January 18, 2016

Eagle Glenn Fry has fallen.

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Glenn Frey Glenn Frey

Still stunned by the death of icon David Bowie, today we got the news of the passing of another star Glenn Fry. After suffering and battling through several health issues, the leader of The Eagles lost his life.

Eagle drummer Don Henley was the first to admit that Glenn was the real leader of The Eagles. In a statement released through Glenn Fry’s website Don said in part the following: “He was like a brother to me. The bond we forged a bond 45 years ago was never broken. We built something that lasted longer than anyone could have dreamed. Glenn was the one who started it all. He was the spark plug, the man with the plan.”

Henley and Fry were part of the so called “LA Sound” that was born in the sixties and exploded in the 70’s. Like so many of those who were part of the L A scene, Glenn was not a native. He was born in Detroit and his first recording effort came with his fellow Detroit star Bob Seger when he played bass and did backup vocals on the 1968 hit “Ramblin’ Gamblin’ Man”.

Not long after that hit, Glenn followed his then girlfriend to California. He was soon introduced to John David Souther. Soon Glenn was living not only with J D, but Jackson Browne.

J D and Glenn formed a group together called Longbranch Pennywhistle. While they were given a record contract and recorded one album, Glenn was not happy with the direction of the band that was being dictated to by the head of the record company. As a result it was one and done for the group.

While I was not fortunate enough to have talked to Glenn, I did spend an evening with J D who had many good things to say about his old roommate. Back then he was the boyfriend of Linda Ronstadt and it was she who introduced Glenn to J D. Soon after when Linda was looking for a backup band she called on Frey and a drummer named Don Henley. Little did anyone realize that teaming along with Randy Meisner and Bernie Leadon as her backup band would lead to one of the most popular groups in music history.

Success for The Eagles was not a lock. David Geffen, their manager, was unable to convince a record company to release their first record so he started his own label called Asylum Records. Among the first to also be signed was Jackson Browne. How fitting that the first big Eagles hit was “Take it Easy” a song that was mainly written by Jackson Browne with his roommate Glenn Fry adding a few words.


Photo Credit: Glenn Frey by Steve Alexander licensed under CC BY 2.0.


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