Last night I finally got to see guitar wizard and rock-n-roll funny man Joe Walsh play my favorite song from my favorite teenage summer. I dropped a helluva lot of quarters into the Student Union jukebox in 1978 to hear “Life’s Been Good,” a hilarious, iconic parody of the rich, spoiled rock star lifestyle.
Now, the man who once sang, “I keep on going, guess I’ll never know why,” is back on the road to promote his first album in 20 years, “Analog Man.” A lot has changed since 1992, and Joe, in typical comedic fashion, uses his title song to air his frustration at being an analog man in a digital world:
Welcome to cyberspace, I’m lost in the fog.
Everything’s digital, I’m still analog.
When something goes wrong, I don’t have a clue.
Some 10-year-old smart ass has to show me what to do.
Sign on with high speed, you don’t have to wait.
Sit there for days and vegetate.
I access my email, read all my spam.
I’m an analog man.
Good old Joe’s been a powerhouse rocker since his days in the James Gang. He’s a writer of witty tunes (“And every Sunday we work in the yard; pick up the dog do; hope that it’s hard”), a creator of clever album titles (“The Smoker You Drink, The Player You Get”), a former chaos collaborator with the late Keith Moon (“living in hotels, tearing out walls”) a recovering alkie, and the only member of The Eagles I ever liked. AND, he’s Ringo’s brother-in-law!
He spoke for all of us children of the ’60s and ’70s when he sang, “Lucky I’m sane after all I’ve been through.” And, like Joe, “I can’t complain, but sometimes I still do.”
Here’s Joe, describing how he came to write “Life’s Been Good”
Here’s a video containing the original words and music of “Life’s Been Good”
© Dana Spiardi, June 3, 2012