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.
In a 1981 interview with the BBC, Walsh explained: "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."
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).
Suggestion credit: Dave - Marieta, GA
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).
Suggestion credit: Stevie Lee - WSFR, Louisville, KY
A famous line in this song, "My Maserati does 185," was used as the title to a 2005 episode of the TV series Entourage.
Ted from UsaI love the line, "I can't complain but sometimes I still do"
Jennifur Sun from RamonaAlan, there is, just watched it the other day. Now the first time I heard the song I thought the lyric was a different one.
Jennifur Sun from RamonaThey say I'm crazy but I have a good time - I can identify with that one, since I have a quirky since of humor. Thankfully I never needed any substance to make me happy.
Sam from MinnesotaThe thought of Joe Walsh being the president of the U.S would be a sight to behold.
Clemence from New YorkA contingent of my graduating class in the late 80s who did not understand that this song was satirical decided to mount a campaign to make it our "class song." They got enough votes so this was it. It was clear they aspired to have the life of the guy in the song.
John from North CarolinaThe "flock of wah-wahs" message at the end of the track is more of Joe's great humor. He is actually referring to wah-wah pedals and their overuse by many guitarists of the day - namely in the hair metal genre. He was basically making fun of players that hide behind effects which blurs mistakes and can make one sound better than they really are.
Source: professional guitarist and huge Joe Walsh fan
Alan from Caboolture, AustraliaI'm sure that the original lyrics to this song included "I lock the doors in case I get drunk," but were changed to avoid controversy. Has anyone else heard this, and even better, is there a video on youtube that contains those lyrics?
Dalan from Notacityyet, MtPerhaps my memory is fading (defraging?) but on the end of a James Gang album (possibly Yer Album) if the needle goes into the last groove without returning you can hear the words "Play me again".
Wish there was a listing for James Gang.
Jennifer from Grandblanc, MiI didn't know this song for the longest time. I loved this song when I was a kid.
Brian from Rochester, NyOn the Eagles Live album, I always heard it as "They write Tim letters and tell Glenn Don's great"
Rob from Fort Frances, OnI was center stage second row when the Eagles played Winnipeg on June 22 2010. They did Joe's Lifes Been Good and had a slide show of old pictures of the band from the 70's going on the big screen all through the song. They sure looked like they were having fun!
Lee from Huntsville, Alhas it really been 31 years...holy crap,where did the time go. sweeeeet...today as it was then!
Tim from Bradenton, FlJoe's making some guest appearances with The Trans Siberian Orchestra...what a surprise that was. We went to see their Christmas show which lasted 3 hours! They had been promising us a special surprise toward the end of their show. So who walks on the stage? None other than Joe Walsh! He played and sang (along with TSO) "Life's been Good" and "Rocky Mountain Way". He's still got it! We went crazy!
Diverdriver from Petaluma, CaScott from Boston, You are so right on both accounts. He is singing about Keith Moon's antics at hotels. Moon and the Who were banned from ever comming back to virtually every hotel they stayed at. Moon would go through great effort to destroy his rooms. ie: Nailing ALL of the furniture to the celing. What a shame he's gone.
Chase from Miami, FlOn the Long Road Out Of Eden tour, Walsh did really funny facials and he said fans send me e-mails tell me Glens great=) My only regret of the tour is that tickets were expensive! My dad payed 150 so we could get upper deck seats at a hockey stadium. My dad saw the Eagles in the sixties or seventies and payed 10 for third row!
Kaylah from Stoneville, NcOne of the best songs ever recorded...simply amazing; I LOVE IT!
Liz from Smallville, KsI love this song but the "flock of Wah Wah's" part scares me a little...is there a point to that part?
Leonard from Stow, Ohi wrote joe a letter back in the early 80s and told him i think hes great evry time i hear that song it reminds me of when my wife and i would go see joe at jbs in kent and my wife droped her contact lens and joe stoped the band to find it len seni stow ohio firstname.lastname@example.org
Eric from Bend, OrI love the synthesizer solo in this song.
Paul from Arlington, VaDoes anyone know why Joe's song doesn't appear in iTunes Store? Is there some kind of legal restrictions from the Eagles days?
Scott from Boston, MaThere's also a live version where the lyrics are changed to "I have a limo, ride in the trunk, I lock the doors in case I get drunk."
Scott from Boston, MaThe lines "I live in hotels, tear out the walls" is a reference to Keith Moon of The Who. He was basically a walking demolition ball and would go out of his way to destroy hotel rooms.
Ed from Incognito, IlOne of the lines 'Everybody say "I'm cool"' to which the backup singers reply "He's cool". Man what a great part in the song!
Joshua from La Crosse, WiThe "flock of wah-wahs" skit also can be found at the end of Disc 1 of the Eagles' Selected Works 1972-1999 boxed set.
Mike from Ottawa, CanadaHe did not rip of the riff from "Houses of the Holy" but they are close.
David from Youngstown, OhThe version of this song that charted at least in the United States cuts about 3 minutes off of the album version.
Mike from Hueytown , AlHey Mark you can find what you speak of on the Eagles Live album. On the CD Glen Frey introduces Walsh as the next President of the United States at some point ..I think before he sings "Life's Been Good"
Mark from Quesnel, CanadaDoes anybody remember an old live version of lifes been good where Joe Walsh actually announces his running for presidency and know where I can get a copy...Thanks
John from Fort Worth, TxI've always liked "The Eagles" sound from the beginning. The exquisite harmony draws everybody in. At 45 years of age I'm starting to really appreciate the lyrics and arrangements of their great songs. I saw their televised tour a couple of years ago and Joe Walsh sang "Life's Been Good."
I don't know why, but lately that song evokes a memory of contentment while visiting a dear family member's house back in the late '70s. I remember the song from its time but I never had a fixed memory associated with the song and the house in that period. Now I do. The wonders of the mind...
Life IS good, John Martin, 45
Bert from Pueblo, NmJoe Walsh's solo stuff, and his work with The James Gang is way better than anything the Eagles ever recorded. I'm sure I'm the only one who thinks that
K from La, CaI just saw Joe perform in a small nightclub in LA tonight. He explained this song verse by verse. He would just play a little and then tell a story about it. He actually was reluctant to even write and record this song. His producer forced him to. He wrote little notes about what it was like on the road and twisted them sarcastically to fit the theme of living "the rock star lifestyle" He told hilarious stories about taking chainsaws to hotel room walls with John Belushi costing $23,000. His mansion line was about being away from his baby daughter too long while being on the road for months and months barely seeing her for 11 years (she was there tonight). Straight from Joe's mouth...I can go on but it's late.
Sunny from , Hong KongAlso available from the "FM" soundtrack by Steely Dan et al, which was released around the same time (summer, 1978) as Walsh's own solo album.
Davis from Boston, Mahe is a great mucisian and when he went to the eagles he made them veru good,his songs were gewnerally funny
Craig from Gainesville, FlAnyone else think he ripped the riff off of "Houses of the Holy" by Led Zeppelin?
Darrell from Eugene, United StatesThe Maseratis that were produced around the time that "Life's Been Good" was produced had small V8's or anemic V6's and were intended to compete with Jaguar, Mercedes and BMW. In a drag race, a "tuned" Honda Prelude could flat-out beat one of the V6 Maseratis (Biturbo, Merak) and a full-sized van could outrun one of the V-8 Maseratis (Quattroporte, Bora). Furthermore, the only street-legal Maseratis that are capable of 185 miles per hour are those that were produced after Fiat bought the company in the mid-1990s. Darrell, Eugene, Oregon
Andrew from Wimauma, FlThis song is so laid back, you could listen to this to just about anything. Even a barfight (Sorta...)
Nikolas from Muskegon, MiBest song ever i love the eagles and i love joe walsh. another great song by him is rocky mt.
Johnny from Los Angeles, CaAnyway this is one of my favorite songs ever, if you didn't pick that up earlier.
Brandon from Peoria, IlWhat's up with his distorted echoey voice? At first i thought it was Steve Miller. I like the song, but i don't like Joe's voice.
Jon from Oakridge, OrWhat's up Stefanie. I gave this a 5
Kevin from Hood River, OrYou got yerself a point there Stefanie, John Mayer did show us all he had a little more under the hood than we had figured. He was throwin down some nice Hendrix flavored stuff there. The guy's a Berkley dropout, he better have some chops. But hey, this is the House Of JOE!!! John has his own place... I see you live on Rock Hill, nice.
Stefanie from Rock Hill, ScKevin. I think those faces are typical of John Mayer anyway, but about the performance that's pretty cool!
Kevin from Hood River, OrOh yeah, and the coolest song on "But Seriously" is definitely "At the Station". That song rocks a new hole in the universe. All Joes seventies albums are great, arguably some of the best rock records made at that time or any other. I would not be what I am without those records.
Kevin from Hood River, OrCheck out Eric Clapton's Crossroads Guitar fest video, live from Austin. If you can get through John Mayer's painfully artisitc facial expressions (Lunch at the wrong mexican joint that day John?), Joe does a set with...hold on a second...Booker T and the MG's as his rhythm section!!! I thought I died and went. You shoulda heard just'a what I seen...Ausum. Get it and crank it up.
Jesse from Toronto, CanadaJoe Walsh rules the earth. He should have been elected president. Why are there only 4 of his songs here anyway? It's a disgrace.
Ed from Incognito, IlThe first song Walsh played with the Eagles was New Kid In Town. His guitar was the distorted 3 notes before the the line "where you been lately? There's a new kid in town". The Eagles were nervous about having a rocker like Walsh in the group, so they thought they'd spoon-feed the public with Joe little by little.
John from Fort Worth, TxJohnny, I know what you mean by the "driveway moment," I have those sometimes too. They're the best. John
Johnny from Los Angeles, CaThis is so hilarious and sarcastic. I great driveway moment (When you pull into the driveway of somewhere and keep listening to the song you are hearing.)
Tj from Woodbridge, Vathis song is awsome. "my maserati does 185. i lost my lisence now i dont drive." sucks for him now dont it. joe walsh was a very funny man and i would love to meet him, along with the other eagles. but i think this song has no real meaning. just to live life whether your rich or poor. LIVE LIFE FOLKS.
John from Millersville, MdMany do not consider 'Greatest Hits' (volume 1) to be an album, because it is simply a compilation. The most successful Eagles album is inded Hotel California, but the most successful record attributed to the Eagles is their Greatest Hits volume 1.
Tim from Milestone, Canadaactually there is one thing, there most successful album is "Eagles Greatest Hits", not "Hotel California" just like to point that out
Wilfred from Melbourne, Australia@ bob, Kelowna, Canada -- Actually Seth, Hebron, KY is more correct than you... Walsh only joined the Eagles in early '76... meaning he has only played on "Hotel California" and other Eagles material released from 1976 onwards.
Mike from Winnipeg, CanadaBy far the coolest person involved in rock and a great song.
Mark from Hereford, EnglandWonderfully sarcastic lyric and a great guitar solo. 'I've got a mansion, dont know the price, I've never been there, they tell me its nice. I live in hotels, tear down the walls, I've got accountants to pay for it all.'. Rock'n'Roll fame exposed!
Mike from Winnipeg, CanadaWhen Joe played with the Eagles on their Farewell 1 Tour he changed the lyric a bit. "They write me letters tell me I'm great " He changed that to They write me letters tell me Glens great
"Everybody's so different I haven't changed " Everybodys' so damn different we haven't changed.
"I lock the doors in case I'm attacked" I lock the doors and watch the war in Iraq.
There are also a few other minor differences.
Bob from Kelowna, CanadaJoe walsh also played with the eagles on all of their other albums, almost as if he was in the band... Not to bug you Seth, but I just thought that was funny.
Seth from Hebron, KyFantastic guitar playing. I don't think it was a coincidence he played with The Eagles on their most successful album to date "Hotel California".
Jessica from San Jose, CaI love this song! It makes me laugh and feel better about being me
Homer from Versailles, IlJoe Walsh played guitar on the 2001 Improv All Stars Pay-Per-View special, featuring most of the cast of Whose Line Is It Anyway. During the game Greatest Hits, a Joe Walsh song was introduced, and he started playing this song.
John from Holland, Mi"lifes been good to me so faaaaaaaaaar!" learn and live folks. someone has it worse off than you.
Luke from Manchester, EnglandJoe Walsh recorded this live when he joined the Eagles on their Live double album released in 1980
Dave from Marieta, GaThis is the last song on the the album "...But Seriously Folks..." On the orignal 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). Obviously, Joe Walsh had a twisted sense of humor, no doubt, likely because of various "chemical substances"!