Two Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Famers and guitar legends to strum away at Borgata this weekend. Joe Walsh talks to AC Weekly in advance of his twin billing with B.B. King.
ATLANTIC CITY — Having thrived on all of rock ‘n’ roll’s most meaningful fronts — songwriter, solo artist, studio musician, power-trio front man and lead guitarist for hall-of-fame band — Joe Walsh is about as seriously successful a career musician as there is out there.
But Walsh loves to laugh at life, too, as best noted by one of the biggest hits in his storied career, 1978’s “Life’s Been Good” — a satire of the excesses and pitfalls the touring rock star often encounters, and something the now healthy Walsh can say he survived.
Walsh’s lighthearted nature also showed itself in a recent phone conversation with Atlantic City Weekly, particularly regarding the early stages of his musical odyssey.
“I played trombone and clarinet for a while, then I played oboe in high school,” Walsh says from a tour stop in Raleigh, N.C. “Then I discovered I wasn’t going to get any girls playing oboe, so I decided that maybe I should play guitar. And I didn’t really get any girls playing guitar either, but I had a lot more fun.”
Walsh, a 1998 Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame inductee with the Eagles, is currently on tour with his solo band that stops at the Borgata Event Center on Saturday, Oct. 22. The Eagles, who are on a tour break, last appeared in Atlantic City at the Event Center in summer 2008, and Walsh was revered by fans at a show many heralded as being among the best since the Borgata first debuted in 2004. Walsh's solo band consists of keyboardist Bukka Allen, drummer Thomas Hester, bassist George Reiff, drummer Rick Richards, guitarist Greg Suran Jr. and backing vocalists Giulietta Ciambotti, Marilyn Martin and Ricky Washington.
Walsh, who turns 64 next month, has been touring with the Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band, whose 34-year-old namesake will be among the next wave of guitar legends. In Atlantic City, Walsh (Ringo Starr’s brother-in-law) will do a gig with longtime friend and past project partner B.B. King, another Rock Hall of Famer  and one of the most influential blues guitarists in history. Walsh took some time to talk with Atlantic City Weekly before an Oct. 18 gig at the Durham Performing Arts Center near Duke University.
Pictured right: Bruce Willis (right) joined Walsh on the Borgata stage in 2007.
How did it work out that you’re touring around with Kenny Wayne Shepherd’s band but you’ll be doing the show in Atlantic City with B.B. King?
I’ve known Kenny for years and years, and his band has been opening for mine on this tour. We played four shows in five nights and they’ve all been great. Kenny’s got an album out [entitled How I Go] and he’s a great young guitar player. He’s the next generation coming up. I’ve known B.B. most of my life and have played on a few of his records [among them 1970’s Indianola Mississippi Seeds], but this [Borgata] gig is a package that I think the casino put together and I’m not entirely sure how it’s set up yet. I haven’t seen B.B. in a long time and, if we can possibly do it, it would be great to play [on stage] together. But for the rest of my tour, Kenny Wayne is out with me.
What will some of the songs on your set list include in ATLANTIC CITY?
I’ll do “Pretty Maids [All In A Row],” “In the City,” “Life in the Fast Lane,” “Life’s Been Good,” “Rocky Mountain Way” from my Eagles days, “Funk 49” and “Walk Away” from the James Gang — so there’s something for everybody.
My favorite Joe Walsh song is “Life of Illusion” — are you doing that one?
That’s the second song on our set list.
A blues supergroup called The Rides, comprised of music luminaries Stephen Stills, Barry Goldberg and Kenny Wayne Shepherd, is making the Tropicana Showroom its second stop on a 16-date tour that starts with back-to-back gigs at New York City’s venerable Iridium Jazz Club.
"It’s a good time, a rockin’ time. I plan on bringing some joy and rock-and-roll vibes to Atlantic City. "
As we continue our countdown of “Best Lists” at Atlantic City Weekly, here are the 10 best interviews we had in 2011, in alphabetical order.
“She’s the best," says Kid Rock. “I’m not surprised about anything when it comes to Sheryl Crow. She’s a super talented person and I’m always surprised when she spends time with a scurvy guy like me. She really has the touch.“
Scene from A.C. beach last weekend, see slideshow. (photo by kevin mccarty) The Angels performed at Ego at Trump Taj Mahal. (photo by nick valinote) The Atlantic City Lifeguard Classic ...
The Palm Restaurant honored fallen AC police officer Thomas McMeekin with a fundraiser on Tuesday, June 12. Palm GM Paul Sandler is pictured with the McMeekin family (mother, Kathy; brother, An...
Tag, You're It Fees for yearly, weekly and daily beach tags Cool Summer Gear Summer survival guide 30 Hot Music Picks Our region bursts with an array of sounds this summer Ocean City's Bright Summer The Boardwalk and beaches will be bustling again The Look of Summer Swimwear solutions to stay in styl � � Tag, You're It Fees for yearly, weekly and daily beach tags � SURE, YOU CAN attempt to evade the beach tag police - those kids in the white shorts with the visors and fanny packs - by running into the surf. My brother does it every year when he visits me from North Jersey. But really, why bother? The yearly fee is a one-time item and quite a bargain compared to your other Shore expenses, and kids under 12 are free anyway (in Sea Isle and Margate, 11 and under). Seasonal tags are usually discounted if purchased before June 1. Communities also offer weekly and daily tags during the season. The free beaches left in the area are in Atlantic City, the Wildwoods and Strathmere. Wednesday is a free beach day in Sea Isle City. Below is a list of beach tag prices, most available for preseason purchase at each town's city hall. Some towns have senior discounts,...
Eagles fever is again sweeping through southern New Jersey, and that's no reference to the most recent runner-up in the Super Bowl. Legendary rock 'n' roll performers, the Eagles, will visit Boardwalk Hall on Saturday, April 9, for the second time since embarking on their Farewell 1 tour in 2002. Both shows were promoted by Caesars Entertainment and sold out almost immediately after tickets were made available. "I had handled the advertising for the launch of the first show [in July 2003] and when tickets went on sale we were sold out within 24 hours," says Sharon Pearce, vice president of advertising and public relations for Caesars Entertainment. Comprised of drummer/vocalist Don Henley, guitarist/vocalist Glenn Frey, guitarist/vocalist Joe Walsh and bassist/vocalist Timothy Schmidt, the Eagles played their 2003 Boardwalk Hall gig before a capacity crowd of 12,692. "[The 2003 show] was one of the best concerts we ever had here," says Valarie McGonigal, Boardwalk Hall director of marketing. "The sound quality was just incredible. I think when some of these bands come around whose members have been together a long while, a lot of people wonder if they're still going to sound good. These guys were awesome." The tour's name, Farewell 1, is a...
A couple of years ago Atlantic City Weekly started encapsulating key elements of the lives and careers of musicians and entertainers who were coming to town to perform, along with some longtime Atlantic City residents and difference-makers, in a series dubbed 5 Questions With ...
Back Is Black
Resorts’ Holiday Fun
Feel Good at Spa-Tacular Dec. 2-6
Bonnie Raitt Breaks Through (Again)
Tropicana Rings in the Holidays