The Story Of How The Eagles Reunion Saved Joe Walsh’s Life

During an interview with Tara Brown for 60 Minutes Australia, the legendary rock band Eagles‘ members talked about their decision to split in 1980 and Joe Walsh admitted that if it weren’t for their reunion in 1994, he might be dead right now.

The Eagles first entered the rock scene in 1971 in Los Angeles. They were one of the most successful bands of the ’70s as they had released five No. 1 singles, six No. 1 albums, received six Grammy Awards and five American music awards. However, the band decided to part ways in 1980 due to the growing tensions between Glenn Frey and Don Felder.

While all members walked away heartbroken, including Don Henley who during the interview said that he was ‘devastated and ‘cut adrift,’ there was one member that was shaken the most; Joe Walsh. After the band’s decision to break up, Joe Walsh ‘went on a 15-year drug and alcohol binge‘ and it seemed like he was never going to stop until something surprising happened.

In 1994, Glenn and Don decided to reunite, but they had laid out some conditions for everyone, one of which was for Joe Walsh to get sober because they didn’t want any more problems. Walsh agreed wholeheartedly and in the interview, he admitted that this probably saved his life while stressing that he never relapsed as he never looked back.

The interviewer asked [transcribed by RC]:

“What was the emotion for you when the band decided to split?

Don Henley said:

“Well, I was devastated. I was cut adrift. And I was pretty, pretty lost really for a while there. I had a rough time with that.”

Joe Walsh said:

“You know what? We just had to stop. Except I kept going. I didn’t want to admit that it was over. And I didn’t have a life except for what we had been doing.”

The narrator said:

Joe went on a 15-year drug and alcohol binge that only ended when Glenn and Don decided to put the band back together. Under one condition, the wild man had to be tamed.”

Joe Walsh recalled his feelings:

“And my feeling was? Well, ‘that’s a real good reason to get sober.’ And I didn’t really have one before that.”

The interviewer chimed in and said:

“Saved your life, most likely.”

And Walsh agreed by saying:

“I would say so, and I’m grateful.”

Then the interviewer asked:

“Have you had difficulty staying sober? Have you ever fallen off the wagon?”

To which he responded:

“Never, never. No looking back.”

You can check out the interview below.