We found out Monday that Glenn Frey had died. It will be impossible write about Glenn without superlatives so I won’t resist. To a person, everyone I knew was genuinely shocked. I guess we expected the reaper to first visit the other less sane members of the Eagles. In the end however, I guess the brightest stars are destined to burn out first…and bright his star was.
Quick, do you have a memory associated with an Eagles song?
There were so many. One of These Nights will forever be an 8-Track song. If you have no idea what I am talking about, ask your folks. It will be an 8-Track song cruising on Woodward Avenue in a beige seventies vintage Chevrolet Impala forever. If you are not sure what I am talking about ask Ronald or Roger. Desperado will be the slow dance song which defies the cute sitters at Patrick’s in perpetuity. Ask Tammy or Kim or… if you don’t believe me. Life in the Fast Lane is the song that makes you take your top off, Spitfire convertible top, that is. Already Gone has broken up more couples than Jerry Springer. If you don’t believe me, ask…
You thought I would blog about her? Nope, sorry.
Anyone with a pulse in the seventies or eighties can name at least one association with an Eagles song. In those decades those songs were prevalent, pervasive and some would say pungent comments about our time. Their lyrics and melodies rang true for another generation fourteen years later.
I know, I went to one of the reunion concerts at Clemson’s Death Valley in the late nineties.
That concert’s attendance was just weird. There were people my age who loved the Eagles but, didn’t really have a chance to see them in concert before the spectacular breakup. There were old people who had probably seen the Eagles numerous times and then there were the kids. Don Henley seems to want to attribute their kid appeal to the rise of classic rock stations. I think he is just too humble to admit the music is timeless.
Whatever the secret sauce, the Eagles doled it out in buckets.
Henley was quoted in a statement a few days ago that Glenn Fry “was the one who started it all…the sparkplug…” I think that is the kind of thing a partner says about his fallen friend. Truth is, the Fry, Henley partnership will go down in the history of American music. To be sure, there were others, Meisner, Walsh, Felder… But, Fry and Henley had the vision. Sometimes by sheer force of will they kept the dream alive.
Until they couldn’t.
In 1980 a couple of years before I graduated high school, it was over. Some of us actually grieved. We always believed and in 94 we were given one more small dose of melodic genius. The Eagles were granted what a precious few will receive in this life, a curtain call. This time, it’s gutwrenchingly final. I think we are sad that another generation will never get the gift of 94. Maybe we are sad the group who wrote the score to our youth is now gone forever. We are sad for Don and the others. We are just shocked and sad. Rest in peace, Glenn.