In a recent appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live, legendary guitarist Joe Walsh reminisced about his early days touring with James Gang and the valuable lesson he learned from Pete Townshend, the iconic guitarist of The Who.
Recalling their opening slot for The Who during the ‘Tommy Tour’ in Europe.
Walsh shared the impact of Townshend’s mentorship on his musical journey. Walsh emphasized:
“He taught me how to play guitar in a three-piece band. You have drums and bass, and you. What do you do? And the thing he taught me was to play with an attitude. The attitude is the whole thing.”
This lesson in attitude, according to Walsh, became a cornerstone of his distinctive style, evident in many of his records. Reflecting on his friendship with Townshend, he also humorously added,
“Keith Moon, the Who’s drummer, he taught me how to trash hotel rooms.”
View this post on Instagram
The mutual respect between Walsh and Townshend was evident throughout their friendship.
In 1975, Townshend praised Walsh’s guitar prowess, describing him as “a fluid and intelligent player” in an interview with Rolling Stone. Likewise, Walsh admired Townshend’s melodic approach to playing and appreciated their shared frustrations while working with three-piece bands.
Their camaraderie was further solidified when Walsh gifted Townshend a 1959 Gretsch 6120 guitar and a Fender Bassman amplifier in the early 1970s. This unique combination significantly influenced Townshend’s tone, becoming his signature sound on iconic albums like ‘Who’s Next’ and ‘Quadrophenia.’
The enduring friendship and mutual influence between Joe Walsh and Pete Townshend serve as a testament to the power of mentorship and collaboration in the world of music. Watch the insightful conversation between Walsh and Kimmel to catch more glimpses of their musical camaraderie.
Watch the full interview below: