Joe Walsh, who most embodies the dissolute lifestyle that his fellow Eagles so often sang about in albums like “Hotel California” and “The Long Run,” brought out some heavy hitters to the Troubadour on Wednesday night at private launch party for his upcoming album, “Analog Man.”
Among those spotted in the house were Stewart Copeland, Jeff Lynne, Ringo Starr and wife Barbara Bach, and industry power players like Irving Azoff, among many others. But Walsh was clearly the attraction, mixing a live performance of new and classic material with anecdotes about his hard-partying ways, life on the road and a highly amusing deconstruction of his 1978 hit “Life’s Been Good” — perhaps THE definition of art imitating life.
Recalling the time he toured as an opening act for The Who, Walsh shared that “one of the most terrifying things that happened to me was when Keith Moon decided he liked me.”
In describing his observations that led to the writing of the new album’s title track, he compared the time when there were three networks that shut down their broadcasts at 10 p.m., and now, when in the wee hours of the morning there’s “500 channels and there’s nothing on, unless you want a Brazilian butt lift or you need a cure for your acne.”
But the highlight was seeing Walsh on stage with a crew of crack session players, exhibiting the kind of licks on guitar that served as reminder that he’s one of rock’s unique stylists and showed why the James Gang was one of the first great exponents of jam rock. And his falsetto vocals have lost none of their cracked charm.
The new tune “Wrecking Ball” revealed a debt to Crazy Horse, while vintage tunes like “Turn to Stone” and “Rocky Mountain Way,” with Ringo helping out on traps, proved that classic rock never dies; it just needs to be watered now and then.