The Most Expensive Song Joe Walsh Has Written

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Although there are artists in the scene who rose to fame with home-recorded songs or demos, coming up with a new music effort usually requires a lot of money. Considering the recording and mixing expenses, an artist needs to have some cash in their pocket to release a brand-new song. Besides, it is not uncommon for musicians to experience unfortunate events that increase the cost.

The Eagles’ Joe Walsh now has an impressive net worth due to his remarkable career with the Eagles. However, in the past, the musician had to spend a great deal of money recording one of his songs due to an unfortunate incident. In several interviews, Walsh ranked this song among the most expensive efforts he created.

Which Song Was Too Pricy For Joe Walsh?

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Joe Walsh left the James Gang in 1971 and moved to Colorado. He then formed a band named Barnstorm along with Joe Vitale and Kenny Passarelli, but their albums credited Walsh as a solo artist. After releasing the eponymous debut album in October 1972, Barnstorm released the follow-up album ‘The Smoker You Drink, The Player You Get’ in June 1973.

‘The Smoker You Drink, The Player You Get’ was marketed under Walsh’s name, and it ended up being a breakthrough album for Barnstorm. The album’s first and lead single ‘Rocky Mountain Way’ became a huge success and received heavy airplay. According to Walsh, it cost him a great amount of money to write.

In an interview with Rolling Stones, Joe Walsh recalled leaving James Gang and working on the ‘The Smoker You Drink, The Player You Get’ album. He said everybody was waiting for him to write lyrics for the instrumental track, which later became ‘Rocky Mountain Way.’ According to Walsh, the words came to him when he saw the Rocky Mountains while mowing the lawn.

Walsh stated that he went inside quickly not to forget the lyrics and forgot about the lawnmower. As a result, it made its way to his neighbor’s yard and destroyed her rose bushes. As Walsh said, the damages cost him 1,500 bucks, which was a considerable amount of money then. So, ‘Rocky Mountain Way’ ended up being a very expensive song for him.

Here is what Joe Walsh told Rolling Stone about writing ‘Rocky Mountain Way’:

“I had left the James Gang, left Cleveland, and gone to Colorado because Bill Szymczyk was there, and so were a whole bunch of other people I knew. We had the ‘The Smoker You Drink, The Player You Get’ album pretty much done, except for this one instrumental track. I couldn’t think of any words, and everybody was patiently waiting for me to come up with something.

One day, I was in my backyard in Boulder mowing the lawn, thinking, ‘Boy, I sure hope leaving the James Gang was a good idea!’ Because I hadn’t really surfaced as a solo act yet. I was almost there, but not quite. And then I looked up, and there were the Rocky Mountains. It was summer, but you could still see snow on the back range. It hit me how beautiful it was, 5,000 feet up.”

He then continued:

“And that was it – the words came: ‘Spent the last year Rocky Mountain way/Couldn’t get much higher.’ And the second verse is about my old management – telling us this, telling us that, time to change the batter. I got all of that at once. And I ran inside to write it down before I forgot it.

The only problem was I forgot to shut off the lawnmower. It kept moving, went into the neighbor’s yard, and ate her rose bushes. [It] cleared a little path straight through. So those lyrics wound up costing me, I don’t know, maybe 1,500 bucks. But it was well worth it. The neighbor, though, was pissed. I said to her, ‘You don’t understand! I got the words!’ But she just looked at me.”

As reported by Society Of Rock, Joe Walsh also said the following about the song:

“I’m living in Colorado, and I’m mowing the lawn. I look up, and there’s the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains, and there’s snow on them in the summer. And it knocked me back because it was just beautiful. And I thought, well, I have committed. I’m already in Colorado, and it’s too late to regret the James Gang.

The ‘Rocky Mountain Way’ is better than the way I had because the music was better. I got the words, bam! I got all the words at once and ran into the house to write the words down. The lawn mower went into the neighbor’s yard and ate the garden. It was an expensive song to write!

You can listen to Joe Walsh’s ‘Rocky Mountain Way’ below.