It’s been 19 years since Joe Walsh released a solo album, and decades since he has had a Gold Record on his wall.
But since he’s been busy touring with the Eagles, the superstar soundtrack band of the 1970s, for about the last decade, Walsh still has been able to have accountants pay for it all — and has racked up numerous records gone platinum inbetween.
Yes, from the seat of his newer Maserati that might go faster than 185 mph, life’s continuing to be good for the masterful guitarist, so far.
Walsh, who will turn 64 next month, is making a rare stop in the East Valley on Monday — yes, Halloween night — to perform a solo concert at 7 p.m. at Wild Horse Pass Hotel and Casino near Chandler as he nears the end of a 14-show U.S. tour. When the tour ends, the masterful guitarist will have played 14 intimate shows that began on Oct. 11 in Austin and will conclude on Nov. 14 at the Belly Up in San Diego.
A self-proclaimed average ordinary guy who screams “everybody’s so damn different but I haven’t changed” in his anthem “Life’s Been Good,” Walsh will perform songs that span a 42-year professional music career that began with the James Gang in 1969 to songs planned for his forthcoming album, “Analog Man,” consisting of at least 10 new songs planned for release in February, according to Walsh’s publicist Anna Loynes.
The album, which Walsh describes as a “sober observation” on the world around him blended with a little bit of humor and references to his past, is being produced by Jeff Lynne, former ELO musician and Walsh’s close friend. It will be the 10th solo release for Walsh, and include songs like “Wrecking Ball,” “I’m Just Lucky That Way,” “One Day at a Time” (also on the “Eagles Live in Melbourne” release) and “Funk Fifty,” following ESPN’s “Funk 48” and “Funk 49” played on Mondays.
“I’m having a great time,” Walsh said during an interview with the Tribune on Friday. “The communication with the audience in a smaller venue is better. There’s been a lot of good energy and the fans have been great.”
As veteran musicians have witnessed the demise of record companies in recent years and transition or tussle with the digital age, Walsh said during Friday’s interview that Sony and Universal records are interested in reviewing the album. But he also could independently release it.
“I’m not much of a Twitter, blog or Facebook person,” said Walsh, an avid ham radio operator since 1961 who said he doesn’t have a merchandising plan for his forthcoming release. “But, I do email and text as required. If I let people know the music is available, they’ll get on the Internet and find it.
“There’s a lot of pros and cons about being on a big label,” Walsh added. “They really get behind it, but by the time the record is released, a lot of those people aren’t there anymore, and the people who are don’t know who you are, he laughed.”
But, if Sony or Universal don’t pick it up, Walsh said he’d independently release it, something he and his Eagles compadres Don Henley, Glenn Frey and Timothy B. Schmit did with the band’s 2007 release, “Long Road Out of Eden,” which was sold through an exclusive deal with Walmart and the band’s first studio album in 28 years.
“At this point in my career, the only thing left to do is work on my craft. I’m just writing songs because that’s what I do, and be a responsible and creative performer for people of my generation.
“I’m not done, yet, and that’s the important thing. Life’s been good and it’s continued to be good.”
But beware on Monday — it’s hard to say what kind of costume Walsh will be wearing when he takes the stage.
“I hadn’t thought about it,” Walsh said. “If I just come like me, it’d be scary enough.”
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