glenn frey

While also a con­fi­dent elec­tric soloist, this month Stu­art Ryan shows how Frey’s fine acous­tic strum­ming pow­ered so many great Ea­gles songs.

Guitar Techniques - - LEARNING ZONE -

The death of Glenn Frey on Jan­uary 18 2016 robbed the world of one its great­est coun­try-rock song­writ­ing pi­o­neers. Frey’s work as a song­writer with both The Ea­gles and as a solo artist set him apart from his peers, and hits like Lyin’ Eyes, Take It Easy and New Kid In Town will be for­ever re­mem­bered. His writ­ing part­ner­ship with fel­low Ea­gle Don Hen­ley yielded some of the most mem­o­rable coun­try rock tracks of all time, a fact bol­stered by the mind bog­gling al­bum sales.

Frey was born in Detroit, Michi­gan on Novem­ber 6, 1948 and his early mu­si­cal ex­pe­ri­ences came from play­ing pi­ano from the age of five. As he grew older he was at­tracted to the Detroit rock scene and the guitar beck­oned. He formed his first band, The Mush­rooms, in 1967. In the same year he got his first break when he met singer­song­writer Bob Seger who se­cured Frey his first man­age­ment and record­ing con­tract. At just 19 years old Frey recorded acous­tic guitar for Seger’s track Ram­blin’ Gam­blin’ Man, and his own al­bum the fol­low­ing year as the duo Long­branch Pen­ny­whis­tle along­side JD Souther. In­evitably, Los An­ge­les beck­oned and in 1969 he made the move, quickly form­ing an as­so­ci­a­tion with a young Jackson Browne – a co-writ­ing part­ner­ship that would pro­duce the early Ea­gles smash hit Take It Easy.

The fol­low­ing year, Frey met drum­mer Don Hen­ley and the two of them formed Linda Ron­stadt’s tour­ing band, which also in­cluded Randy Meis­ner and Bernie Leadon - thus The Ea­gles was born. The his­tory and the hits of the band are well doc­u­mented but what is par­tic­u­larly in­ter­est­ing is that Frey, a very ca­pa­ble lead gui­tarist, chose to let Don Felder and Joe Walsh take the bulk of the guitar spot­light while he took on acous­tic rhythm guitar du­ties. It’s Frey’s solid strum­ming style that pro­vides the back­bone for many of the band’s best-loved tracks and his easy-go­ing rhythm style is a les­son in both tight but re­laxed strum­ming and em­bel­lished chord voic­ings. The pow­er­ful rhythms of Take It Easy are also a great ex­am­ple of how a sim­ple strummed acous­tic guitar part can drive a track along from the out­set.

Frey’s ca­reer con­tin­ued af­ter the split of The Ea­gles in 1980, when he pro­duced hits like The Heat Is On from Bev­erly Hills Cop. But the leg­endary Hell Freezes Over reunion Frey passed away af­ter com­pli­ca­tions fol­low­ing surgery for rheuma­toid arthri­tis, acute ul­cer­a­tive col­i­tis and pneu­mo­nia.

frey’s song­writ­ing part­ner­ship with don hen­ley yielded some of the most mem­o­rable songs of all time

NEXT MONTH Stu­art looks at the dele­cate and beau­ti­ful acous­tic style of Queen’s Brian May

Glenn Frey: one of the first and long­est serv­ing Takamine users

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.