I know I know. Glenn Frey didn’t sing Desperado. But he did help write it, so it counts. Besides, that title wasn’t my idea anyway. A friend suggested it and I laughed too much to pass it up because even though I’m sending off possibly my favourite member of the Eagles, the fact remains that I’m still kind of an asshole.
But in all seriousness, I was pretty bummed out when I heard Glenn Frey was gone. I didn’t realize until I started thinking about it just how many of the Eagles songs I’ll still stop to listen to on the radio are ones he sang. Peaceful Easy Feeling,
Take It Easy,
New Kid In Town,
and almost certainly some I’m forgetting. Oh, and if you don’t get even a little jazzed up when you hear The Heat Is On, I’m not sure you’re human.
People like to shit on the Eagles for being middle of the road mainstream corporate suckbags in much the same way a lot of folks (myself included) tend to shit on boy bands today, but I’ve always found that comparison unfair. Whether you like the music of the Eagles or not, it’s hard to deny that as songwriters and musicians they know what the hell they’re doing. There’s a reason so many people look back so fondly on all of these 30 and 40 year old Glenn Frey songs. They’re comfortable. They’re easy to listen to yet they still have something to say. And most of all, they’re just good. I’m not going to flat out say that Glenn Frey was the best songwriter of our times, but I am going to ask that we at least put him somewhere on the list. I think he deserves that considering how much timeless music he’s either partially or fully responsible for.
And now I shall leave you with their version of Seven Bridges Road, perhaps the best thing they’ve ever done.
No, the irony of this being a cover after everything I just said is not lost on me. But if you can listen to that and not come away with even the tiniest bit more appreciation for Glenn Frey and the Eagles when it’s done, I don’t know what to tell you.
Don Henley also released a statement, which read, “He was like a brother to me; we were family, and like most families, there was some dysfunction. But, the bond we forged 45 years ago was never broken, even during the 14 years that the Eagles were dissolved. We were two young men who made the pilgrimage to Los Angeles with the same dream: to make our mark in the music industry — and with perseverance, a deep love of music, our alliance with other great musicians and our manager, Irving Azoff, we built something that has lasted longer than anyone could have dreamed. But, Glenn was the one who started it all. He was the spark plug, the man with the plan. He had an encyclopedic knowledge of popular music and a work ethic that wouldn’t quit. He was funny, bullheaded, mercurial, generous, deeply talented and driven. He loved is wife and kids more than anything. We are all in a state of shock, disbelief and profound sorrow. We brought our two-year ‘History of the Eagles Tour’ to a triumphant close at the end of July and now he is gone. I’m not sure I believe in fate, but I know that crossing paths with Glenn Lewis Frey in 1970 changed my life forever, and it eventually had an impact on the lives of millions of other people all over the planet. It will be very strange going forward in a world without him in it. But, I will be grateful, every day, that he was in my life. Rest in peace, my brother. You did what you set out to do, and then some.”