Joe Walsh feels a spiritual connection with the Channel Islands in California’s Santa Barbara Channel, and he shows just how much they mean to him in a new three-part docuseries. “If there is a God, he hangs out on this island a lot,” he says in a clip from West of the West: Tales From California’s Channel Islands.
In the clip, the Eagles guitarist sings “Amazing Grace” slowly and passionately while strumming a hollow-body electric guitar, as he exits a church and scenes of the beautiful landscape flash on the screen. He cites the creation myth of the Chumash people, the islands’ first inhabitants some 13,000 years ago, who claim life started on the islands before man made it to the mainland.
“It’s an honor and a privilege that this came into my life,” Walsh says in the clip. “It’s part of my awareness that is extremely grounding. So spiritually, it’s a driving force. I come here a lot in my head in times of mental turmoil; I just come here and everything is OK.”
West of the West will begin airing on KCET in Southern California on Monday, and each subsequent episode will air on the following Monday. The series will examine the millennia-long history of the area, including revelations about its native people and information about the efforts to preserve the land. It premiered in March to three sold-out crowds at Santa Barbara’s Arlington Theatre. The filmmakers intend to distribute the doc to other California stations, as well as other regions around the U.S., in the fall. They also intend for the films to be made available for free in schools throughout California.