The co-founding member of The Eagles passes away in New York City!
Glenn Frey, a founding member and guitarist for The Eagles passed away at the age of 67, as confirmed by the band’s website a few hours ago.
“Glenn fought a courageous battle for the past several weeks but, sadly, succumbed to complications from Rheumatoid Arthritis, Acute Ulcerative Colitis and Pneumonia,” read the statement. “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.”
Frey had reportedly been battling intestinal issues that caused the band to postpone its Kennedy Center Honors. A statement from the band at the time said the recurring problem would require “major surgery and a lengthy recovery period.”
Fellow founder, Eagles drummer and vocalist Don Henley with whom Frey shared a love-hate relationship for decades, issued a statement a short time ago.
“He was like a brother to me; we were family, and like most families, there was some dysfunction. But, the bond we forged 45 years ago was never broken, even during the 14 years that the Eagles were dissolved. We were two young men who made the pilgrimage to Los Angeles with the same dream: to make our mark in the music industry – and with perseverance, a deep love of music, our alliance with other great musicians and our manager, Irving Azoff, we built something that has lasted longer than anyone could have dreamed. But, Glenn was the one who started it all. He was the spark plug, the man with the plan. He had an encyclopedic knowledge of popular music and a work ethic that wouldn’t quit. He was funny, bullheaded, mercurial, generous, deeply talented and driven. He loved is wife and kids more than anything. We are all in a state of shock, disbelief and profound sorrow. We brought our two-year ‘History of the Eagles Tour’ to a triumphant close at the end of July and now he is gone. I’m not sure 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. It will be very strange going forward in a world without him in it. But, I will be grateful, every day, that he was in my life. Rest in peace, my brother. You did what you set out to do, and then some.”
Frey was born on November 6, 1948 in Detroit, Michigan and was raised in nearby Royal Oak. He played in a succession of local bands in the city and first connected with Bob Seger when Frey’s band, The Mushrooms, convinced Seger to write a song for them. Frey can also be heard singing backing vocals on Seger’s first hit and Frey’s first recorded appearance, 1968’s “Ramblin’ Gamblin’ Man.”
Frey soon followed then-girlfriend Joan Silwin to Los Angeles. Her sister Alexandra was a member of Honey Ltd., a girl group associated with Nancy Sinatra producer Lee Hazelwood, and she introduced Frey to her friend John David Souther. better known as JD Souther. The two were soon living as roommates in East L.A. with another aspiring songwriter named Jackson Browne. All three quickly became deeply involved in the burgeoning L.A. country-rock scene centered around the Troubadour nightclub. Frey and Souther would pay their dues as an unsuccessful duo, Longbranch Pennywhistle. The pair released a self-titled album on the short-lived indie Amos Records in 1969, but soon split up.
In 1971, fellow future country-rock superstar Linda Ronstadt was seeking a backing band and, on the advice of Souther, her boyfriend, hired Frey along with his friend, drummer Don Henley. On the night of their first show with Ronstadt, the ambitious and driven pair decided to form their own band and later recruited ex-Poco bassist Randy Meisner and former Burritos guitarist Bernie Leadon. What happened next? Well, The Eagles became one of the first artists signed to David Geffen’s then-new label, Asylum. The group was an instant success, riding on the back of its first single, “Take It Easy” a song written almost entirely by Jackson Browne, with some lyrics added by Frey including “it’s a girl my Lord in a flat bed Ford slowing down to take a look at me.”
Via a long string of mid ’70s hits like “Peaceful Easy Feeling,” “Desperado,” “Tequila Sunrise,” “Best of My Love” (No. 1 March 1975) “Witchy Woman” the funkier “One of These Nights” (No. 1 August 1975) and the harder-edged “Already Gone” it was The Eagles who became Geffen’s calling card band, and a dominant chart-busting band at that. Guitarist Don Felder filled out the band’s sound in 1974, and after Leadon left the following year, guitarist Joe Walsh joined, serving to beef up the band’s sound and lofting them to even greater heights with the 1976 “Hotel California” album, which spawned No. 1 singles with the title track and Frey’s “New Kid in Town.”
The band was at each other’s throats, and it took three years before “The Long Run” album which featured the No.1 hit “Heartache Tonight.”
And then The Eagles split up.
Frey embarked on a successful solo career, enjoying a series of ’80s hits, the biggest of which were tied to soundtracks like Beverly Hills Cop (“The Heat Is On”) and Miami Vice (“You Belong to the City”). He was even a semi-regular character on the show, portraying a guitar-playing smuggler named Jimmy Cole.
There’s a whole new chapter that was being written, and it all started with the reunion of the band, called Hell Freezes Over. The 1994 reunion was recorded in April of that year for the MTV special that featured their reunion. The album contained four new studio tracks and eleven tracks recorded live for the special. The album went to No. 1 on the Billboard album chart upon its release where it stayed for two weeks. It is the band’s second live album behind their 1980 live album. The Eagles had re-formed after a fourteen-year-long break up. The album proved to be as successful as the tour, selling over six million copies and releasing two Top 40 singles in “Get Over It” and “Love Will Keep Us Alive”. The band’s lineup consisted of The Long Run 1980 era: Henley, Frey, Walsh, Felder and Timothy B. Schmit.
Ironically, they’ve been on tour ever since.
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