by Ivan Arevalo
Photo Courtesy of Asylum Records
Eagles Guitarist and original member, Glenn Frey has passed away on January 18th, 2016 at 67.
That day the band’s website confirmed the news of Frey’s passing. Frey’s family and former bandmates released statements and the world of music and fans paid tribute in the best possible way, with humble words of praise and playing a lot of Eagles music.
“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 his 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.” — Don Henley
History between Don Felder and Glenn Fry included many clashes and eventually the distancing of these two rock icons. This is perhaps why, his tribute, recognizing him as an “amazing genius” reminded us that human goodness is far more powerful than anger and resentment.
“Glenn’s passing was so unexpected and has left me with a very heavy heart filled with sorrow. He was so young and still full of amazing genius. He was an extremely talented songwriter, arranger, leader, singer, guitarist – you name it – and Glenn could do it and create “MAGIC” on the spot. His visions and insights into songs and lyrics have become legendary and will echo throughout time on this earth for decades to come.
Glenn was the one who invited me to join the Eagles in 1974, and it turned out to be a gift of a lifetime to have spent so many years working side by side with him. He was funny, strong and generous. At times, it felt like we were brothers and at other times, like brothers, we disagreed. Despite our struggles and difficult moments together, we managed to create some magical songs, recordings and live shows. His charisma on stage was felt and loved by millions of people all over the world. I have many wonderful memories of those years and the many miles I traveled with Glenn, filled with laughter, song, parties, hugs and brotherly bonds.
“Glenn was the James Dean of the band. He was the leader that we all looked to for direction and by far the coolest guy in the band. It saddens me a great deal that we were never able to address the issues that came between us and talk them through. Sadly, now we will never get the chance. The planet has lost a great man and a wonderful musician today. None will ever be able to take his place. May you rest in peace Glenn Frey, and may God bless you and your lovely family.” –Don Felder.
The Recording Academy released a statement sending their condolences and remembrance of Frey’s life.
“As a founding member of the Eagles, Glenn Frey was an integral part of one of the most storied bands in pop history. His songwriting, especially with bandmate Don Henley, resulted in some of the biggest hits and standards of the ’70s, including songs like “Desperado,” “One Of These Nights,” “Lyin’ Eyes,” and “Hotel California.” The latter two earned the Eagles two of their six GRAMMY Awards. Desperado and the milestone album Hotel California, along with its title track, have been inducted into the GRAMMY Hall OF Fame. The band’s Their Greatest Hits: 1971-1975 remains one of the best-selling albums of all time, a testament to the enduring music that Glenn played a significant role in creating. Glenn’s untimely passing is a huge loss for the music community, and we offer our condolences to his family, friends, colleagues, and fans.” -Neil Portnow President/CEO
Bruce Springsteen played tribute to the late Frey at his show with a rendition of The Eagles first single, “Take It Easy” in Chicago on January 19th.
If you were to explain the Eagles to someone who may not be that familiar with their music, you would probably use two songs: Hotel California which can be recognized in the first five chords by pretty much anyone or Take It Easy, the band’s first single in which Glenn Fry took the lead. Take It Easy reached the number 12 spot in the Hot 100 chart. This is considered one of the two most known songs by the band and it showcases the beginning of the country-rock sound that made them hugely popular. Take It Easy is an anthem that will continue to be a perennial rock classic as long as radio exists.
May he rest in peace.