After half a dozen reunion shows in Cleveland over the past five years, drummer Jim Fox tells Billboard.com the time was right for the James Gang's most potent lineup -- Fox, Joe Walsh (vocals/guitar)
After half a dozen reunion shows in Cleveland over the past five years, drummer Jim Fox tells Billboard.com the time was right for the James Gang's most potent lineup -- Fox, Joe Walsh (vocals/guitar) and Dale Peters (bass) -- to ride again.
"When we came off the shows in 2005, I think we all agreed that they were fun enough and well executed enough that we should try to do something more," Fox says.
However, one of the biggest hurdles to any previous reunion was Walsh's Eagles schedule, which included a recently finished European leg. With a few months off between commitments from his day job, Walsh and his old cohorts decided to hit the road for a 17-date jaunt (beginning Aug. 10 in Sturgis, S.D.), which marks this lineup's first tour in 35 years.
There's talk of recording a DVD towards the end of the month-long run but for now, nothing is certain. In addition, Fox says he'll discuss with his bandmates the possibility of releasing a recently discovered 1970 Netherlands concert, which was recorded a few months before the James Gang's 1971 "Live in Concert" album.
As for its set, the band has plenty of material to work with, including hit songs "Walk Away" and "Funk #49," as well as Walsh's solo catalog. "We sort of resisted the idea of doing [Walsh's songs], other than 'Rocky Mountain Way,' and that's more from Joe than anyone else," Fox says. "The truth of the matter is, it would be a pleasure to play some of the songs. I hope he softens his line on that as the rehearsals go. But we don't need a ton of new material just to get through the concerts."
While currently there are no new tunes in the mix, Fox is hoping pre-show dressing room jams, which back in the day produced the riffs of such James Gang staples as "Woman" and "The Bomber: Closet Queen/Cast Your Fate to the Wind," could yield a musical zygote towards an eventual full-length release.
"The last thing I want to do is put out something because we just ought to put something out," Fox says. "I don't want to do that. I want to put something out that's good, that kicks our asses."