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, "Walk Away" (1971)

I was credited with playing "train wreck" guitar on this, but that's really just because of the end of the song. You've kinda gotta put on headphones to hear it, but I took a guitar and did a full-on Pete Townshend with it in the background, where I put everything on 10 and turned the fuzz tone all the way up. I took the guitar off, threw it up in the air, put it on the ground and jumped up and down on it. I didn't light it on fire, though, because you can't see that on an album. That would have been stupid!

The James Gang once played a gig in Youngstown [Ohio] with Hendrix. Sly Stone headlined. We all had a dressing room. ... Well, Sly had his own dressing room. Which he rarely came out of – especially when it was time to go on! But Jimi was great. His guitar was sitting there, and I was looking at it and he said, "Go ahead, pick it up." So I did. And I had a beautiful Les Paul, a 1960, and he checked that out. So that was special. And then Sly went on about an hour and 20 minutes late. We left – along with half the audience.

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