his position in the band. He remained one of the fan-favorite members till the band broke up in 1980. Walsh and his Eagles bandmates were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998.
Walsh has also joined Ringo Starr & His All-Star band, a rock supergroup for many performances and has been good friends with many other rock musicians of the 20th century, including Jimmy Page and Steve Perry. After his brief stint with Barnstorm, Walsh started a solo career and has released 12 solo albums, some of which contain contributions from his Eagles bandmates. From his career spanning over five decades, Walsh has amassed a net worth of $75 million. He has not been actively involved in the mainstream media for quite a while now.
#. Service to Humanity
For Walsh, giving is the greatest art of grace. He has been extremely active in charities for various causes, especially supporting army veterans. He founded VetsAid, a recurring music festival to raise fund for veteran service groups across America. He has been visiting military bases throughout the country and is even offering free guitar lessons for wounded veterans. He lost his father, a pilot instructor for the first US operational jet-powered aircraft, the Lockheed F-80 Shooting Star, during active duty in Okinawa, when Walsh was just 20 months old. So, he is personally invested in the well-being of the veterans providing them appropriate financial, emotional, mental and physical support. He said,
“War is hell for everyone involved. I lost my father when I was a baby, before I could even make a memory of him. I stopped counting the number of friends I lost in the Vietnam War or that came home forever scarred mentally or physically or both. I had to do something and seeing as though rock-and-roll seems to be what I do best, it’s the least I could do for those who have served and continue to serve our country.”
In addition to that, Walsh has also been fighting against drug addiction. Recently, in October 2018, he along with his wife Marjorie Walsh were honored by the nonprofit Facing Addiction with NCADD for their support of the recovery movement and their endeavour to raise awareness about drug and alcohol abuse. Walsh, who has been sober for 25 years now, has been open about his struggle with addiction. He also encourages fans to donate $10 to FacingAddiction, which he co-founded with his wife in 2015, to win a chance to dine with him and exclusive access to Eagles concerts.
#. Reunion with Eagles
The Eagles were one of the most influential musical acts in the 1970s and that influence still lingers. With sold out shows everytime they tour, the Eagles are still rocking across the globe and grabbing headlines left and right. Joe, 71, shows no signs of slowing down as he still nails every single Hotel California solo. We sure hope Walsh continues to tour and bring the magic of Eagles music across the world. Walsh and his bandmates are already announcing dates for tours in 2019 that include shows in the US, Australia, New Zealand, Britain and several countries throughout Europe. Recently, Joe showed up on the Howard Stern show to talk about his upcoming tour, where he was joined by fellow musician Ringo Starr as they discussed their respective crafts and the passion behind it.
#. Efforts to Protect the Environment
Walsh has often expressed his love for the Santa Cruz Islands, where he has been going to for 40 years. He has been actively involved in protecting the islands and even served as the President of the Santa Cruz Islands Foundation. He helps out in the Feast of the Holy Cross by performing his songs and has been a force of change and awareness. All in all, Joe Walsh is still as busy as his earlier days as he balances world tours, personal life, and his never-dying passion for music. We wish him the best for all his future endeavors and thank him for the music he has created over the years.