Today I’m saddened by the passing of musician Glenn Frey, founding member of the Eagles.
Frey, 67, died Monday of complications from rheumatoid arthritis, acute ulcerative colitis, and pneumonia.
I first heard Frey at age 18 when the country-rock strains of Take It Easy hit the airwaves in the summer of 1972. I ran out and bought Eagles, the band’s debut album, and played it incessantly. Seattle radio stations did too, especially Peaceful, Easy Feeling, another song with Frey on lead vocal.
The following spring Eagles released Desperado, which spawned another Frey hit, Tequila Sunrise.
I finally saw Eagles in person for the first time at Seattle’s Paramount Theater in March 1974, where they performed an outrageously skillful show to promote their new On the Border album, highlighted by Frey leading the band through Already Gone.
Over the years my wife and I saw the Eagles another seven or eight times, including at Seattle Center Coliseum in 1975; the Kingdome in 1976, where Linda Ronstadt opened for them; The Gorge in 2002; White River Amphitheater in 2003, where our daughter Kristin joined us for her first Eagles concert; and 2010 at KeyArena.
Excited at the news of founding member Bernie Leadon rejoining the band for the History of the Eagles Tour, we even flew to Los Angeles in January 2014 to see the band open the remodeled Fabulous Forum.
And when that tour circled all the way back for another Northwest concert, at the Tacoma Dome in August 2014, Kristin and I were there.
Glenn Frey always highlighted those shows, singing lead on Eagles classics like James Dean, Lyin’ Eyes, New Kid In Town, Heartache Tonight, and How Long.
Frey wrote the closing song It’s Your World Now on the group’s 2007 final studio album, Long Road Out of Eden. Despite its joyful melody, the lyrics proved to be Frey’s sad farewell message to the rest of us:
I must be leaving soon
It’s your world now
My race is run
I’m moving on
Like the setting sun
No sad goodbyes
No tears allowed
You’ll be alright
It’s your world now
Thank you for the music, Glenn, and for writing much of the soundtrack of my life.