Joe Walsh: My Life in 15 Songs

Guitar legend looks back on more than 40 years of music and mayhem with James Gang, Eagles and beyond

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The James Gang, "Funk #49" (1970)

Before we really started writing our own songs in the James Gang we'd play covers, and then in the middle of them we'd go for a jam for four or five minutes. At some point we had six or seven of those sections, and we didn't need to cover other people's songs anymore. We took those jams and wrote words to them, and that was really the first and second James Gang albums.

The "Funk #49" jam was one we always happened to crush, so we recorded it for [1970's] Rides Again. How'd we get the name? We said, "Hey, this is that funk jam we have!" And it seemed like we were counting how many times we ever played it. We thought it was right around 50. But we were in the studio with Bill Szymczyk, who was our engineer at the time, and he said, "It couldn't have been 50." So we said, "OK, well, 49 then!"