Walsh couldn’t work without vodka
Eagles stalwart Joe Walsh admits it took him decades to complete new solo album Analog Man because he had to learn how to work without the aid of his “best friend” – vodka.
And he says his new wife is to be thanked for providing the momentum to get back in the studio after he started on the road to recover around the time of the Eagles’ Hell Freezes Over reunion in 1994.
Walsh tells Rolling Stone: “I had to get sober. I was hitting bottom and I ran out of options – so I had to stop everything and rebuild Joe from the bottom up.
“I had to relearn how to do everything without vodka. That took a while. Vodka was by best friend for a while there.
“I just couldn’t really go into the studio or around that kind of environment. Working on music when it started to get late, there were too many triggers.
“But I didn’t disappear. I got married three and a half years ago to Marjorie. She’s really the part of me that was missing. I really found a partner. She said: ‘You ought to get off your ass and put this record together. By the way, here’s Jeff Lynne’s number.”
Walsh describes producer Lynne’s input as “invaluable,” explaining: “I get these great ideas and I get them started, but I can never finish them up because I have a new idea that I’ve got to go do. Jeff’s a real closer. He took me in a direction I would never have gone.”
Despite the album’s title, Walsh isn’t arguing that analogue technology is better than digital. “I’m not some old fart who just come out of the woods,” he says. “This album I did with a hard drive and a mouse.”
But he adds: “I had to make some adjustments; we all did. There’s a whole new technology, but there’s also a whole new world that’s virtual and that doesn’t really exist. We all spend more and more time in there and we get lost. Meanwhile, our bodies sit in chairs and wait for our minds to come back. I don’t know if it’s working for us – or if we’re working for it.
“I know that it ate the record business, and I know it ate radio and it ate intellectual property. I hope it doesn’t eat me.”