Joseph Fidler "Joe" Walsh (born November 20, 1947) is an American singer-songwriter, composer, multi-instrumentalist and record producer. In a career spanning more than 40 years, Walsh has been a member of five successful rock bands: James Gang, Barnstorm, the Eagles, The Party Boys, and Ringo Starr & His All-Starr Band. In the 1990s, he was also a member of the short-lived supergroup The Best. He has also experienced success both as a solo artist and prolific session musician, being featured on a wide array of other artists' recordings. In 2011, Rolling Stone placed Walsh at the number 54 spot on its list of "100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time."
In the mid-1960s, after attending Kent State University, Walsh played with several local Ohio-based bands before reaching a national audience as a member of the James Gang, whose hit song "Funk #49" highlighted Walsh's skill as both a guitarist and vocalist. After the James Gang broke up in 1972, Walsh formed a band, Barnstorm, with Joe Vitale, a college friend of Walsh's from Ohio, and Kenny Passarelli, a bassist from Colorado, where Walsh had settled as his home after leaving Ohio. While the band would stay together for three albums over three years, their works were marketed as Walsh solo projects. The last Barnstorm album, 1974's So What contained significant guest contributions from several members of the Eagles, a group that had recently hired Walsh's producer, Bill Szymczyk.
At Szymczyk's suggestion, Walsh joined the Eagles in 1975 as the group's keyboardist and guitarist following the departure of their founding member Bernie Leadon, with Hotel California being his first album with the band. In 1998 a reader's poll conducted by Guitarist magazine selected the guitar solos on the track "Hotel California" by Walsh and Don Felder as the best guitar solos of all time. Guitar World magazine listed it at eighth of the Top 100 Guitar Solos.
Besides his work with his several bands, he has released twelve solo studio albums, six compilation albums and two live albums. His solo hits include "Rocky Mountain Way", "Life's Been Good", "All Night Long", "A Life of Illusion" and "Ordinary Average Guy".
As a member of the Eagles, Walsh was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998, and into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2001. The Eagles are considered to be one of the most influential bands of the 1970s, and they remain the best-selling American band in the history of popular music. Walsh's creative contribution to music has received praise from many of the best rock guitarists, including Led Zeppelin's Jimmy Page, who praised Walsh by saying "He has a tremendous feel for the instrument. I've loved his style since the early James Gang." Eric Clapton said that "He's one of the best guitarists to surface in some time. I don't listen to many records, but I listen to his." The Who's guitarist Pete Townshend, a friend of Walsh's, commented that "Joe Walsh is a fluid and intelligent player. There're not many like that around."