View Full Version : Prospect Hill, Australia 1985

05-29-2008, 10:33 PM
I got this in Google alerts and found it interesting:

"Great Gigs II: Joe Walsh at Prospect Hill, 1985 (http://ladlitter.blogspot.com/2008/05/great-gigs-ii-joe-walsh-at-prospect.html)

You canít go past a guitar player who tries to do something a bit special with almost every note. You know the type. Theyíre said to play like itís an attack on both the notes and the instrument. Think Jeff Beck and Jimi Hendrix. But Iím not so sure the metaphor fits. I think itís more about an individual playerís feel. Intangible, I know, but what did you expect me to say? Je ne sais qua?

Iíd first heard of Joe Walsh in early 1973 when his hit Rocky Mountain Way got airplay on 3XY. The talk-box was a strange new effect and his slide guitar playing was outstanding, with a delightfully dirty sound and plenty of sustain, artfully combining country and blues influences.

His album titles were witty (eg So What?; But Seriously, Folks; There Goes The Neighbourhood) and tracks from the live You Canít Argue With A Sick Mind were regularly shown on rock clip TV shows like Flashez and WROK in the mid-70s. It was here that I was able to see Walsh in full flight.I mentioned that heís the kind of player who puts everything into just about every note (by that I mean slight bends and the odd harmonic scream) but between notes he slid along the fretboard, going waow and whoo to punctuate his solos that really made my hair stand up on end. Here was a player who knew how to use the more ďnoisyĒ elements of rock guitar technique beautifully.

When I heard early in 1976 that he was to replace Bernie Leadon in the Eagles, I immediately thought their share price was raised considerably. No disrespect to Leadon, who was a fine singer-songwriter-guitarist, but up until Hotel California the Eagles had struck me as a group manipulating the easily-impressed (and easily depressed!) sensitive teenager market with contrived country-rock she-done-me-wrong songs. They still retained this element of their persona after Walsh joined, but it was just, I donít know, better? And he and Don Felder really knew how to blend their similar styles. More fraternal guitar twins than identical. Kinda like Keith Richard and Ron Wood, but more accomplished.

At Kewís Prospect Hill Hotel in 1985, legendary journeyman guitarist Waddy Wachtel supplied the counterpoint that Felder had provided on the Eagles recordings. Wachtel could play too. This was a Joe Walsh solo gig, but this American band (he had toured with the Party Boys* earlier that year. I saw them at Billboard) were just a hot outfit. Donít you just love an eminent artist who doesnít feel the need to be the big shot on stage?

They did all of his classic songs, from the early James Gang days, his solo career, and the Eagles. One particular highlight was a pumped-up Life In The Fast Lane, not an easy song to do live and believe me I would have understood if theyíd left that one off the set list.

But for this admitted worshipper, Neil Youngís Cinnamon Girl was the sour cream on the burrito. The original is the kick-ass opening song on Youngís 1968 Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere album, but Walsh and his hired guns took it to a new level while still remaining faithful to the original.

It was a pretty blokey crowd of unashamed Joe Walsh fans that night as I recall and we were all just transfixed.

Isnít it great when you see an admired artist perform and expectations are both matched and exceeded?

05-30-2008, 03:54 AM
Thanks for posting that, sounds like a great show.

05-30-2008, 10:09 AM
That was interesting! Thanks Soda!

05-30-2008, 12:33 PM
That was a good read. Thanks for posting, Soda!