28 January 2013

Funk #49/Life's Been Good - James Gang/Joe Walsh

First of all, Yes, I know I missed last Monday.  Okay, so I failed a bit on my New Year's Resolution but to make up for it, I'm doing TWO entries this week, watch for one tomorrow as well.

Little did I know as a young man, how much I would eventually love Joe Walsh.

Now, there's no way in hell I heard Funk #49 when it was first released (1970) and if I did, well, then it was burned so deeply into my subconscious that when I did realize what I was listening to sometime later in the 70's, it resounded nicely.

The combination of Walsh's funky Cleveland/Jersey accent sort of drunk-singing was something unique (remember, unique sounds pique my interest in almost any kind of music) but add to that the Fender Telecaster through the Fender amp and you had a sound that Joe still uses today on just about every song he writes/sings.

I like this particular performance of it from the December 2012 Guitar Center Sessions show which plays on the Audience channel (only on DirecTV).  It's really an interview show with some of the artists' hit songs smattered in between.  Enjoy, you can see how much fun he still has playing it and of course, now, being 17 years clean and sober!

Okay, Joe gets two songs, as a solo artist (of course there's Eagles' tunes forthcoming) and the second one is Life's Been Good (1978) which is, of course, a song about the life of a Rock & Roll star and his tales from the road basically.

As an 'almost' teenager, this really struck a chord as you're still in the untainted dream stage of what you want to do in your life and hell, a musician was still a possibility!  That sort of life sounded like a LOT of fun and well, we all know now how much fun Joe actually had back then.  The lovely thing about this song is that you are going to get TWO videos for it, both sort of long but then again, the song was long to begin with.  I think the WLS on-air staff probably did a lot of bathroom/smoke breaks during this one.

First you'll get Joe's performance of it from the OTHER music show I love, Live from Daryl's House which was originally only a web-only show (love it!!) but now plays on Palladia and the second one was from May 2012 where Joe sort of told a little story about how he wrote the song from an appearance at The Troubadour in West Hollywood.

I think my love for Joe was only deepened as in the mid-90's when he started sitting in with Steve Dahl on his shows and then sitting IN for Steve when he'd go on vacation for a week.  "Howya DOIN?" became a regular catch phrase for me and it gave some insight into who the heck this guy was, plus he was 'real' in the fact that he had new found sobriety which Steve had just sort of found as well.

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