And yet another iconic musician passes on. Like many of my era, I first heard The Eagles when songs like Lyin’ Eyes, Take It Easy and Desperado filled the airwaves. Country was so out of fashion at the time yet this band, with its stunning vocal harmonies, effortless instrumental ability and the whole being even greater that the sum of its parts, shone through like diamonds in the sea of glam and pseudo-doo-wop that seemed to be all the rage.
Our band did at least five Eagles covers so I – and I bet many GT readers perusing this right now – got a lesson in arrangement, in playing ‘for the song’ (thank you Bernie Leadon), in guitar tones and, most certainly in my case, in how to create a stack of vocal harmonies.
As the band moved on through its various phases – the addition of Don Felder with his sublime touch and feel on the One Of These Nights album, and the wonderful Joe Walsh lending his funky-blues-rock style, slide guitar, quirky voice and obvious humour to the group – we followed the changes and were amazed at every turn. I’ve played Hotel California alongside at least five other guitarists, and there’s always been the: ‘Do you play the outro harmonies in chord-shaped arpeggios or along the neck?’ discussion.
Glenn Frey and Don Henley’s perfect voices, clever compositions and sublime song arrangements have never failed to please these ears. I also love and commend their unspoken ethic of ‘simple songs played superlatively’.
So I hope you will help GT bid farewell to Glenn by having a crack at the examples in Richard Barrett’s tribute to Frey and his fellow Eagles six-stringers. Do enjoy the feature, and the rest of the issue, and I’ll see you soon.