By: Raymond Humienny ~Campus News Editor~
Eagles guitarist Glenn Frey died on Jan. 18 at the age of 67. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee battled recurring intestinal issues in the weeks prior to his death. The Eagles published a statement on their website mourning the loss of Frey and thanking those who wished him well.
“Words can neither describe our sorrow, nor our love and respect for all that he has given to us, his family, the music community & millions of fans worldwide,” the statement said. Frey began his career as a musician performing with bands in his hometown of Detroit. He eventually left the Motor City for Los Angeles in the 1960’s and lived with singer-songwriter J.D. Souther right next door to Jackson Browne. Frey and Souther co-wrote a number of projects for Browne until forming a short-lived duo of their own, Longbranch Pennywhistle. It was not until 1971 that Frey would perform alongside Linda Ronstadt, touring the country with drummer Don Henley, bassist Randy Meisner and guitarist Bernie Leadon. The crew that served as Ronstadt’s backing band stuck together after the tour’s conclusion. From that moment onward, they became known as the Eagles.
“(Frey) had an encyclopedic knowledge of popular music and a work ethic that wouldn’t quit,” Henley said in a recent interview with Rolling Stone magazine. “I’m not sure if 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.”
The 1970’s yielded some of the greatest hits for the Eagles, producing number one singles such as “Best Of My Love,” “New Kid in Town” and “Hotel California” according to Billboard Hot 100. The latter two songs were a part of the band’s fifth studio album by the same name, “Hotel California.” It is one of the greatest selling albums of all time, ranked 37 on “The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time” by Rolling Stone. “Hotel California” (album) sold more than 32 million copies worldwide.
“Sometimes I wonder if the other guys in the band know how much I like them,” Frey said during an interview with Rolling Stone in 1975. “How much of a foundation they are … I get so caught up in all this — the pressures of being Glenn Frey of the Eagles, the guy
who talks a lot — that if Randy or Bernie needed some confidence building, I might be too self-involved to realize it. I worry about that. But even though there’s a keg of dynamite that’s always sitting there, this band is fairly together. I just figure we can’t lose.”
Despite tensions and a breakup following the release of their 1979 album “The Long Run,” Frey would go on to experience a successful solo career after recording Top 40 tracks such as “The Heat Is On,” “Soul Searchin’” and “Livin’ Right.” The band would reunite in 1994 to produce a second live album titled “Hell Freezes Over.” The name was coined from a quote by Henley in 1980 following the band’s breakup, who said that they would perform again “when Hell freezes over.” The Eagles were nominated and inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998, shortly before complications with Frey’s health would stir erratic pauses in their touring.
Today, a memorial is being planned for Frey, hand-in-hand with the many artists the music community has lost in the month of January. Frey is survived by his three children Taylor, Deacon and Otis and his wife of 25 years, Cindy Millican Frey