The greatest hit the James Gang ever had was "Midnight Man". It might not have been the most well-known song they did, but it sure influenced a lot more of my wayward friends than did Funk #49.

For just a little while in the early '70s, the James Gang was one of the top hard rock acts in America, thanks primarily to singer/guitarist Joe Walsh. The band was actually first founded in Cleveland by drummer Jim Fox. When Walsh joined this outfit, word of this new guitar phenom spread quickly. They recorded their first album, "Yer Album," soon after he joined. The follow-up, "The James Gang Rides Again," wound up being a much stronger effort. It contained "Funk #49" and "Midnight Man".

They never had what you would call a hit single. However, the album went gold, as did their next two, and hit the Top 20.

An unlikely James Gang fan, Pete Townshend, invited the group to open for the Who on a European tour in 1971. Not long afterwards, Walsh left the group, all bent out of shape over the so-over power-trio formula. He first formed a band called Barnstorm. Then he recorded several solo albums. He finally lost his will for solo success and joined the Eagles for Hotel California and The Long Run.

The James Gang finally broke up for good in 1976.

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