Thursday, March 5, 2009

The James Gang- WALK AWAY

Every once in awhile I'll be fishing around, looking for clues as to what I should post in this blog on a given day. A couple of hours ago I was watching the tube, and put on an old rerun of The Drew Carey Show. It was the episode where an accordion playing Drew had a rock band called The Horndogs. Their guitarist was none other than Joe Walsh. And at the end of the show, guitarist Walsh, "Horndog" bass player Dale Peters and drummer Jim Fox were introduced as a reunion of the most successful lineup of The James Gang.

The band began in Cleveland in 1966 as a five piece unit. Guitarist Glen Schwartz joined in 1967- he left in 1968. In that year Walsh, then playing in a band based in Kent, OH called The Measles, joined. After some defections the band was left as a trio; Walsh, Fox, and bassist Tom Kriss (replaced by Peters in 1969).The first record was Yer Album (1969), followed by The James Gang Rides Again (1970), Thirds (1971), and Live In Concert, 1971. Late in 1971 Joe Walsh left the group, later forming Barnstorm, and in 1975 he toured with The Joe Walsh Band (which I saw in Wembley Stadium on the same bill with The Eagles). After Bernie Leadon left The Eagles, Joe was asked to join in December, 1975, and he's been part of The Eagles ever since, through breakups, hiatus, reunions, farewell tours, and more reunions.

The Eagles are currently touring with members Walsh, Don Henley, Glenn Frey, and Timothy B. Schmit.

As for The James Gang, they went on for several years, with a succession of guitarists, including Tommy Bolin (who later went on to replace Ritchie Blackmore in DEEP PURPLE), and Dominic Troiano. I saw the Troiano, Peters, Fox and Roy Kenner (singer) version of The James Gang in 1972, but they were a different band entirely, and I really have little memory of them at all....other than thinking the Sixties must really be over now, because who were these guys?

The band called it a day in 1977, but stayed in touch, and played together on three episodes of The Drew Carey Show. According to their website, The James Gang could ride again as a touring band sometime this summer.

Below, the Walsh, Peters, and Fox lineup perform Walk Away, from 1971.

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