Joe Walsh's Guitars and Gear

Published : - Author : Dan Kopilovic

List of Guitars, Amps, Effects, and Accessories used by Joe Walsh

Joe Walsh's Electric Guitars

  • 1960s Guild Starfire V

    Joe Walsh’s 1960s Guild Starfire V

    Joe played this guitar in his first band called The Measles circa 1966, as can be seen in the photos posted here – Joe Walsh’s Measles on the Kent State Commons Back in 1966.

    Based on the looks, the guitar was a Guild Starfire V model finished in red, featuring a Bigsby tremolo and block inlays.

    It’s unfortunately unknown where exactly this guitar originated from, and what happened to it. Basically, the only information that we can conclude from this guitar is that in 1966 Joe did not yet own his Gibson Les Paul Standard. Otherwise, we would probably see him use it in those photos, instead of the Guild.

    1966
  • 1960 Gibson Les Paul Standard

    Joe Walsh’s 1960 Gibson Les Paul Standard

    Joe acquired this guitar sometime in the late sixties, probably around 1968 when Joe joined the James Gang. This was the first of the two vintage Les Pauls that Joe had around the time, the second one being the one he would eventually sell/give to Jimmy Page in 1969.

    According to Joe, he found this first Les Paul in a basement of a music store in Athens, Ohio.

    And I happen to have two. I found one in the basement of a family-owned music store, I think in Athens, OH, where Ohio University is. It was just in the basement. I just walked in another garage, and it was all boxes – and I said, ‘What do you got downstairs?’ And there was a Les Paul!

    And I found another one through a friend, I traded him some stuff for one. So, one I really liked and one I just was saving for a rainy day, so I gave Jimmy that one

    Joe Walsh – Wong Notes Podcast

    1967
  • 1959/60 Gibson Les Paul Standard (Jimmy Page #1)

    Joe Walsh’s 1959/60 Gibson Les Paul Standard (Jimmy Page #1)

    Joe acquired this guitar sometime in the late 60s. He traded it with a friend, and then shortly after that, in April of 1969, he sold the guitar to Jimmy Page. That same guitar would become Jimmy Page’s number one instrument, the one he would use on a majority of Led Zeppelin studio releases and live concerts.

    He said, “This Telecaster ain’t cutting it for Led Zeppelin. And I don’t know what to do.” Now, Les Pauls virtually didn’t exist in England at the time. They didn’t hit popularity yet, and they were pretty easy to find because they hadn’t been discovered – and they didn’t cost very much.

    And I happen to have two. I found one in the basement of a family-owned music store, I think in Athens, OH, where Ohio University is. It was just in the basement. I just walked in another garage, and it was all boxes – and I said, ‘What do you got downstairs?’ And there was a Les Paul!

    And I found another one through a friend, I traded him some stuff for one. So, one I really liked and one I just was saving for a rainy day, so I gave Jimmy that one.

    Joe Walsh – Wong Notes Podcast

    There are some discrepancies in Joe’s story regarding whether he borrowed the guitar to Jimmy or whether he sold it to him, so it’s unclear what exactly happened. Based on what he said on the Wong Notes Podcast, it sounds like Joe gave the guitar to Jimmy to see whether he would like it, and Jimmy sort of just kept it, and eventually paid Joe for the instrument.

    1968
  • 1960s Gibson SG Junior

    Joe Walsh’s 1960s Gibson SG Junior

    Joe was seen playing this guitar in a couple of photos, all of which seem to date back to 1970 when he was playing with James Gang.

    Based on the photos, the guitar was a Gibson SG Junior with dot inlays, and a stop-tail bridge. But, aside from this, nothing is really known about this guitar. If you happen to know anything about, its original story or where it ended up, be sure to post a comment below.

    1970
  • 1969/70 Gibson Les Paul Deluxe "Rocky Mountain Way"

    Joe Walsh’s 1969/70 Gibson Les Paul Deluxe “Rocky Mountain Way”

    Joe started using this guitar as his main around 1971, as can be seen in numerous recorded performances from that year. The guitar is a tricky one to figure out because it seems to be modified, but we’ll try our best.

    Based on one key detail on the instrument, this guitar is a modified Gibson Les Paul Deluxe. This detail is the volute or the protrusion on the rear of the neck-headstock join, which is basically supposed to make that joint a bit less prone to breaking.

    This change in the design was introduced to the Les Paul model in 1969, when Gibson re-introduced the Standard model (which was discontinued in 1961), but renamed it to “Deluxe”. All the earlier Les Paul Standards had a flat surface on the back of the neck/headstock joint, and these guitars are notorious for being relatively easy to break.

    1970
  • Hagstrom Swede

    Joe Walsh’s Hagstrom Swede

    Joe was seen playing this guitar in 1972, during ABC In Concert with Barnstorm to play the song “Rocky Mountain Way”. From the looks of it, the guitar was a mahogany model and the only thing that was not stock on it is the fact that it didn’t have a pickguard.

    1972
  • 1959 Gibson Les Paul Standard

    Joe Walsh’s 1959 Gibson Les Paul Standard

    Joe bought this guitar around 1975. This is according to Willie’s Guitars shop, through which the guitar went in 2022 before it was sold to Joe Walsh once again. You can read all about this here – 1959 Gibson Les Paul Standard “THE ROCKY MOUNTAIN WAY BURST” by Willie’s Guitars.

    As far as when and where Joe used this guitar, in the July 2022 issue of the Vintage Guitar magazine, Joe noted that he thinks that he used it on his live solo album You Can’t Argue with a Sick Mind. This album was recorded before Joe joined the Eagles, which would obviously mean that he had this guitar when he was playing with the Eagles.

    Joe had a few Les Paul Standards in the 70s and the 80s, and due to the lack of high-res photos, and the fact that the guitar now faded in color, it’s hard to match it to anything from those years with certainty. However, based on the Vintage Guitar story published in the July 2022 issue, the line of ownership is pretty well established.

    1975
  • 1970s Fender Telecaster (Hotel California)

    Joe Walsh’s 1970s Fender Telecaster (Hotel California)

    This is one of Joe’s most recognizable guitars because he appeared to have used it as his main around the release of the Hotel California album in the mid-70s. Among others, Joe played this guitar on the 1977 video release Eagles: Live at the Capital Centre, and most likely on the studio recording of the song “Hotel California”.

    Unfortunately, not a lot is known about this guitar. From the looks of it, it appears to be a 70s Telecaster, based on the Fender logo design and double string tree on the headstock.

    It also looks like Joe removed the original Telecaster pickup from the neck slot and installed a Strat-style pickup instead. What’s potentially interesting about this pickup is that if you look at the photo below, you’ll notice that the poles are staggered. Furthermore, the pole with the lowest height is sitting below the A string. Usually, at least on modern single coils with staggered poles, the lowest pole would sit below the B string.

    1977
  • 1970s Gibson Les Paul Deluxe Goldtop (Bigsby)

    Joe Walsh’s 1970s Gibson Les Paul Deluxe Goldtop (Bigsby)

    Joe Walsh was spotted using this particular guitar on a few occasions during the 1980s. One instance where he was seen using it was at the US Festival held at Glen Helen Park in Devore, California in 1983. Another instance was during the Eagles’ performance at the Beacon Theatre on September 2, 1987.

    As far as specs and history, this guitar is a complete mystery. It’s obviously a Les Paul Goldtop with a Bigsby tremolo, and with the metal pickup cover removed,

    If you zoom in on the photo below from Getty, you’ll notice that the truss cover reads “Deluxe”, so this was likely another 1970s Les Paul Deluxe that Joe modified with full-sized humbuckers. He has done this previously on at least one of his guitars – on his 1969/70 Gibson Les Paul Deluxe “Rocky Mountain Way”.

    1982
  • Carvin CT6M California Carved Top

    Joe Walsh’s Carvin CT6M California Carved Top

    Joe appeared with this guitar in a video and in some photos that he did as a promotion with Carvin guitars sometime in the early 2000s. According to Joe, he worked directly with Carvin Custom Shop in designing this guitar and he choose all the woods and all the hardware himself.

    I decided to get a custom guitar. I looked through the catalog, picked out woods, picked out pickups, and everything. And I got this gutiar and I absolutely love it

    The weight is light, the wood, the feel, it has got great sustain.

    Joe Walsh – Carvin

    Joe received a few of these guitars and occasionally used them liv the early 2000s, as can be seen in Farewell 1 Tour: Live from Melbourne DVD released by the Eagles (see photo below). The guitars had a quilted maple carved top on a mahogany body, double skunk striped mahogany neck with matching quilted maple headstock, likely an ebony fretboard.

    2002
  • Fender Eric Clapton Stratocaster (with Rosewood neck)

    Joe Walsh’s Fender Eric Clapton Stratocaster (with Rosewood neck)

    Joe used this guitar with the Eagles in the early 2000s and at 2004 The Strat Pack concert. Based on the statement from Joe’s guitar tech Alan Rogan, the guitar was an Eric Clapton Signature Stratocaster, with a custom-made rosewood neck fitted on it.

    Joe likes the sound that rosewood gives… It’s very different from the usual maple. It’s really hard, so I had it refretted with Joe’s preferred frets, which are higher than normal so he can get under the string.

    At first we had the neck on a ’54 reissue body, but now he’s put it on an Eric Clapton body and it’ll probably stay there, because it’s really working out. It’s from the Fender custom shop, and the pickups are noiseless.

    Alan Rogan, Guitar and Bass Classics magazine

    2002
  • Rickenbacker 230GF Glenn Frey

    Joe Walsh’s Rickenbacker 230GF Glenn Frey Signature

    Joe probably got this guitar from Glenn Frey, since this was Frey’s own signature model produced by Rickenbacker. He used it occasionally since the early 2000s, most notably at the 2004 Crossroads Guitar Festival.

    As far as specs, this guitar is a little bit different from the publically available version. Most notably, it doesn’t have any of the branding on the pickups, and there’s no Glenn Frey signature on the pickguard. Maybe this was one of the prototypes, or maybe Joe simply changed the pickups and removed the signature – who knows.

    In any case, this Rickenbacker model was produced as a limited run in 1992. The company planned to make 1000 units total, but due to low demand, the production was cut at 239. It’s interesting to point out that Glenn was never really seen playing this guitar on stage – he only made a few promo shots with it. Most people seem to know about this guitar through Joe Walsh.

    2004

Joe Walsh's Acoustic Guitars

  • 1957 Silvertone

    Joe Walsh’s 1957 Silvertone Acoustic Guitar

    According to Joe himself, his first guitar was a Silvertone acoustic that he bought from a Sears catalog. This was in 1957, and Joe notes that he paid around $30 for it, so this was possibly a guitar from Silvertone’s 600 series. However, since Joe did not specify the model, this is all just guessing.

    It was a Silvertone acoustic that we ordered when I was 10 years old from the catalog of the mail-order company Sears Roebuck. It cost about $30. Let me tell you, when that thing finally arrived in the mail, after waiting for it for three weeks, I was on top of the world. And though I couldn’t yet play anything, it was the coolest thing.

    Inquirer: Joe Walsh, Guitar World (page now offline)

    1957

Joe Walsh's Amps

  • Fender Blackface Champ

    Joe Walsh’s Fender Blackface Champ

    According to Joe, he used a Fender blackface Champ amp on “Funk #49”. The amp is a small single 8 each speaker combo amp with 5W of total power.

    I like small amps, not big ones. I love Fender Champs, too. An old blackface Champ is actually what I did ‘Funk #49’ on. A blackface Champ and a Tele, straight in.

    Joe Walsh Carries On, Guitar Player, 1988

    1970
  • Fender Tweed Champ

    Joe Walsh’s Fender Tweed Champ

    According to a 1988 Guitar Player interview, Joe used this amp to record the solo on “Rocky Mountain Way”.

    My slide work on the studio version of “Rocky Mountain Way”–I did that in one take. I was sitting on an old tweed Fender Champ amp at Criteria Studios, just warming up. I didn’t even know that they were recording. I figured that they were getting headphone mix.

    At the end of the song, I said, “Okay, let’s try one.” Joe Vitale and (engineers) Ronnie and Howie Albert said, “Hey man, you’re done.” I said, “Come on, man, don’t mess around. I want to really get this.” And they said, “Honest to God, you’re done.” That’s an example of a spontaneous solo. now that doesn’t happen all the time, but when the magic is there–and when it is, it is, and when it ain’t–that’s beautiful, beautiful stuff.

    Joe Walsh Carries On Guitar Player, 1988

    There’s also some talk online that Joe Walsh used a Fender Tweed Champ on most of his early recordings, including “Hotel California”, but there doesn’t seem to be any direct quotes from Joe on this.

    1973
  • Fender Super Reverb

    Joe Walsh’s Fender Super Reverb

    Joe used a pair of Fender Super Reverbs as his main live amps in the 80s.

    Based on what Joe said, it sounds like he used one of the amps as a cabinet, and he would run all 8 speakers through a single amp.

    A vintage Les Paul. I’m partial to a ’59 or a ’60; it depends. ’58s are fun. I’d run that into a wah-wah pedal and then into an original tube-model Echoplex. That would go into a pair of Fender Super Reverbs with four 10s, except only one top.

    I would put them on metal folding chairs that are about knee-high. Standing about eight to ten feet in front of those, you can actually move around and find different areas to sustain any note that you want. It’s also incredible because eight 10s pull the impedance of the amp down to like 4 ohms, and that’s where you really get your sweet sound–when the amp is screaming before it blows up.

    Joe Walsh Carries On, Guitar Player, 1988

    1988
  • Vox AC-30

    Joe Walsh’s Vox AC-30

    Joe liked using Vox AC-30 amps together with his Fender guitars back in the 80s. When playing Les Paul, Joe preferred using a pair of Fender Super Reverbs instead.

    My other favorite thing is a pair of Vox AC-30s. That is tremendous for Fender guitars. The Super Reverbs are tremendous for humbucking configurations, like on the Les Paul. A Strat or a Tele through two Vox AC-30s is just the best.

    Joe Walsh Carries On, Guitar Player, 1988

    1988

Joe Walsh's Effects

  • Bob Heil Talk Box

    Joe Walsh’s Bob Heil Talk Box

    Bob Heil developed this talk box for Joe Walsh after the two inspected an earlier version of the talk box originally made by Bill West. Joe first used this talk box on “Rocky Mountain Way” and on the Barnstorm tour around 1973/74.

    I was friends with Dottie West, the country singer (…) and Dottie’s husband was Bill West, a great pedal-steel player but also an inventor. He had invented the talk box by placing a speaker driver, the back part of a speaker, in a cardboard box and connecting a piece of surgical tubing to it. So the sound came up the surgical tubing.

    A guy named Pete Drake used it once in the Fifties for a song called ‘Forever,’ and then it went back in Bill West’s garage for 20 years. Bill came out of the garage and gave this thing to me.

    Of course, I had to see how it was built, so I took it apart. And I was hanging out with Bob Heil at the time, and so we had a look at this thing, and Bob decided he had a good way to make ’em, so he put out his version of it. But the real one I still have — except the tube smells so horrible that nobody can use it.

    Joe Walsh Discusses His Career, Gear and New Album, ‘Analog Man’ – Guitar World

    1973
  • Echoplex EP-1 Tape Delay

    Joe Walsh’s Echoplex EP-1 Tape Delay

    According to Joe, he used an Echoplex together with a wah pedal as his only two effects, at least in the early days. Joe said that the used the “original tube-model Echoplex”, which would indicate that he’s referring to the EP-1 model if we understand “original” as first.

    I’d run (a guitar) into a wah-wah pedal and then into an original tube-model Echoplex. That would go into a pair of Fender Super Reverbs with four 10s, except only one top.

    Joe Walsh Carries On, Guitar Player, 1988

    1978

Joe Walsh's Strings

  • Ernie Ball Regular Slinky Strings

    Joe Walsh’s Ernie Ball Regular Slinky Strings

    As of most recently, Joe has been doing a lot of promotional stuff for Earnie Ball, so it’s safe to assume he’s been using their strings as well. Based on what he is usually photographed with, he’s been using the Ernie Ball Regular Slinky set.

    2010

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