Like many, I wasn’t too surprised to hear of another celebrity death last week; however, I was shocked at who it was – Glenn Frey, founding member of The Eagles.
As a fan of classic music, whether it be rock, country, etc., the past month has been hard to wrap my head around. We’ve lost Lemmy Kilmister of Motorhead, David Bowie, Otis Clay, Dale Griffin, Red Simpson, and unfortunately, the list goes on and on.
It doesn’t stop with music, either. We’ve lost other entertainment greats, such as Alan Rickman and Riley Martin, who died without “getting paid” by Howard Stern (some of you will get that).
Although those deaths impacted me in different ways, Frey’s passing hit me like a ton of bricks.
From a very young age, I’ve been a huge fan of The Eagles, and as a musician, I’ve been influenced greatly by their music.
Though I had heard their music growing up, the first time I became aware of them was around 2004 or 2005, when the “Farewell 1: Live From Melbourne” concert special aired on NBC. I was blown away by how good that band was.
After that, my dream was to see them live.
About a year after the release of “Long Road Out Of Eden,” which is second only to “Hotel California” in my eyes, that dream came true.
I was sitting in the sixth row, right between Frey and Joe Walsh. After the first couple of songs, Frey stepped-up to the mic to welcome everyone. What happened next is something I’ll cherish forever.
He asked the audience if anyone had a copy of “Long Road Out Of Eden,” to which there was a medium applause. At that moment, I realized I had a chance to be “that guy” that everyone hates at a concert, so I took it.
After he asked the question, and the seated crowd got quiet again, I stood up, threw my arms in the air and gave a big “WHOO,” in response to the new album. Frey turned, pointed right at me and said, “Okay, YOU’RE going to have a good time tonight.” He was right.
The band was on fire during that show, and the other time I saw them in 2010.
As a fan, you want your favorite bands to go out on top. You want the last record to be great, which it was. You want the last tour to be great, which it was, although I didn’t see it myself. So, why am I saddened by his death?
It’s knowing there will never be another album or another show. It’s knowing I’ll never get to shake his hand and thank him for helping change my life.
Some of you might wonder why I’m talking as if The Eagles are done. That’s because they are. The magic of that band was the combination of Don Henley and Glenn Frey. That magic got the band through several lineups, musical changes, a breakup and a reunion.
That magic is gone. It can’t be replaced, nor should anyone try to replace it.
I wrote a piece last year in which I asked what we would do when our favorite artists were gone forever. Glenn left us the answer in the last song on the last album The Eagles ever released.
“The curtain falls. I take my bow. That’s how it’s meant to be. It’s your world now.