Eagles' Joe Walsh sings Tammy Duckworth's praises at concert
Joe Walsh put his arm around Tammy Duckworth, the Democrat running in the 8th Congressional District race, and said she would be "a breath of fresh air" and a "voice of reason" in Washington D.C.
No, those words didn't come from U.S. Rep. Joe Walsh, Duckworth's Republican opponent. They came from legendary singer and guitarist Joe Walsh, who performed at a fundraising concert Sunday on Duckworth's behalf.
"My son is the one who first made me aware of Tammy," Walsh said before the concert, which took place at John Barleycorn in Schaumburg. "I looked her up on the Internet, then I talked to her, and I saw that she was a person of great integrity and untapped ability."
Duckworth -- who wore a James Gang T-shirt, a reference to Walsh's first band -- said she reached out to Walsh because she knew he was concerned about working families and the country's veterans.
"I'm so thrilled and honored that Joe agreed to come all the way out here from California to play here in Schaumburg," she said.
Walsh the musician is not unfamiliar with Walsh the politician. The former threatened to sue the latter over music copyright issues in 2010. But on Sunday, the rocker said his appearance wasn't related to that incident or to the fact that he has the same name as the congressman.
"It doesn't matter who Tammy's running against," he said. "I'd still be here."
Walsh, who lived for a time in Evanston, is perhaps best known for his work as a guitarist with The Eagles, but he's also played prominent roles in two other bands and is an acclaimed solo artist.
Roughly 500 people bought tickets to Sunday's fundraiser, according to Duckworth's campaign staff. The crowd cheered as Duckworth took the stage to make some opening remarks. They cheered louder when Walsh and his band launched into "Analog Man," the title track from Walsh's new record.
The first hour of his set also included the classic hits "Rocky Mountain Way" and "Life of Illusion."
Sunday marked Walsh's second suburban concert in as many days. He played at Naperville's Ribfest Saturday.
Rich White of Roselle attended Sunday's concert with his wife, Judy. A veteran of the U.S. Air Force, White likes the fact that Duckworth is a veteran herself -- she lost both legs while fighting in the Iraq War -- and believes she has the strength to make difficult decisions.
"She's done so much for veterans, and I think she knows how to listen to people," he said. "We need someone like that in Congress."