Your Cart is empty
What If Joe Walsh Had Become President in 1980? A bit of history and a bit of fantasy.
Railing against earnest members of the rockristocracy getting all politically aware and environmental, Denis Leary once ranted:
"Don Henley's gonna tell me how to vote? I don't fucking think so, ok? I got two words for Don Henley: Joe Fucking Walsh, okay? Thanks for calling, Don! How long's your pony tail now? Ok!"
That unkind Denis Leary: suggesting that Joe was the coolest member of Eagles. Actually, in certain quarters, that's a bit like saying someone's the coolest tax inspector you ever met. But not here: we dig the Eagles. and feel Last Road Out Of Eden is one of the best lyrics of the last 35 years. Plus The James Gang are easily in our top ten rock trios of all time.
Anyway, although Don Henley didn't get to tell Denis Leary how to vote, his bandmate Joe did take a shot at politics.
Joe ran for President in 1980 and lost. Well, obviously he lost. You knew that anyway.
Bernie Leadon, the man who Joe replaced in Eagles, was dating Patti Davis, Ronald Reagan's daughter, and the two of them had written 'I Wish You Peace' for the One Of These Nights album that preceded Greatest Hits and Hotel California. The relationship caused political tensions in the band, and Joe ran as President against Reagan, for a laugh. What would have happened if he'd won?
Well, his election slogan was 'Free Gas For Everyone', which has been - when you think about it - more or less Republican policy in the ensuing 30 years. A Joe Walsh Presidency would have seen considerable attention to substance abuse throughout the Eighties, and a far more inclusive set of foreign policies to the USA's Latin American neighbours. It is no exaggeration to say that the Nicaraguan scandal, and the Iran-Contra crisis would not have happened on Joe Walsh's watch.
Oliver North would not have had to sob in court.
Also, there would have been a role for Ringo Starr, a long-time Walsh ally, as a diplomatic London-Washington liaison. This could have had immeasurable use, by which we mean it would probably have been too small to measure, on UK-US relations over the ensuing decades. Would Ringo have allowed monetarism to run riot, leading to the worst excesses of the boom-and-bust culture that have brought the world to its financial knees? No sir he would not. He would have had a drum technician sort it out, pronto. No one from Liverpool's the Dingle ever crushed anyone else under the wheels of rampant capitalism, not on purpose anyway.
Ponytails would have been freely available, possibly in a clip-on format, as well as petrol, and the Star Wars missile defence programme could have been replaced by simply piling up every copy of Hotel California ever sold and using them as a giant shield, with Greatest Hits Vol 1 in reserve in case of a sustained attack.
US-Soviet relations would never have deteriorated as they did because Joe would, with the aid of some quality Columbian and the odd kilo of Mary-Jane, have sorted out all that heavy stuff with Gorby in one long drug and booze fuelled session, the like of which the Eagles were well practised in. Gorby would have been installed in a beachside home in Malibu and his every whim satisfied by young blonde women called Cindy. He could check out any time he wanted, of course, but he could never leave.
Meanwhile, Joe would have organized a huge Soviet tour and the now leaderless USSR would have fallen under his quirky charm. Thus as the demand for democracy grew, Joe was the perfect man to take control of the Soviet state, deconstruct it like he would have deconstructed a Holiday Inn in Peoria in 1975, and become the first president of Russia just as his second term at US president ended in 1988.
However, with a hated Republican and avowedly un-cool dude, George Bush The First now in the White House, the new leader of Russia would have developed a deep animosity towards Dubya's Dad, leading to a Bay Of Pigs style crisis over FM radio's refusal to play his 1991 album 'Ordinary Average Guy.'
However, World War Three is avoided by the intervention of Bill Clinton, who, with the aid of some trashy-looking hookers, some dope which he refuses to inhale and a saxophone, jams with Joe on stage at the Hollywood Bowl to huge acclaim, leading to an entente cordiale between the two nations and Clinton's immediate election as President. By 2000, when Clinton leaves office, Russia has become the 51st state of America and its Governor is Mr Joe Walsh, who bored with world peace, gets the Eagles back together to put a bit of grit back in his life. There is peace across the earth and gas is still free.
America: all this was within your grasp in 1980. What have you done?