Monday, January 18, 2016

Passings: Glenn Frey of the Eagles (1948 - 2016)

Glenn Frey, one of the founding members of the Eagles, died on Monday from rheumatoid arthritis, acute ulcerative colitis and pneumonia (Update: New reports say that Frey died from complications after stomach surgery). He was 67.

The news broke on the Eagles webpage on Monday afternoon:

It is with the heaviest of hearts that we announce the passing of our comrade, Eagles founder, Glenn Frey, in New York City on Monday, January 18th, 2016.

Glenn fought a courageous battle for the past several weeks but, sadly, succumbed to complications from Rheumatoid Arthritis, Acute Ulcerative Colitis and Pneumonia.

The Frey family would like to thank everyone who joined Glenn to fight this fight and hoped and prayed for his recovery.

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.

Cindy Frey | Taylor Frey | Deacon Frey | Otis Frey
Don Henley | Joe Walsh | Timothy B. Schmit | Bernie Leadon | Irving Azoff

“It’s Your World Now”

Written by Glenn Frey and Jack Tempchin

From the Eagles’ Long Road Out of Eden album

A perfect day, the sun is sinkin’ low
As evening falls, the gentle breezes blow
The time we shared went by so fast
Just like a dream, we knew it couldn’t last
But I’d do it all again
If I could, somehow
But I must be leavin’ soon
It’s your world now

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

Even when we are apart
You’ll always be in my heart
When dark clouds appear in the sky
Remember true love never dies

But first a kiss, one glass of wine
Just one more dance while there’s still time
My one last wish: someday, you’ll see
How hard I tried and how much you meant to me

It’s your world now
Use well your time
Be part of something good
Leave something good behind
The curtain falls
I take my bow
That’s how it’s meant to be
It’s your world now
It’s your world now
It’s your world now
Group member Don Henley issued his own statement:
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.
Born in Detroit, MI, he became active in the city's rock scene as a teenager playing in groups such as The Four of Us, the Mushrooms and the Heavy Metal Kids. While with the Mushrooms, he met and worked with Bob Seger and Frey's first professional recording was playing acoustic guitar and singing background vocals on his 1968 hit Ramblin' Gamblin' Man.

In the late-60's, Glenn moved to Californian where he was introduced to J.D. Souther and the two formed the group Longbranch Pennywhistle, recording one album. It was during this same time that Frey met drummer Don Henley and the two, along with Randy Meisner and Bernie Leadon, backed up Linda Ronstadt for a single show. Henley and Frey stayed in touch with Ronstadt and continued in her band for her 1971 tour.

At the end of the tour, the four who had originally backed Ronstadt formed the Eagles and their first, self-titled, album established them as a major force in rock with the hits Take It Easy (1972 / #12), Witchy Woman (1972 / #9) and Peaceful Easy Feeling (1972 / #2).

Although they only recorded six studio albums during their first go around, they established themselves as one of the great artists of the rock era, but internal strife was ripping them apart. It all came to a head on July 31, 1980 at a benefit concert where Frey and Don Felder were at such odds that they spent much of the show expressing the beating they were going to give each other when they were done performing. Frey ended up quitting the group and, once they delivered their contractual obligation Live album to Elektra, the Eagles were done.

Frey went on to a successful solo career in the 80's, scoring with The Heat is On (1984 / #2), You Belong to the City (1985 / #2), Smuggler's Blues (1985 / #12) and many more. He also branched out into acting with roles on Miami Vice, Wiseguy, Nash Bridges and other shows along with films like Jerry Maguire.

In 1994, Frey, Henley, Joe Walsh, Felder and Timothy B. Schmit reformed the Eagles, touring and producing the album Hell Freezes Over. They continued to play together periodically over the next few years and released both compilations and live albums but they would finally get back to the studio for a full new set in 2007 for the album Long Road Out of Eden. The album went to number 1 showing that the fans were still with the group both in rock and country, where the album also had a long chart run.

In 2013, Frey participated in the documentary The History of the Eagles along with the long world tour of the same name. His last solo album was 2012's After Hours.