by Christopher Long
Along with co-CEO Don Henley, singer/songwriter/musician Glenn Frey founded the Eagles in 1972 — a wildly successful company that created, packaged, marketed and sold an iconic American-made product, one that defined, glamorized and romanticized the “peaceful easy feeling” of the cocaine-crazed, Quaalude-addicted, shag-carpeted 1970s So-Cal scene. Life in the fast lane, indeed. Additionally, the Eagles brand embodied the bloated, pretentious, arrogant and filthy rich enterprise known as corporate rock.
But in the process, the product that Frey began creating with Henley (and a cast of qualified collaborating colleagues) during that dubious era of sex, drugs & rock and roll has gone on to become an enormous musical catalog comprised of some of the most recognizable and most-loved songs in rock history — resonating on a very personal level with an ever-faithful and ever-growing global flock, 40+ years later. In fact, the Eagles brand has maintained such incredible market value that the company continued to command the biggest bucks in the biz, despite releasing only one new full-length studio record over the last 37 years (Long Road Out of Eden, 2007).
A Detroit native, Frey co-wrote an impressive string of ten Top 10 singles during his initial long run with the Eagles, including “Best of My Love,” “One of These Nights,” “Lyin’ Eyes,” “Take it to the Limit,” “New Kid in Town” and “Heartache Tonight,” as well as arguably THE quintessential rock track of the ’70s — “Hotel California.” The band also released two of the all-time best-selling albums: Their Greatest Hits (1975) and Hotel California (1976). During the Eagles’ 14-year hiatus, from 1980-1994, Frey scored a pair of gold solo albums and seven Top 40 singles. Having turned to acting during the ’80s and ’90s, Frey made appearances on such popular television programs as Miami Vice and Wiseguy, in addition to enjoying prominent roles in feature films including Let’s Get Harry (1986) and Jerry McGuire (1996).
Sadly, Glenn Frey died on January 18th at age 67, due to complications brought on by rheumatoid arthritis, acute ulcerative colitis and pneumonia, according to the Eagles’ official website. However, Frey’s musical legacy will live on forever. As the lyrics to his signature song suggest, “You can check-out any time you like, but you can never leave!”
The Eagles: www.eagles.com