As a kid in Juneau Alaska in the late 70’s, when this record came out we were absolutely stunned, I remember listening to it over and over wondering how everything had been recorded and how they played so well….just blew us away, and raised the level of our expectations of ourselves….not knowing anything about how records were actually made, we thought people just played like that, so that was what we did too….and living up there, you had time to work on that in the bedroom or wherever….over and over and over….
Later I was playing with Don Felder and we were opening for the Doobie Bros and Boston, and I sat at a table in the backstage eating lunch with Scholz and a couple other Boston members…I think I was just staring at him….and I think it was kinda annoying him, but you know…I was really just sitting there thinking how much that music had meant to me at the time, and here I was, some dork from Juneau Alaska sitting here at the table with him…I couldn’t believe it….I’ve had a lot of those moments, I’ve been very fortunate….
God, no shit.
Thankfully I think my circle of friends and musicians is of a high enough caliber in both ability and SENSIBILITY that I have seen very little of this kind of crappy nonsense, and if I had I would have gone very far in a boot wearing expedition up someone’s ass.
These people are all actually PEOPLE, and if you think that they are elevated above being human because of the heights they’ve reached in their careers, your ignorance is profound and your imagination is challenged and stunted….it’s sad to understand what a monochrome blur your life must be like….
Having worked with 3 of the Hotel California-era Eagles, I’ll tell you one thing for certain, they are ALL the best version of the thing they are that will ever be, Glenn the best Glenn Frey, Joe the best Joe Walsh, and Don the best Don Felder that there will ever be, and that’s NOT nothing.
2 of the best guitar players/songwriters in popular music EVER, and one of the best singer/songwriters in popular music EVER, with a body of music that has reached into the lives of almost every person in Western culture on an almost daily basis, to the point that when you hear the music YOU know every damn word….?!?!?! Music YOU may not even like, sure, and that’s fine, but you gotta admit when it has that kind of impact across the geography and timespan that it has, it’s fucking GREAT, you just don’t get it.
That’s not nothing.
These guys can play their asses off, write their asses off, sing their asses off, arrange/record/produce their asses off, and in Glenn’s case LEAD his ass off leading one of the biggest bands EVER….they are BAD ASSES, all of them!!.
Go do THAT, and then talk shit…I’ll wait….
But….they’re all ALSO just people, with their foibles, demons, ticks, itches, relationships, children, problems, illnesses and now even death, just like anyone, doing anything.
I don’t know, I read that piece and realized maybe I’ve been kinda glossing over it whenever I see someone slagging about this, knowing that it’s just ignorant childish creepiness that’s not worth engaging one on one…had this reaction, felt like saying something…
So yeh, Glenn has died…another of the Greats now gone.
I’m not the one to eulogize him. I worked with him for several years and of course that means I got to know him to some small degree, but of course I also knew him in only one segment of his long and amazing career, and I can hardly say that I *KNEW* him. That’s for his family, of course the other Eagles, his long time business partners, and all the other musicians who all knew him longer, better, and deeper than I ever would have or did. The guys that I worked with when I was with him had almost all worked with him as the Eagles band as well, so there’s lots of other people who can speak about him much better than I.
But of course it affects me, and a lot of people know I worked with him and they’re concerned and interested, so I’ll say a couple things….
First of all, I liked Glenn.
He was always cool with me, was generous with me and others when I was working with him, and although of course rock lore is full of all kinda stories, MY experience of him was good. There were times he would be in the same restaurant that some of us might be eating in, and our waiter would come over and say something like “the gentleman that was sitting over there has picked up your check”, and it would be a pretty big tab, but I always thought that was very classy. He didn’t have to do that, he just did. We often rode with him in his jet, (yeh I know, tough life!!), and sometimes he would just wander from chair to chair talking with different guys and just kinda hanging…he did that with me once and it seemed that for a bit he was enjoying just doing what we do, playing music and then hanging about after the gig talking…
He knew a lot about what he did of course, and I learned a few things from him, which at this point is teaching an old dog some tricks, but was he was very good at this thing and he had good thoughts about how it should be done….and yes of course, if he wanted something done a certain way, that’s how it was to be, NO question. And that was fine, he knew how to be Glenn Frey better than anyone else did for damn sure. And he was a REALLY good Glenn Frey, he could really sing, he could really play in the groove, and he knew how to run a show like a CEO….but maybe most of all, I think he actually still really LIKED it…like the part of him that made him get into it in the first place was STILL in him after all those years, and he would sing himself hoarse, get covered in sweat, and leave it all out there….I thought that was awesome, it made me like him more for it.
With him I got to do some things I’d never done before, and to play with an amazing group of musicians playing some of the best popular music that has ever been made. And yes, I’d look over singing harmony with him on like “Lyin’ Eyes” or another song where I’d be singing with just him and me on one of the verses and think, “Holy Shit, this is actually happening!!”, and feel validated for my life choices in a way that most people who do what I do never get a chance to be. If you get to play with some someone like Glenn, it makes some of the downsides of this musician life seem not quite so silly, so irresponsible and childish. There’s not many people who will pooh-pooh doing THAT, and for a guy who grew up a bit on the iffy side in Alaska, it was powerful for me.
Playing with Glenn I also got a chance to get to know and play with Joe Walsh a bit, who was one of my serious idols as a young musician growing up in Alaska, and I can’t say enough good about that experience for me, he’s a sweet guy and one of the greats in Rock music, it was thrilling and an honor.
My time with Glenn came at a time in my life that was very tough for me on a personal level, a difficult and very low period that made the work with him all the better for me, and it helped balance things out, and I’m grateful to him and others that I worked with during that time, it really mattered. The guys in the band were wonderful to me, very supportive and helpful both on and off stage, I made good friends and had some great times.
Today I was sitting at a table in Starbucks when my phone started blowing up and I saw what I was being told was true….I was almost surprised how bad I felt about it, but I did; he was a Big Deal guy, but also someone that I worked with quite a bit and did a lot with, it matters.
I want to mention my good buddy Jonathan Clark. Without Jonathan I wouldn’t have had many of the good gigs I’ve had in my life…yes…WE have to carry our weight when we get in the room, but someone has to get us INTO the room, and a number of times for me that was Jonathan, and definitely so in the case of Glenn. Thank you for that!
I really enjoyed my time with Glenn, and it was truly an honor to have been involved with even my little small bit of that great story.
Wade and Glenn Frey
I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. As a musician it’s tricky to understand what we do in the context of money and meaning. Lately I’m finding it much more useful to think of it in terms of how well I do it, and how much it brings to others.
In that context, playing for not much money in some bar just kinda anywhere starts to take on a lot more meaning and value. People are enjoying their time together watching others do something they can’t really do, in a setting that allows and/or validates their feelings….being brought together to feel something that can’t be had alone at home with your tv and your bottle, it’s GOOD for people to do that, and not be alone.
People come up all the time to share how they feel about what they’ve just seen/experienced, and I think we as musicians forget what a gift that is….that they have felt something so powerfully that they need to come up and tell us about it, even to a total stranger who just stepped off the stage, even at the risk of being rebuffed or ignored…. and it’s hard to just walk up to someone and bare your soul, even a little, but they trust us to hear them, because they know we MUST understand, because we just did it!
Yes, maybe we hear it all the time, but for them, it’s special, and it’s NOW, and it really matters to them.
It has nothing to do with money, it has nothing to do with MOST valuations that are recognized as valid measures of what we do, but maybe it’s the most important thing of all, and we should pay a lot more attention to it, I think we would be happier and maybe even better people for it.