Famous Joes of Classic Rock! Celebrating National Joe Day with classic rock Joes. Photo courtesy of: Tommaso Boddi, Anthony Devlin, Kevork Djansezian/ Getty Images

March 27 is National Joe Day. We’re celebrating by spotlighting nine famous Joes of classic rock. Do you know any Joes? You have to. It’s a mathematical impossibility if you live in the U.S.A. Maybe you are a Joe, if so, you should check out my 12 exceptionally fun Joe shirts (the definition of “Joe” shirt is my favorite).

Some of my favorite people are Joes. Some of my favorite rockers are Joes too. In honor of National Joe Day, I give you nine famous Joes of classic rock… but first, let’s talk about some famous Joes that aren’t musicians.

Other Famous Joes

JOE NAMATH: Broadway Joe… I swear most Joes have or need nicknames to differentiate themselves from all the other Joes.  The legendary star quarterback of the New York Jets, Joe Namath, threw for more than 4,000 yards in 1967 and is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

JOE MANGANIELLO:  I think he’s Italian. lol… Joe Manganiello is an actor (famous for his steamy scenes in True Blood and Magic Mike) as well as a producer and director.  His latest project is hosting Deal Or No Deal Island.

JOE PESCI: Is Joe Pesci funny? “I’m funny how? I mean… funny like I’m a clown?”  One of the most famous movie lines ever was delivered with perfection by Joe Pesci in Goodfellas.  Joe won an Oscar for his role as Tommy DeVito.

JOE LOUIS: The Brown Bomber is the inspiration behind The Fist in Detroit. Joe Louis was one of the greatest and most influential boxers ever. Joe had the longest run in history, defending his title as world heavyweight champion 25 times. This famous Joe was a professional boxer for 17 years and ended his career with 68 wins (54 by knockout) and three losses.

Now on with the Joe, I mean show…

9 Famous Joes of  Classic Rock

  • Joe Walsh

    Joe Walsh has been a member of the James Gang, The Eagles, and had a very successful solo career.  Joe Walsh is a singer and songwriter.  He is also one of the greatest guitarists of all time. Pete Townshend said in a Rolling Stone interview, “Joe Walsh is a fluid and intelligent player. There’re not many like that around.”

    Joe Walsh has been involved in veteran charities for years.  Joe created his own 501-C3, VetsAid that raises money for Ohio veterans with an annual concert.  The 2022 VetsAid sold out and raised $650,000 for Ohio veterans.  The concert featured Dave Grohl and The Black Keys. 2023 VetsAid raised $260,000 for grants and featured Jeff Lynne of ELO and Stephen Stills.  Joe Walsh and James Gang perform each year as well.  Check out previous lineups on JoeWalsh.com.

  • Joe Elliott

    Joe Elliott is the lead singer and a founding member of Def Leppard.  Joe first played live with Def Leppard at a spoon factory in front of six people.  They played five songs AND an encore.

    While some members of Def Leppard did have issues with substances, overall, Def Leppard was not prone to being outrageous while on tour. Joe Elliott said, Since rock bands discovered accountants, they don’t throw TVs out of windows at 500 quid a time.” Def Leppard as a whole, has a strong head on their shoulders.  A lot of bands have crashed and burned throughout the years.  Def Leppard is still in great shape and putting on great live shows.

  • Joe Perry

    Joe Perry’s first set of strings were on a ukulele given to him by his uncle. Joe Perry dealt with ADHD before anyone knew what it was. His parents sent him to the Vermont Academy his junior year hoping that being surrounded by an educational environment would help his struggles with learning. Joe said in an interview with The Burlington Free Press, “It was a real education for me and not the kind of learning they (his parents) sent me there for.” The students were from around the world and brought some good and bad influences with them. It was during this time that Joe became very focused on music and playing guitar.

    In the ’60s, Joe Perry formed The Jam Band with Tom Hamilton. Steve Tyler, Brad Whitford, and our next Joe…y.

  • Joey Kramer

    Joey Kramer is one who is actually credited with creating the name “Aerosmith.” I heard that Steven Tyler would doodle on his notebook during high school and had come up with the name, but I was incorrect. It was actually Joey Kramer that did the doodling. Joey told Ultimate Classic Rock, “I was listening to an album at the time, by Harry Nilsson, called Aerial Ballet. We were listening to this record and I started really getting off on the lyrics. We started kicking around this word ‘aerial,’ and ‘aerial’ eventually came into ‘aero’ – I don’t know how that happened.”

  • Joe Strummer

    Joe Strummer was born a “John:”  John Graham Mellor. Joe was the co-founder, lyricist, rhythm guitarist, and co-lead vocalist of one of my favorite bands, The Clash.  Joe didn’t have the easiest life growing up.  He only saw his parents once a year from ages 9-16.  He and his brother grew up in boarding schools.

    The Clash formed in 1976 and played their first show on July 4th of that same year.  They opened for the Sex Pistols.

  • Joe Cocker

    Joe Cocker was one of the best frontmen in the world of rock.  Incredibly expressive, his deep growling voice was instantly distinguished.  Some of Joe Cocker’s biggest songs were covers, including “With A little Help From My Friends,” “You Are So Beautiful,” and “You Can Leave Your Hat On,” but man, did he make them his own.

    Joe’s career spanned more than four decades.  He released a total of 22 albums.


  • Joey Ramone

    Joey Ramone was born Jeffrey Hyman and he was the voice of punk rock.  Joey Ramone started out on drums before moving to lead vocals. No one’s story is quite like The Ramones: multiple band members changed their last name to “Ramone.” With leather jackets, long black hair, and shades, The Ramones blasted onto the New York scene at CBGB’s… man, I would have loved to have been at one of those shows.

  • Joe Jackson

    Joe Jackson was 16 when he was playing the piano in bars and winning scholarships for his musical abilities. “Is She Really Going Out With Him?” started out as a joke. Joe is also well known for the song “Stepping Out.”

  • Joe Satriani

    Joe Satriani is a guitar god’s god. Joe’s website lists him as The world’s most commercially successful solo guitar performer, with six gold and platinum discs to his credit… and sales in excess of 10 million copies.”

    Early on, Joe Satriani was a guitar instructor. His pupils included Steve Vai and Kirk Hammett.

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