Ea­gles co-founder Glenn Frey dies

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - OBITUARIES -

Glenn Frey, a rock ‘n’ roll rebel from Detroit who jour­neyed West, co-founded the Ea­gles and with Don Hen­ley be­came one of his­tory’s most suc­cess­ful song­writ­ing teams with such hits as “Ho­tel Cal­i­for­nia” and “Life in the Fast Lane,” has died.

Frey, 67, died of com­pli­ca­tions from rheuma­toid arthri­tis, acute ul­cer­a­tive col­i­tis and pneu­mo­nia, the band said on its web­site. He died Mon­day in New York. He had fought the ail­ments for the past sev­eral weeks, the band said.

“The Frey fam­ily would like to thank ev­ery­one who joined Glenn to fight this fight and hoped and prayed for his re­cov­ery,” a state­ment on the band’s web­site said.

“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.”

Frey’s health prob­lems, in­clud­ing di­ver­ti­c­uli­tis, dated to the 1980s. He would blame in part his years of “burg­ers and beer and blow and broads” and later be­came a fit­ness ad­vo­cate.

Gui­tarist Frey and drum­mer Hen­ley formed the Ea­gles in Los An­ge­les in the early 1970s, along with gui­tarist Bernie Leadon and bassist Randy Meisner. Their pop­u­lar­ity grew steadily, and they em­bod­ied for many lis­ten­ers the melodic Los An­ge­les sound de­spite hav­ing no na­tive Cal­i­for­ni­ans in the group. Crit­ics of­ten dis­missed them as slick and un­ad­ven­tur­ous, but their blend of mel­low bal­lads and ma­cho rock­ers, and of pop and folk and coun­try, gave them un­usu­ally broad ap­peal.

An Ea­gles great­est-hits col­lec­tion and “Ho­tel Cal­i­for­nia,” both re­leased in the 1970s, have sold more than 20 mil­lion copies each and are among the best­selling al­bums of mod­ern times. The band’s to­tal al­bum sales top 100 mil­lion copies.

The Ea­gles’ many hit sin­gles in­clude “The Best of My Love,” “Des­per­ado,” “One of Th­ese Nights” and “The Long Run.” The im­pul­sive Frey and the more cere­bral Hen­ley shared song­writ­ing and singing du­ties, with Frey’s drawl­ing tenor fea­tured on “Heartache Tonight,” “Al­ready Gone” and the group’s break­through hit, “Take it Easy.”

Hen­ley said cross­ing paths with 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.”

Their pop­u­lar­ity well out­lasted their breakup in 1980 and the 14-year hia­tus that fol­lowed. Their records re­mained con­sis­tent sellers, and they were a top tour­ing act over the last 20 years even though Frey and Hen­ley were the only re­main­ing orig­i­nal mem­bers. They were joined on stage by gui­tarist Joe Walsh, who re­placed Leadon in the mid1970s, and bassist Ti­mothy B. Sch­mit, who stepped in af­ter Meisner quit in 1977.

Gui­tarist Don Felder was added in 1974 but was fired in 2001 amid dis­putes over money.

The band was in­ducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1998 and was sup­posed to have been hon­oured at the Kennedy Cen­ter last month, but the ap­pear­ance was post­poned be­cause of Frey’s health.

Its six Gram­mys in­clude Record of the Year for “Ho­tel Cal­i­for­nia” and best coun­try per­for­mance by a vo­cal duo or group for “How Long,” from the 2007 al­bum “Long Road Out of Eden,” an­other No. 1 seller.


In this March 20, 2010, file photo, Glenn Frey of the Ea­gles per­forms at Muham­mad Ali’s Celebrity Fight Night XVI in Phoenix, Ari­zona. The Ea­gles said band founder Frey died Mon­day in New York af­ter bat­tling mul­ti­ple ail­ments. He was 67.

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