Analog Man,' the first solo album in 20 years from Joe Walsh, has points of nostalgia as you might expect, but there is perhaps no moment more directly wired to the past than ‘Funk 50.’ Coming in at just a shade under the two minute mark, the blitzing guitar rocker bares more than just a passing resemblance to its famous cousin, ‘Funk #49’ by the James Gang.

With Walsh on the phone recently, of course we had to find out what the story was and the Eagles guitarist was happy to share the tale: ”Well, this is a good one. ESPN called me at the beginning of football season -- Chris Berman and those guys, they have ‘Sunday Morning NFL Countdown,’ where they analyze the games and they predict who is going to win and all of that stuff.”

“They said 'we love 'Funk 49' and we need some music for the show this season, so can you make it something like 'Funk 49,' but not 'Funk 49!' [They wanted something] just about a minute long for the ins and outs of the show.”

And so ‘Funk 50’ was born to fit the bill for ESPN. But as Walsh realized, the piece was now destined to be heard by a limited audience. After all -- who is awake at 9am on a Sunday? That lit a spark for Walsh to find a permanent home for ‘Funk 50’ on his new album.

“I thought 'wow, that came out really good' -- I should write a couple of verses and make it a little longer and put on the album.' So that's what I did. It's still pretty short, but I just thought that was too good of an idea to leave at a minute. They wanted "not Funk 49," so I thought well, we'll just call it ‘Funk 50’ and throw it out there!"

Walsh is at his campy best on ‘Funk,’ with lyrical strings that would fit in quite nicely with a modern-day ‘Vacation’ movie from the National Lampoon series:

“I’m goin' on vacation / Find some place where my phone don’t work / And while my phone can’t ring / I’m gonna do my thing / I’m gonna get my mojo working / I’m gonna bang my drum / I got a hunch just what i need / I’m gonna get me some.”

See what we’re talking about here? You can practically envision Chevy Chase already starting to float away to a Christie Brinkley-infested dreamstate.

‘Funk #49’ has more than secured its own legacy, recently scoring a slot on our Top 100 Classic Rock Songs countdown, coming in at #84. [But really, now that we think about it, that should have been #49, right?]

'Analog Man' will land in stores on June 5, and be available as a standard CD, a deluxe edition with bonus tracks and a DVD --  and yes, there will even be a vinyl edition for the analog clan.

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