Joe Walsh was on hand to honor Ozzy Osbourne at the MAP MusiCares benefit in Los Angeles, though given the pair’s notorious partying ways back in the day Walsh couldn’t say how long the two had been friends.
“Neither of us really know for sure, but we have been able to determine that it was sometime last century,” Walsh told Billboard of that first meeting. “James Gang and Sabbath we played a lot of shows together.”
Walsh also doesn’t remember many of those shows, though impressively Osbourne does. “Believe it or not Ozzy remembers more than I do,” Walsh said.
All Walsh knows is the two saw each other at gigs, and thankfully for both of them, who loved to party, they were too busy working to indulge much together. “We played the same concerts. In those days you had like three bands, any of them could really headline. So I saw a lot of Ozzy backstage, we didn’t get a chance to hang out that much because we were both working. But that’s probably a good thing because we probably wouldn’t be here if we had,” he said.
Now sober, Walsh is keeping busy with a lot of musicians, including not only the Eagles, but the Foo Fighters. “I’ve been playing on other people’s stuff. I was a Foo Fighter for two days, I joined the Foo Fighters for two days and I played on a track of theirs that’s gonna come out,” he said. “I played on a War song, I love War. They sent me a song and I put guitar on that, so I’m a low rider and a Foo Fighter.”
The Foos collaboration, on which Walsh plays guitar, came about through a mutual friend. “I know them, my drummer when I play solo, Drew Hester, is a great friend of all of those guys, so I hooked up through him.”
Walsh has some other new material in the works, including Eagles tracks, though he doesn’t say if those will ever see the light of day. “We’ve got some stuff in the can,” he says, adding, “I’ve got a blues album.” The Eagles will also be back to tour the west coast this fall Walsh says.
Walsh’s last solo album, Analog Man, was co-produced by ELO Mastermind Jeff Lynne. Walsh would love to see the two collaborate more again at some point. “I hope we get to work together again in the future. He’s amazing. He’s another crusty old veteran,” he says.
One of Lynne’s many claims to fame is having been part of the supergroup the Traveling Wilburys. Surrounded by so many great musicians, from Osbourne to Metallica and Slaash on this night, we couldn’t help but wonder who Walsh would like to see in his dream supergroup with Lynne.
“I’d have to think about that, he said. “[But] probably Bob Seger would have to be in the band.” We’re already fans.