Got Any Gum?

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Got Any Gum?
Joe Walsh - Got Any Gum.jpg
Studio album by Joe Walsh
Released October 29, 1987 (1987-10-29)
Recorded Early 1987
Studio Ardent Recordings and Alpha Sound, Memphis, Tennessee
Length 41:18
Producer Terry Manning
Joe Walsh chronology
Rocky Mountain Way
(1985)Rocky Mountain Way1985
Got Any Gum?
Welcome to the Club
(1988)Welcome to the Club1988
Singles from Got Any Gum?

Got Any Gum? is the eighth solo studio album by the American singer-songwriter Joe Walsh. It was originally released in October 1987, on the label Warner Brothers in the United States, and Full Moon in the UK, which was the last Walsh album to be released by either of those labels. The album features eight original songs which were written by Walsh with others and by himself, the album also features two covers, including the song "In My Car", which was co-written by Walsh with Ringo Starr, the former drummer for The Beatles (the song was originally released on Starr's ninth studio solo album Old Wave, in 1983). The album also features vocal contributions from J. D. Souther and Survivor's lead vocalist Jimi Jamison.

The album was received negatively by the majority of music critics, while other reviewers noted good points to the album. It was also a commercial disappointment, peaking at #113 on the Billboard 200, which marked the beginning of a downturn in Walsh's fortunes on the album charts, and ultimately led to both Warner Bros. and Full Moon dropping him from their labels. Two singles were issued from Got Any Gum?: "The Radio Song" and "In My Car". The album's first and leading single, "The Radio Song," unlike the album, was a commercial success, peaking at #8 on the Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks chart. Its music video featured the legendary DJ, Wolfman Jack.[1]

Album title[edit]

In an interview with David Letterman, on the Late Night with David Letterman in October 1987, Walsh, while intoxicated,[2] was asked about whether the album's title had a background, to which Walsh immediately responded "Yeah, a bum!, I saw a bum about a block away and I knew he was going to ask me for spare change, so I reach in - I'm all ready but he gets up to me and I say here, help yourself". He says "I don't need money, ya got any gum?"[3]

Production and recording[edit]

Ardent Studios, pictured in 2013, where Got Any Gum? was recorded.

Following the tepid reaction to his 1985 studio album The Confessor, Joe Walsh decided that it was time for a change of pace in his solo career. In an attempt to give his music an even more contemporary sound, he joined forces with Terry Manning as the right person to produce his new album. Manning made the list of personnel to be featured on the album, but the only other musician that Walsh knew before this time was J. D. Souther, who arranged and provided backing vocals. Beginning in early 1987, Walsh began recording Got Any Gum?, having written eight new songs with others and by himself, at Ardent Recordings and Alpha Sound, in Memphis, Tennessee.

During the making of this album, the former Barnstorm drummer, Joe Vitale introduced the prolific session musician Rick Rosas to Walsh and they became quite good friends. Under the tongue-in-cheek pseudonym "Rick the Bass Player", Rosas played bass guitar on the fifth track, "Half of the Time". After the album was finished, Rosas and Walsh went on to tour and record together, including work on three of his last solo albums, Ordinary Average Guy, Songs for a Dying Planet, and the most recent Analog Man.[4]

Cover artwork[edit]

Back cover of the Got Any Gum? album

The album's cover photograph, which was taken by Carole Manning, is of the Memphian Theater, which first opened in 1935. In 1985, two years before the release of this album, the Memphian Theater was closed. It later became the venue for live theatre troupe "Circuit Playhouse", from which it currently takes its name.[5] The theater is possibly best known as one of the favorite hangouts for Elvis Presley, who often rented the theater to watch the latest films with his friends and fans.[6]

The album's back cover depicts Walsh in front of a vintage car, the Ford Thunderbird while blowing up a big bubble, with gum. The album's inner sleeve photography depicts Walsh with bubble gum popped on the outside of his face while grinning. The back cover also includes a dedication to Walsh's daughter Lucy, who is also the niece of Ringo Starr.

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Retrospective reviews
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 2/5 stars [7]
iTunes (Positive) [8]

James Chrispell of AllMusic retrospectively gave the album two out of five stars and wrote that "There's nothing sadder than seeing a talented artist come up with a real bummer, but that's just what this record is." adding that "Perhaps this is one of those contractual obligation albums you hear so much about."[7] iTunes has given the album a positive review, writing, Got Any Gum? has been widely misunderstood, mostly because it bears little resemblance to his beloved '70s output," also noting it "had spawned its own genre of decadent, heart-pumping pop-rock music."[8]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Joe Walsh, except where noted.

Side one
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "The Radio Song"   3:31
2. "Fun" 3:04
3. "In My Car" 3:37
4. "Malibu"
  • Walsh
  • Vitale
5. "Half of the Time"   5:11
Side two
No. Title Writer(s) Length
6. "Got Any Gum?" (Instrumental) 1:11
7. "Up to Me"   5:21
8. "No Peace in the Jungle" Tommy Dean 5:57
9. "Memory Lane"   4:27
10. "Time"   4:09
Total length: 41:18


Credits are adapted from the album's liner notes.[9]

Additional personnel
Production team

Sales chart performance[edit]

Album - Billboard (North America)

Year Chart Position
1987 Billboard 200 113

Singles - Billboard (North America)

Year Single Chart Position
1987 "In My Car" Mainstream Rock Tracks 14
"The Radio Song" Mainstream Rock Tracks 8

See also[edit]


External links[edit]