Joe Walsh Open to James Gang Reunion Tour Possibility


Joe Walsh Open to James Gang Reunion Tour Possibility

–Russell Hall

Joe Walsh is kicking off the New Year in a big way, staging a series of solo shows at the House of Blues in Las Vegas. Later, in April, the veteran rocker will hit the road with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, performing as the opening act on the latter’s 40th anniversary tour. Even more tantalizing, Walsh recently told Las Vegas Weekly that he’s open to the possibility of a reunion tour with his former bandmates in the beloved classic rock trio, the James Gang.

“That’s always there,” says Walsh. “I would have to go back to Cleveland and try it out. I’m not sure we can do what we used to do. I do talk to [drummer] Jimmy [Fox] and [bassist] Dale [Peters] from time to time.” He added: “I want to make sure the majority of the nights are good with those guys. If we can do it, I don’t see why not.”

Originally a five-piece, the James Gang had been pared down to the formidable trio of Walsh, Fox and Peters by the time they recorded the seminal albums James Gang Rides Again and  Thirds—released in 1970 and 1971, respectively. Two of the band’s singles—“Funk #49” and “Walk Away”—remain a constant presence on classic rock radio.

“You know, on a good night, nothing beats a three-piece band,” observes Walsh. “And on a bad night, there’s nothing worse. I’m used to singers and keyboard players, another guitar player and stuff. But with a three-piece, you’re bare-ass naked out there and you’d better have your stuff together.”

Reminded that James Gang originally formed roughly 50 years ago, Walsh perked up even further at the prospect of a reunion. The guitarist went so far as to cite a possible name for the tour. “That [the 50th anniversary] might be a good reason to go out,” he said. “We could call it ‘Funk 50’.”