Walter Egan, who contributes electric guitar along with lead and harmony vocals to the Burrito Deluxe sound, has a solid connection to Burrito history. Egan is also widely known as the singer of the million-selling 1978 smash “Magnet and Steel,” a song that continues to gain new fans through its use in feature films such as Deuce Bigalow, Boogie Nights and Overnight Delivery. He also had five other chart singles, including Hot Summer Nights and Fool Moon Fire.
Growing up in an artistic family in New York City, Walter was encouraged to be creative, and that led to an interest in not only music but also visual arts (he has a bachelor’s degree in fine arts from Georgetown University) and literature. His tastes in music were eclectic, from early influences like Elvis, Chuck Berry, Buddy Holly and the Everly Brothers to Bob Dylan, Joan Baez and other icons of the ’60s folk movement (he taught himself to play guitar from a Kingston Trio songbook) to "the most obscure music I could find." His interest in country-and-western music was ignited in 1968 when one of his favorite bands, The Byrds, with new member Gram Parsons, released their landmark Sweetheart of the Rodeo album. Parsons went on to co-found the Flying Burrito Brothers. Egan was present when Gram and Emmylou Harris sang together for the first time (in Walter’s kitchen); they later recorded his song "Hearts on Fire."
The first of Egan’s eight solo albums (so far) was produced by Fleetwood Mac’s Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks; Buckingham co-produced the second. Walter, who’s also a member of the long-lived surf-rock ensemble The Malibooz, has performed with Jackson Brown, Linda Ronstadt, Spirit and Wanda Jackson. He became involved with Burrito Deluxe when "Stick" Davis, with whom he had played in the Brooklyn Cowboys, asked him to accompany the band to a Gram Parsons tribute in Waycross, Georgia. "I liked everything about Burrito Deluxe," Egan says, and the one-shot gig led to an offer to become a member of the band.
"Perseverance has been one of my strong suits, because my life has seemed like 'careerus interruptus' in a lot of ways," Egan says. "I always railed against being called a one-hit wonder. I’m writing songs better than ever, playing guitar better than ever, singing better than ever. It’s this stupid thing about aging that gets in the way," he says with a laugh. "That’s why it’s cool being among Burrito Deluxe."
Egan, who lives in Nashville, continues to pursue artistic endeavors outside of music. He enjoys woodcutting, painting and sculpture, and he has completed three screenplays that he’s “trying to get out there.” He also works as a substitute teacher in Williamson County schools and spends lots of time with his 11-year-old daughter.