How Members Of Eagles Saved Joe Walsh’s Life
via Lifestyle & Net Worth / Youtube
In the mid-1970s, guitarist Joe Walsh faced a series of personal challenges. A car accident in 1974 tragically left his wife, Stefany Rhodes, critically injured and took the life of his 4-year-old daughter, Emma. Overwhelmed with grief, Walsh resorted to substances as a way to cope with the pain and to manage his career.
Walsh revealed in a recent interview with Mojo:
“I found that alcohol took the edge off my stage fright, and I found I had good luck finishing songs with cocaine.
“And very subtly the combination of that stuff convinced me I couldn’t do anything without it. It was all an attempt to self-medicate.”
The following year, Walsh was invited to join the Eagles, a highly successful band. However, his personal struggles persisted. In 1980, the band stopped touring and disbanded, but Walsh’s battle with addiction continued. He admitted:
“I became about as alcoholic and drug dependent as someone can be.
“I ran with the best of them – but my buddies pretty much all died, and I barely made it back. I was incredibly self-destructive for a long time. I saw all the warning signs. I said to myself, You’re going to have to do something or you’re gonna die.”
A Reunion that Led Joe Walsh to Sobriety
Twelve years later, Walsh’s former bandmates, Glenn Frey and Don Henley, met with him in Aspen, Colorado. They expressed their desire to reunite the Eagles, but with a condition: Walsh had to get sober. For Walsh, this ultimatum served as a powerful incentive to kick his addiction. Walsh acknowledged:
“They saved my life, without a doubt. Just by talking to me straight. They were the only people I would have listened to. I owe them the world, both of them.”
By 1994, Walsh had achieved complete sobriety. While it took time to readjust to performing without substances, he never regretted the decision. There was a time when he didn’t believe he would live to reach his current age and position: 29 years of sobriety. Walsh then concluded:
“People in trouble, young musicians especially, should know that there is life after alcoholism and addiction and it’s good.
“If anyone’s proof of that, it’s me.”