R.I.P, Glenn Frey

We kind of assumed they’d alway be around, because it seemed like they’d always been around. Rolling Stone obituary here:

Glenn Frey, Eagles guitarist and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, passed away Monday. He was 67. “It is with the heaviest of hearts that we announce the passing of our comrade, Eagles founder, Glenn Frey, in New York City on Monday, January 18th, 2016. Glenn fought a courageous battle for the past several weeks but, sadly, succumbed to complications from rheumatoid arthritis, acute ulcerative colitis and pneumonia,” the Eagles wrote in a statement Monday…

The Detroit-born Frey performed with groups in the Motor City area before relocating to Los Angeles in the late Sixties. Frey would eventually meet and live with J.D. Souther — his partner in the short-lived duo Longbranch Pennywhistle — and singer-songwriter Jackson Browne. It was Souther who encouraged Linda Ronstadt, his girlfriend at the time, to hire Frey and three other artists – drummer Don Henley, bassist Randy Meisner and guitarist Bernie Leadon – to serve as her backing band during a 1971 tour. When the trek concluded, the Eagles were born…

As a solo artist, Frey enjoyed a string of hits that included the Beverly Hills Cop track “The Heat Is On” and “You Belong to the City,” a song penned for Miami Vice. “City” would go on to take on a second life as a New York anthem thanks to its association with the 1986 World Series-winning New York Mets and Jay Z’s Frey-sampling “The City Is Mine.” Frey released five solo albums during this period, and also dabbled in acting, appearing in Miami Vice and later Jerry Maguire. That film’s director, Cameron Crowe, famously interviewed the Eagles for a 1975 Rolling Stone cover story, which would later inspire the filmmaker’s 2000 movie Almost Famous

Wyeth Ruthven’s tweets led me to a 2013 Bill Simmons story on “Alison Ellwood’s epic documentary” of “The Eagles’ Greatest Hit”:

… It’s not like the Eagles are intrusive. Wasn’t that the most appealing thing about their music? As Frey points out in The History of the Eagles, Part Two, people did things with the Eagles. They could join you for any road trip, any party, any breakup, any late-night hang… Their music is harmlessly timeless, and I swear, I mean that as a compliment.

You know what else? The Eagles were significantly bigger than I ever realized. Really, there wasn’t a more successful, popular or famous American band in the 1970s. Even today, their first greatest hits album (released in 1976, almost one year before Hotel California came out) is still battling neck and neck with Thriller as the highest-selling album of all time. That dumbfounding fact alone made the Eagles worthy of a documentary, even if a 215-minute treatment was unquestionably overboard…

After Glenn Frey moved to Los Angeles, he befriended Jackson Browne and ended up renting a $125-a-month apartment right above Browne. At the time, the ambitious Frey was just another wannabe musician who wanted to be famous, only he wasn’t sure how to get there. Then he started listening to Browne work every morning.

“Around nine in the morning,” Frey remembers, “I’d hear Jackson Browne’s teapot going off with this whistle in the distance, and then I’d hear him playing piano. I didn’t really know how to write songs. I knew I wanted to write songs, but I didn’t know exactly, did you just wait around for inspiration, you know, what was the deal? I learned through Jackson’s ceiling and my floor exactly how to write songs, ’cause Jackson would get up, and he’d play the first verse and first course, and he’d play it 20 times, until he had it just the way he wanted it. And then there’d be silence, and then I’d hear the teapot going off again, and it would be quiet for 20 minutes, and then I’d hear him start to play again … and I’m up there going, so that’s how you do it? Elbow grease. Time. Thought. Persistence.”…

You know the guy who sings “Take It to the Limit” while sounding like someone is squeezing his testicles in a vise? That’s [Randy] Meisner. And that was his signature Eagles song. As the years passed, Frey bristled anytime Meisner ducked out of singing “Take It to the Limit” in concert, leading to the following moment.

“I confronted him,” Frey remembers. “I said, ‘Randy, there’s thousands of people waiting for you to sing that song. You just can’t say “Fuck ’em, I don’t feel like it.” Do you think I like singing “Take It Easy” and “Peaceful Easy Feeling” every night? I’m tired of those songs. But there’s people in the audience who’ve been waiting YEARS to see us do those songs.’…

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57 replies
  1. 1
    SoupCatcher says:

    Saw this post as I was on my way to bed, and bounced from the videos into a little Eagles surfing on YouTube.

    One of my favorite car radio bands – guaranteed to induce face-splitting grins and top-of-the-lungs singing along.

  2. 2
    Origuy says:

    Mic Gillette, trumpet player for Tower of Power, died Sunday, age 65.

  3. 3
    BGinCHI says:

    On last night’s thread I recommended an Eagles documentary that is really good. You don’t have to like the Eagles at all to like it. I’m pretty ambivalent about having had their music playing everywhere I was growing up all the time whether you liked it or not, but they wrote some damn great songs.

    The tell for me is that I sing to my son every night before he goes to bed. The repertoire is stuff that just comes to me that it turns out I know the words to. Lots of Johnny Cash, Old 97s, early Elton John, Merle Haggard, Willie Nelson, the Beverly Hillbillies theme song, etc.

    But above all, it turns out I know and can sing lots of Eagles songs. Which is weird since I was never much of a fan.

    Xavi loves Hotel California (“Dad, why can’t they leave?”… “Dad, why can’t they kill the beast?”…”Dad, what are ‘mission bells’?”) and Take It Easy.

    I spent 10 minutes the other night explaining what a “flat bed Ford” was, and why the guy was trying to get into it.

    Here is a link to that doc: http://www.netflix.com/search/.....#038;jbr=0

  4. 4
    BGinCHI says:

    Help!!! Moderation!!

  5. 5
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    My only Eagles story isn’t really an Eagles story. When I still lived in STL I had a buddy by the name of Ranger Dave Montgomery, one hell of a picker, guitar and mandolin, country, folk, bluegrass. Like most good musicians he never hit it big. He wrote a lot of songs, sold more than a few of them, including one to the Eagles, “Evening Wind”, but mostly he just played the local music scene and festivals.

    So one time Dave is at this festival, just wandering around, guitar in hand looking for a circle to join in with. Soon enuf he’s spotted and asked to sit in with about a half dozen others. After a couple songs, somebody asks, “Your turn Dave, whad’ya wanna play?”

    Dave’s tuning his guitar and after a few seconds says, “How ’bout ‘Evening Wind’?”
    “Yeah sure, you take the lead.”
    So Dave starts in with the opening chords and somebody says, “Whoa whoa, that’s not how Evening Wind goes.”
    Dave looks at him with that Ranger Dave Don’t Suffer No Fools look and says, “Fvck you, I wrote that song.”

  6. 6
    jacy says:

    Being of a certain time and place, the Eagles were the soundtrack to my adolescence. Lots of drinking and crying over boys (and making out with boys) and dealing with the shit everybody deals with growing up. To this day, if I want to get good and melancholy, it’s to the Eagles, because it pulls up a time when every teenage emotion I had was right on the surface. So, yeah, it hurts.

    On the upside, the wonderful relationship I am currently in was sparked off because the new fella and I both were embarrassed to tell each other we sat out in our respective garages listening to The Eagles when our respective marriages broke up. So, thanks, Glenn Frey. I’d be a lot lonelier right this minute if you hadn’t been a part of my history.

  7. 7
    BGinCHI says:

    On last night’s thread I recommended an Eagles documentary that is really good. You don’t have to like the Eagles at all to like it. I’m pretty ambivalent about having had their music playing everywhere I was growing up all the time whether you liked it or not, but they wrote some damn great songs.

    The tell for me is that I sing to my son every night before he goes to bed. The repertoire is stuff that just comes to me that it turns out I know the words to. Lots of Johnny Cash, Old 97s, early Elton John, Merle Haggard, Willie Nelson, the Beverly Hillbillies theme song, etc.

    But above all, it turns out I know and can sing lots of Eagles songs. Which is weird since I was never much of a fan.

    Xavi loves Hotel California (“Dad, why can’t they leave?”… “Dad, why can’t they kill the beast?”…”Dad, what are ‘mission bells’?”) and Take It Easy.

    I spent 10 minutes the other night explaining what a “flat bed Ford” was, and why the guy was trying to get into it.

  8. 8
    Davebo says:

    Angelo’s tweet is pretty dickish.

    Yes, classic rock stations play a lot of eagles but The Very Best of the Eagles did go triple platinum so who’s surprised?

    The guy is dead. Don’t be a prick.

  9. 9
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    At MVORs (Mississippi Valley Ozark Regional) there is Club 69, a group of misfit cavers who spend the wkend drinking too much and singing even more. The one song guaranteed to get everybody in camp to join in is 7 Bridges Road.

  10. 10
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @BGinCHI: You want your comments moderated?

  11. 11
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @BillinGlendaleCA: All things in moderation.

  12. 12
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @BGinCHI:

    “Dad, why can’t they leave?”… “Dad, why can’t they kill the beast?”

    We spent hours discussing that in the dorm in college(eh, not with my dad), there might have been some herb involved. My memory’s a bit hazy on that.

  13. 13
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I know, I had to quite drinking cause I didn’t learn that.

  14. 14
    Wally Ballou says:

    In happier music news, Dolly Parton is 70 today.

  15. 15
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    Our Governor dated Linda Ronstadt at one point.

  16. 16
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Wally Ballou:
    Someone once said, if you had a picture of Dolly Parton with George Walker Bush, you could caption it “The three biggest boobs in America.”

  17. 17
    raven says:

    @BillinGlendaleCA:

    Linda’s father, Gilbert, came from a pioneering Arizona ranching family[29] and was of German, English, and Mexican ancestry.[30] The family’s influence and contributions to Arizona’s history, including wagon making, commerce, pharmacies, and music, are chronicled in the library of the University of Arizona.[31] Linda Ronstadt’s great-grandfather, graduate engineer Friedrich August Ronstadt (who went by the name Federico Augusto Ronstadt) emigrated to the West (then a part of Mexico) in the 1840s from Hanover, Germany, and married a Mexican citizen, and eventually settled in Tucson.[32][33] In 1991, the City of Tucson opened its central transit terminal on March 16 and dedicated it to Linda’s grandfather, local pioneer businessman Federico José María Ronstadt. Ronstadt was a wagon maker whose early contribution to the city’s mobility included six mule-drawn streetcars delivered in 1903–04.[34]

    Her mother Ruth Mary, of German, English, and Dutch descent, was raised in the Flint, Michigan, area. She was the daughter of Lloyd Groff Copeman, a prolific inventor and holder of many patents. Lloyd, with nearly 700 patents to his name, invented an early form of the toaster, many refrigerator devices, the grease gun, the first electric stove, and an early form of the microwave oven. His flexible rubber ice cube tray earned him millions of dollars in royalties.[35]

  18. 18
    BGinCHI says:

    @BillinGlendaleCA: Got moderated so re-posted. It was a Netflix link that did me in.

    Normally I can self-moderate pretty well.

  19. 19
    BGinCHI says:

    @raven: Plus no one — no one — has ever looked better on roller skates.

  20. 20
    raven says:

    @BGinCHI: Unfortunately she has Parkinson’s.

  21. 21
    David *Born in the USA* Koch says:

    Gallup — Monday January 18 – President Obama Job Ratings

    Approve………………..51%
    Disapprove……………45%

    At this point in Bush’s presidency his ratings were: 32% approve, 64% disapprove.

  22. 22
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @BGinCHI: I bought that album on cassette.

  23. 23
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @raven:

    His flexible rubber ice cube tray earned him millions of dollars in royalties.

    I got some of those in the freezer.

  24. 24
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    Public Service Announcement:

    The blacklegged tick, Ixodes scapularis Say, is the primary vector to humans in the eastern United States of the Lyme disease spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi, as well as causative agents of anaplasmosis and babesiosis. Its close relative in the far western United States, the western blacklegged tick Ixodes pacificus Cooley and Kohls, is the primary vector to humans in that region of the Lyme disease and anaplasmosis agents. Since 1991, when standardized surveillance and reporting began, Lyme disease case counts have increased steadily in number and in geographical distribution in the eastern United States. Similar trends have been observed for anaplasmosis and babesiosis. To better understand the changing landscape of risk of human exposure to disease agents transmitted by I. scapularis and I. pacificus, and to document changes in their recorded distribution over the past two decades, we updated the distribution of these species from a map published in 1998. The presence of I. scapularis has now been documented from 1,420 (45.7%) of the 3,110 continental United States counties, as compared with 111 (3.6%) counties for I. pacificus. Combined, these vectors of B. burgdorferi and other disease agents now have been identified in a total of 1,531 (49.2%) counties spread across 43 states.

    Map here. Red and green denote counties where the relevant ticks have been found in all life stages. Blue and yellow where they have been found in only one life stage

    If you spend any time out of doors, be aware. You will get ticks. Yank them as soon as you find them. I read somewhere that in order for the tick to pass the spirochete, they have to be attached for a minimum of 24 hrs. Keep an eye out for the bulls eye rash at bite sites, it’s a sure sign. I’ve known 2 people to get infected, one was the daughter of a buddy who got it back in the 80’s. Took them a year to diagnose it and years for her to fully recover from it. The other was my roommate. I spotted the bulls eye on the back of her leg one eve. She saw her Doc a couple days later, got a course of antibiotics, and never developed the flu like symptoms that come after the rash.

    The lesson is, catch it early and it’s no big deal, catch it later and it’s hell to pay.

  25. 25
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Only time I’ve ever been bitten by ticks is when we went to Missouri.

  26. 26

    The Eagles’ music is so much a part of my life. The first cassette I bought for my ’74 Wagoneer was Greatest Hits and it was the second CD (after Dave Brubeck’s “Take Five”) that I bought for my ’95 Mustang GT convertible. There is nothing like blasting “Already Gone” at full volume with the top down as I rocket down the 18-mile stretch through the Everglades on the way to Key Largo. I have stood on the corner in Winslow, Arizona, and driven through the California desert looking for the Hotel California.

    I hold Glenn Frey in the Light, and I will play that album on the way home.

  27. 27
    JPL says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I am not itching all over.. Thanks. The recent temperatures should kill off some of the fleas and ticks. The rest will reappear next spring.

  28. 28
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @BillinGlendaleCA: It’s the state insect. Not.

    I don’t sweat it. When I get a tick, I pull it off. And make sure the dog’s flea and tick collar is up to date.

  29. 29
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    Gawd, that was the most clueless discussion of the Flint water situation, just now on Joe of the Morning.

  30. 30

    @BillinGlendaleCA: Did they figure out how to blame it on Obama/Clinton and former Gov. Jennifer Granholm… and for good measure Gov. G. Mennen “Soapy” Williams?

  31. 31
    Just One More Canuck says:

    @jacy: Good to see you here

  32. 32
    JPL says:

    I streamed Morning Joe for three minutes. What’s the point of the show? Joe and crew get paid to bloviate about subjects, they know nothing about.

  33. 33
    Baud says:

    @Mustang Bobby:

    I don’t think they worry a lot about the “how”. Just do it!

  34. 34
    JPL says:

    @BillinGlendaleCA: That’s the segment that I watched. If they read the papers, maybe they would know that the test results were changed.

  35. 35
  36. 36
    Baud says:

    @JPL:

    I haven’t been reading the papers lately. I didn’t know that.

  37. 37
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @JPL: And that the locals had no control of the decision since they had an Emergency Manager.

  38. 38
    JPL says:

    @Baud: They only included results that were within the guidelines. The results that showed dangerous amounts of lead were tossed. As a candidate you are not suppose to be informed.

  39. 39
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @Mustang Bobby: Of course they blamed the feds. It was like, where was the local government(replaced by the Governor), where was the state(they were penny wise and pound foolish), so blame it on the EPA.

  40. 40
    Baud says:

    @JPL:

    I will be elected to lead, not to read.

  41. 41
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @Baud: Just going to rely on the your intelligence briefing, eh?

  42. 42
    Steeplejack (phone) says:

    @BGinCHI:

    “Naked” link, not Netflix. FYWP currently doesn’t like them. Dress ’em up using the “link” button above the comment box.

  43. 43
    Satby says:

    @jacy: Happy to hear you’re having some better luck in your life jacy!

  44. 44
    Satby says:

    @BillinGlendaleCA: That’s the wing nut talking points… that it’s the city of Flint’s own fault for trying to “go cheapo” on acquiring water as one Tea bagger I know stated. I posted the link of the many ways the Repuke governor and his appointed minions overrode the local elected officials, and she hasn’t mentioned it (to me) again.
    We all need to push back hard when people misstate the facts in this one, this one was fully created by Republican malfeasance.

  45. 45
    RAM says:

    I actually met Glen Frey back in the early 1980s when he was filming a foregtable movie titled “Let’s Get Harry” here in northern Illinois. They were using a farm just down the road from the one where I grew up as the title character’s home and we thought it would make a good story for the weekly paper of which I was editor.

    Harry’s father was played by Ben Johnson, and I REALLY wanted to meet him after watching him in cowboy movies all my life. But no dice there; he was in the house (where my uncles and grandfather had lived for a few years after they emigrated to Illinois from Kansas back in 1936) and, nearing the end of his life, dealing with arthritis and broken bones suffered over the years of acting and being a stunt man he decided to stay there since it was warm inside and winter outside. Frey seemed like a nice guy and my daughter was pretty impressed. After that, I started buying Eagles music and became somewhat of a fan, really enjoying it after Joe Walsh (the real one; not the crazy Illinois right wing nutjob) joined them.

    And the movie pretty much tanked.

  46. 46
    Steve in the ATL says:

    I heard a Don Henley song on the radio this morning. I’ll bet that the ghost of Glenn Frey is haunting the shit out of that DJ right now.

  47. 47
    Paul in KY says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Cool story!

  48. 48
    Paul in KY says:

    ‘Take it Easy’ is just about the perfect song, IMO.

  49. 49
    kindness says:

    I was really surprised to see the mock fest going on at Lawyers, Guns & Money regarding Glenn’s death. The principles there don’t give a shit about any Eagles music and for the life of them can’t figure out why anyone would. That’s some fine schutzpah there.

    Me, I didn’t like the soap opera the Eagles lived through, but I connected with their initial Country Rock Bernie Leadom preferred and later loved the hard rock Don Felder/Joe Walsh version. (I always loved Joe. Was a big James Gang fan). And Glenn’s solos stuff was OK too. If I had any complaints about the Eagles it was Glenn & Don Henley’s insistence that live songs sound exactly like the album. Not a fan of that idea. I like playing things different. Allows musicians to wing it to the time place and space in their mind.

    We’re all just a little bit more alone today. Again. Welcome to the rest of our lives.

  50. 50
    Petorado says:

    @BillinGlendaleCA: It may be an urban legend, but I once heard a DJ mention that the trippy Hotel California lyrics were about pot, pointing out that the initials for The Hotel California = THC. The lyrics seem less strange under that context.

    I think all the Eagles hate seems to stem from the fact that they and a few other artists like Jackson Browne formed the backbone of the universally scorned genre of “light rock” radio that everyone detests when they hear the call sign of the station but would sing along to when they heard the songs. One of their earliest hits, “Ol’ 55”, is a Tom Waits cover, which garners them a certain level of respect even if you aren’t a big fan.

  51. 51
    gbear says:

    @Wally Ballou:

    I heard that this morning on the radio. I couldn’t believe that Dolly Parton is just one year older than David Bowie. Parton seems so timeless.

  52. 52
    Brachiator says:

    and I’m up there going, so that’s how you do it? Elbow grease. Time. Thought. Persistence.”…

    I really like this. And it applies to so many other areas of life.

    Apart from the craziness and ego and other stuff about many rock groups and musicians, I really admire, and am often in awe of, the dedication to craft and the hard work that maybe fans don’t always see or appreciate, that goes into the artistry.

    And I’ve really enjoyed reading the other comments here from those who loved the band.

  53. 53
    Fair Economist says:

    Actually I find one of the most depressing parts of Glenn Frye dying is that my teen son has no idea who he is or for that matter who the Eagles were. Also, too, seeing deaths from groups where I remember them doing reunion tours LONG after they broke up and realizing the *reunion tours* happened decades ago.

  54. 54
    Brachiator says:

    @Fair Economist:

    Actually I find one of the most depressing parts of Glenn Frye dying is that my teen son has no idea who he is or for that matter who the Eagles were.

    Although there is an awful lot of mean and crappy comments in YouTube, it is fun to see comments from teens and others discovering older musicians and acts, including pre-rock and roll era musicians.

    Also, too, seeing deaths from groups where I remember them doing reunion tours LONG after they broke up and realizing the *reunion tours* happened decades ago.

    It’s sad and eerie when it hits you that you used to be able to say, “let’s go see X or Y band play,” and now can only talk about your memories of the group.

  55. 55
    nastybrutishntall says:

    At least Don Henley will not have to die to appease the Dark Lord Mojo Nixon.

  56. 56
    Brendancalling says:

    Not a fan of the Eagles, but certainly a talented musician.

    I have a karaoke schtick that only worKs in Philly, the Fluffya Iggles. It’s me singing Eagles songs in my deepest Philly accent.

  57. 57
    Death Panel Truck says:

    Buffin died on Sunday. Who’s Buffin?

    Educate yourself.

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