Artist Biography: Walter Egan
by Jason Ankeny
Best remembered for his 1978 smash "Magnet and Steel, " pop singer/songwriter Walter Egan was born July 12, 1948 in Jamaica, NY; alongside guitarist John Zambetti, he first surfaced a surf-rock band dubbed the Malibooz, which earned a devoted local following and even performed at the 1964 New York World's Fair. Relocating to Washington, D.C., Egan and Zambetti reteamed in the folk-rock group Sageworth and Drums, a product of the same fertile D.C. scene which also launched the careers of Emmylou Harris, Roy Buchanan and Nils Lofgren. Sageworth and Drums relocated to Boston in 1971, disbanding after a record deal with Warner Bros. collapsed; Egan then followed Emmylou Harris to Los Angeles, where she recorded the Egan composition "Hearts on Fire" with Gram Parsons on the country-rock immortal's 1973 LP Grievous Angel.
In L.A., Egan backed artists from Jackson Browne to David Lindley before he was spotted by Columbia executives while performing at a Hoot Night at the Troubadour club in 1976. His debut album Fundamental Roll followed in 1977, and a year later Egan released the Lindsey Buckingham/Richard Dashut produced Not Shy, scoring a major hit with the single "Magnet and Steel." Subsequent efforts like 1979's Hi-Fi and 1980's The Last Stroll did not fare as well, however, and in 1981 he reunited with Zambetti to reform the Malibooz, releasing Malibooz Rule on Rhino later that year. Apart from a 1983 solo release, Wild Exhibitions, Egan maintained a low musical profile during the remainder of the decade, increasingly turning his energies towards graphic art; finally, in 1992 he resurfaced on the Malibooz' A Malibu Kind of Christmas, and in 1999 released the solo Walternative. The Lost Album, released in 2000, was originally recorded in 1985 and features guest appearences from Jackson Browne, Christine McVie and Randy California. It was follwed in 2002 by Apocalypso Now, another winning collection of sophisticated pop/rock. In 2005 the Acadia label reissued Egan's first four records on two double-disc sets.