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Joe Walsh says he'll open for Bob Seger "any time"

For Journal Register Newspapers

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As a member of the Eagles and a solo artist with a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame pedigree, Joe Walsh doesn't open for just anybody.

But Bob Seger, he says, is in a class unto himself.

"I don't mind opening for Bob, any time," says Walsh, 65, who's doing 10 dates on Seger's Rock and Roll Never Forgets Tour -- including both Detroit-area shows at the Palace of Auburn Hills -- to continuing promoting his 2012 solo album "Analog Man." Seger, Walsh notes, "is a dear friend for years and years. We have a lot of history together, and he's great. He's a national treasure.

"And we're having a great time. It's a wonderful evening of music. We're showing the young bands how to do it."

Seger, meanwhile, is equally effusive about having Walsh on board. "It's a blast having him open for me," the Detroit rocker says. "God, what an honor. It's wonderful." Seger has even cut his own show a bit "because I'm trying to give Joe as much time as I can."

Their association dates back to the 60s, when both were working the Midwest circuit as up-and-comers -- Seger with his own bands and Walsh, who was born in Kansas, with the James Gang out of Ohio. "We knew each other for years and years," Walsh recalls. "Before any of us had any success, we were playing shows together." Another point of connection was Glenn Frey, who was working with Seger during the late 60s, then moved to California, partly due to Seger's encouragement, where he started the Eagles -- which Walsh subsequently joined in 1975.

The Seger shows, in fact, are giving Walsh a chance "to be Joe" for a bit before the History of the Eagles Tour gets under way July 6 in Louisville, with a fall stop planned for the Palace. Celebrating the group's 40th (actually 41st) anniversary and tacitly promoting the "History of the Eagles" documentary DVD, Walsh says the shows will be chronological in nature, with "a whole new stage, lights, sound, visuals, set list." He promises the group "is gonna revisit a lot of old songs" and will also feature founding member Bernie Leadon back in the lineup for part of the shows. Walsh also expects to play some of his solo material as he has in previous Eagles shows, though this time "to show what I was doing when 'Witchy Woman' came out."

"We don't have it all down yet, but it's the history of the Eagles, so part of it will be involving me and what I was doing before I joined the band," Walsh says. "It all works out great. And being out with (Seger) gives me a chance to crank it up and have a great time before I go back to being an Eagle."

Walsh has done the same in the studio recently as well. To follow well-received "Analog Man," which debuted at No. 12 on the Billboard 200 chart and was co-produced by former Electric Light Orchestra leader Jeff Lynne, Walsh hit the studio with an all-star band that included Dr. John, Robert Randolph, Keb' Mo' and others to start work on a blues album that will feature both originals and covers of "obscure" favorites.

"I don't know the timeline on it yet," Walsh says. "We'll probably (record) again before I call it finished, but we got a really good start on it, and it's something else to look forward to."

Joe Walsh performs with Bob Seger & the Silver Bullet Band at 7:30 p.m. April 11 and 8 p.m. April 13 at the Palace, Lapeer Road at I-75, Auburn Hills. Tickets are $85 and $65. Call 248-377-0100 or visit www.palacenet.com.

Web Site: www.palacenet.com

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