Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Glenn Lewis Frey, Rest in Peace

Back in the eighties when we made the switch from vinyl to CDs, there were some albums I could not part with. Among those chosen few that I kept were my Eagles collection. Mock and deride me if you must but this was my absolute favorite band at the time and continues to be in my top five. Yes, I cried when they broke up in 1980. Yes, I was thrilled when they got back together for Hell Freezes Over and saw them in concert in April 1995. I skipped this last go 'round of them playing live mostly because I thought they had enough money but also due to the fact that guitar virtuoso Don Felder was not included in this tour. I don't give a flying fig about problems and contention within the band, shit happened and decisions were made. For quadruple the cost of a ticket in 1995 I didn't care to see them sans Felder. But now I feel a little tug of regret brought on by the passing of Eagles co-founder Glenn Frey earlier this week. I remember the band took a break during HFO due to Frey's health problems associated with ulcerative colitis. But he was twenty years younger and rallied and the tour continued. My memory of them in concert is that of an amazing musical experience. Hearing the songs live that I had loved since I was fifteen was phenomenal and our seats were excellent, in the first tier up and near the stage so we were looking pretty much down at them. Frey was wearing some cool two-toned black and white shoes. I knew he was big on fitness so I was subconsciously willing him to work up a sweat and remove his shirt. Mr. Frey deigned to cooperate. He was playing Old Black, which I have just discovered through the magic of the internet was a Gibson Les Paul Junior. I thought it somewhat ironic that Don Henley was wearing a henley under his plaid shirt. Maybe just redundant. When artists you loved during your formative years begin to die off it really makes you feel the weight of your own. Glenn Frey, of the buttery, evocative baritone voice, I am sad that you are no longer among us. You held your own as a guitar player even in the collective shadow of Joe Walsh and Don Felder. The songs you wrote and performed are central in the soundtrack of my life. If you ask me, sixty-seven wasn't nearly a big enough number of trips around the sun.