James Gang

Biography

When James Gang toured in support of the Jimi Hendrix Experience in the late 1960s and early '70s, audiences were blown away by the hotshot guitar histrionics of newcomer Joe Walsh and the band's lean, downright lethal rhythm section. Walsh joined the band in 1968, just after the departure of original guitarist Glen Schwartz, the first of many lineup changes that seemed to dog the band throughout their career. They enjoyed the lion's share of their success with Walsh, based on the strength of his instant FM staple "Funk #49" and its follow-up "Walk Away." "The Bomber" from James Gang Rides Again (1970) is one of the most impressive hard rock songs in the genre. With a galloping Led Zeppelin-borne power, the song charges to the trademark Joe Walsh Comedown -- a fluttering, tripped-out guitar break that illustrates the band's incredible talent for perfectly-in-control looseness. Walsh quickly outgrew his bandmates and went on to a '70s-long stint as America's resident guitar god. He also played with some L.A. idiots named Glenn Frey and Don Henley -- but that's not important. James Gang never fully recovered from his departure, although their records with Walsh's second replacement Tommy Bolin are often cited as worthwhile efforts.
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