Song of the Day: James Gang – “Funk #49”

Happy birthday wishes go out to Joe Walsh, who turns 69 years old today. This song, one of the biggest hits of the James Gang, is really a Walsh showcase as he manned lead guitar, rhythm guitar, and vocals work. It served as an early statement for Walsh’s guitar ability and rightfully so is still a classic rock staple. Per, the song is about “a girlfriend whose wild ways the singer just can’t tame.” As for the name of the song itself… well, there wasn’t much thought put into that.

“We’re dumb stupid guys from Cleveland and everybody thought we knew somethin’,” Walsh told WNCX radio in 2013. “And we called it ‘Funk 48’ on Yer Album, which was the first album, and the intellectual content of ‘Funk 49’ isn’t your basic PhD thesis. And I said, ‘What do we call this? I don’t know. I don’t even know it’s a song, but we’ve recorded it.’ They said, ‘Well, ‘Funk 49.’ And everybody wants to know the real deep meaning of stuff like that.”

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