“Take it Easy.”
As a Rock DJ in the ‘70s, the Eagles’ music was part of my soundtrack.
And when the British invaded harder, and the best America could offer was disco, it was the Eagles that came up from the West to win the day.
Glenn Frey? Should have been bigger than he was as an individual performer. But he was a vertiable giant as one of the Eagles.
I saw the Eagles a few times live. The best show was 1976. Cotton Bowl. A hot July with the Rolling Stones and the Eagles. That was a show.
Later in the 80s, I was a critic and entertainment reporter on television in San Francisco, and the most important stories were not about the artists’ work.
That stuff lives forever.
The stories that made the beat the newsiest in the newsroom was when the music, the words, the images stopped.
It was when the artist died that became the urgent bulletin.
In less than two weeks, we’ve seen the passing of two creators;
Bowie, the individual.
Frey, the group guy.
Bowie was more rebel and provocateur.
Frey was more troubadour poet.
I remember driving across country with one tape: “Hotel California” on the car stereo.
But it was “Take it Easy” that made me see the road in a new light. Especially when we got to Winslow, Arizona.
There was no girl in a flat-bed Ford who stopped to take a look at me.
But that song is about hope, love as salvation, and taking a chance.
“We may lose, or we may win, though we may never be here again.
”So open up, I’m climbin’ in. Take it, easy.”
Between the Summer of Love and Disco, the heyday of British metal and the coming of the New Wave, the Eagles and Glenn Frey were a stabilizing force in American pop. As singer-songwriter, Frey provided the ‘70s anthems that marked the times for the boomer generation.