Eagles icon Joe Walsh performed a short set for 300 people in heavy rain during a return to the place where he’d had his drink and drugs “epiphany.”

On Sunday he performed alongside a band of students at Otatara Pa, a Maori fort near Hawkes Bay, New Zealand, where he told the audience about his experience there in 1989.

“I’m so grateful I could come back,” the 76-year-old said (via the New Zealand Herald). “I’m kind of home in a way.” His set included a local song, Eagles classic “Desperado” and a cover of the Doors’ “Roadhouse Blues,” with accompaniment by pupils of nearby Taradale High School.

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Classic Rock reported that Walsh also said: “What happened to me was kind of a spiritual awakening. The spirit of this place talked to me and told me who I had become was not me.”

He continued: “The spirit that was here gave me power over all that. I took [that power] back to the United States and I stopped drinking and doing drugs, and I tried to help people who were doing that… I paid a lot less attention to being famous and having fun spending money.”

Admitting he’d lost his perspective in the ‘80s, Walsh said: “I came here and I got it back. I've been 30 years sober now and that’s because I came here… where we are right now has so much good energy and spirit.”

Addiction Turned Joe Walsh Into ‘Godless, Hateful Thing’

In 2018 Walsh said he’d found his way into drink and drugs as a result of suffering stage fright and finding that “a couple of beers” helped deal with it, which “planted the seed.”

He added: “And later on, when I did an album that didn’t do so good, I thought, ‘Well obviously I’m not drinking nearly as much as I need to.’… my higher power became vodka and cocaine.”

It only got worse from there. “I burned all the bridges. Nobody wanted to work with me. I was angry. ... I turned into this godless, hateful thing.”

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Gallery Credit: Nick DeRiso

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