Joe Walsh – Life’s Been Good

This song peaked at #12 in the Billboard 100 in 1978. Walsh lived this song out. He hung out with fellow stars such as Keith Moon. He said that Keith showed him the ropes of hotel destruction and Walsh was quite accomplished in that art.

The song was on his 4th album But Seriously, Folks… and it peaked at #8 in the Billboard Album Charts in 1978. This is Joe’s highest-charting song.

Joe Walsh: “I wanted to make a statement involving satire and humor, kind of poking fun at the incredibly silly lifestyle that someone in my position is faced with – in other words, I do have a really nice house, but I’m on the road so much that when I come home from a tour, it’s really hard to feel that I even live here. It’s not necessarily me, I think it paraphrases anyone in my position, and I think that’s why a lot of people related to it, but basically, that’s the story of any rock star – I say that humbly – anyone in my position. I thought that was a valid statement because it is a strange lifestyle – I’ve been around the world in concerts, and people say ‘What was Japan like?’, but I don’t know. It’s got a nice airport, you know… so it was kind of an overall statement.”

From Songfacts

This is a humorous look at the spoils of fame and fortune associated with being a rock star. Walsh pokes fun at the lifestyle of wealth and fame and the spoiled mentality – how it’s not me that’s changed, but everyone else.

Walsh lived up to this song, indulging in the hedonism he sang about long after it was released. “I started believing I was who everybody thought I was, which was a crazy rock star,” he told Rolling Stone in 2017. “It took me away from my craft. Me and a lot of the guys I ran with, we were party monsters. It was a real challenge just to stay alive.”

This is the last song on the the album. On the original recording from this album, the music fades away into silence. Then, about 30 seconds later, there is a really funny secret message from Joe Walsh which says “Wha-oh…here comes a flock of wanh-wanhs!”, followed by a chorale of “wannh”, “wanh” “wahn” (collectively sounding like a bunch of ducks or sheep). >>

The cover of the But Seriously Folks album shows Walsh eating a meal… under water. In the same BBC interview, he said: “I had to do that a couple of times, but I did go down to the bottom of the pool, and almost drowned… but it was fun. Not at the time, but it was fun to do. We weighted everything down, but it was very involved and it took a long time, and I was real proud of it. As long as you have access to art, or visually presenting something with your record, I would like to use that, pursue it and try to make it an integral part of the music. It was hard to do, but when I look at it, I can’t believe it either, I can’t believe I was stupid enough to do that, but I was proud of it. I won’t be repeating it, I can assure you!”

In 1979, Walsh announced his campaign for President of the United States, promising “Free gas for everyone” if he won (he didn’t). 

A famous line in this song, “My Maserati does 185,” was used as the title to a 2005 episode of the TV series Entourage.

Joe did this to explain how he wrote it

Life’s Been Good

I have a mansion but forget the price
Ain’t never been there, they tell me it’s nice
I live in hotels, tear out the walls
I have accountants, pay for it all

They say I’m crazy but I have a have a good time
I’m just looking for clues at the scene of the crime
Life’s been good to me so far

My Maseratti does one-eighty-five
I lost my license, now I don’t drive
I have a limo, ride in the back
I lock the doors in case I’m attacked

I’m making records, my fans they can’t wait
They write me letters, tell me I’m great
So I got me an office, gold records on the wall
Just leave a message, maybe I’ll call

Lucky I’m sane after all I’ve been through
(Everybody say I’m cool, he’s cool)
I can’t complain but sometimes I still do
Life’s been good to me so far

I go to parties sometimes until four
It’s hard to leave when you can’t find the door
It’s tough to handle this fortune and fame
Everybody’s so different, I haven’t changed

They say I’m lazy but it takes all my time
(Everybody say oh yeah, oh yeah)
I keep on goin’ guess I’ll never know why
Life’s been good to me so far


Author: Badfinger (Max)

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

7 thoughts on “Joe Walsh – Life’s Been Good”

  1. I remember how much they overplayed this song way back when, and may yet be overplaying it. It’s a danged good song now that I hear it “fresh” even though at the time I thought what an arrogant punk.

    Liked by 1 person

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