Last night Feathered Photography hit a bump in the road. Regular readers know that I’m a creature of habit and it’s my ingrained routine to select and process images for the next day’s post the evening before and then compose my text early the following morning just prior to posting. But yesterday afternoon when I learned of the death of Glenn Frey I just couldn’t keep my mind on track well enough to maintain my routine. So instead of processing images I spent my evening watching the Eagles Farewell I Tour concert from Melbourne, Australia which I have on CD.
Frey was a founding member of the Eagles, an American rock band formed way back in 1971. I’ve been a fan almost from the beginning, largely because of their country rock style, their tight harmonies, their endurance and the songwriting skills of Frey and band mate Don Henley (think “Hotel California”, “Lyin’ Eyes” and “Desperado”). For “Take it Easy” Frey wrote the catchy phrase “it’s a girl, my Lord, in a flatbed Ford / slowing down to take a look at me.” In the view of this Montana farm boy it doesn’t get much better than that.
1/1250, f/7.1, ISO 500, Canon 7D, Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS USM + 1.4 tc, not baited, set up or called in
The band members were famously contentious and the Eagles broke up on July 31, 1980 in Long Beach, California when tempers boiled over in what has been described as the “Long Night at Wrong Beach”. So I chose this Bald Eagle photo as an image to symbolize the band because of the blood on the bill and the “blown” eye (misshapen pupil). During their concert that night in Long Beach Frey and band mate Don Felder spent the entire show telling each other about the beating each planned to administer to the other backstage. At one point between songs Frey told Felder “Only three more songs until I kick your ass, pal”.
Like most families there was some dysfunction but damn, could they sing and play!
On an extended 6000 mile road trip in the early 80’s to northern British Columbia with my girlfriend (later to become my wife) I had a copy of the soundtrack of “Urban Cowboy” that included “Lyin’ Eyes” by the Eagles. I just about wore that tape out I played it so much and to this day fond memories come flooding back whenever I hear that song in particular. It combines country, pop, rock and folk music styles and tells a sad story so very, very well. It was written by Frey and Henley and recorded by the Eagles in 1975.
It’s a long song and I suspect that many readers will skip the clip and that’s ok. But if you have the time and the inclination I urge you to watch it. A young Frey sings lead vocals and it’s a great band performing a great song. Keep in mind that this is long before computer-controlled and computer-manipulated concerts. What you see and hear is real – talented musicians singing tight, wonderful harmonies and telling a compelling story.
RIP Glenn Frey.
PS – Forcing one’s musical tastes on others can be traumatic for the recipient if those tastes are not shared. It’s a little like having someone pull up next to you at a stoplight with their windows down and music blaring when you don’t appreciate the song. So if that’s the case for you here, skip the clip and I’ll get back to my regular fare tomorrow…