Joe Walsh – A Life Of Illusion

This song peaked at #34 in the Billboard 100 in 1981. The album There Goes the Neighborhood peaked at #20 in 1981.

This song began as an instrumental track written by Kenny Passarelli when he was the bass player in Joe’s band Barnstorm, which was active from 1972-1974. Barnstorm never released it, but Walsh and Passarelli worked it up for Walsh’s first solo album, The Smoker You Drink, the Player You Get, in 1973, with Walsh adding the lyrics…but it didn’t make it on the album.

Passarelli shopped it around, pitching it to Elton John and Hall and Oates. When Walsh was working on this album, he and Passarelli worked with the song again and it was released.

From Songfacts

Life’s been good to Joe Walsh, but what’s it all about? Sometimes it seems like life is just an illusion, and just when you start to comprehend it, it hits you right between the eyes.

Many musicians of his era looked to gurus or other zen masters to figure it all out, but Walsh seems to have sorted it out in this song, where he concludes that letting it all get to you is a waste of your day.

The Mariachi trumpets, played by the song’s co-writer Kenny Passarelli in what Walsh described as “a drunken stupor,” are nonsensical in a way that suits the song perfectly. Why are they there? Well, why are any of us here?

The phrase “a life of illusion” was used three years earlier in the title track to the film Grease, where Frankie Valli sings:

This is the life of illusion
Wrapped up in trouble
Laced with confusion

That song was written by Barry Gibb of the Bee Gees.

This was featured in the opening credits of the 2005 movie The 40 Year Old Virgin. It also appears in the 2010 movie Grown Ups and in the 2010 CSI: Miami episode “L.A.”

Life Of Illusion

Sometimes, I can’t help but feeling that I’m
Living a life of illusion
And oh, why can’t we let it be
And see through the hole in this wall of confusion
I just can’t help but feeling I’m living a life of Illusion

Pow, right between the eyes
Oh how nature loves her little surprises
Wow, it all seems so logical now
It’s just one of her better disguises
And it comes with no warning, nature loves her little surprises
Continual crisis

Hey, don’t you know it’s a waste of your day
Caught up in endless solutions
That have no meaning
Just another hunch, based upon jumping conclusions
Backed up against a wall of confusion
Caught up in endless solutions
Living a life of illusion

Author: badfinger20

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

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