I know it’s stupid! Totally irrational. I don’t usually react to news like this… like this! I didn’t know the man; never even met him, but the news of his death has left me feeling numb, yet absolutely grief stricken.
Not in an obsessed, starry eyed, “I love you Glenn” sort of way, but to me, his death (more than the others) reinforces a disturbing trend… the heroes of my youth are dying and with them goes a little piece of me.
The Eagles came together in 1971. At that time, I was an idealistic, impressionable, angry 17 year old “hippie.” The “Summer of Love” had long since ended and the world was fast becoming a truly fucked up place. JFK, Bobby, and Martin and been murdered and with them went all of our hope and optimism. Integration may have been the law, but inequality and hatred of Blacks was still the general feeling across the country. The Attica Prison riot resulted in the deaths of 10 hostages and 29 inmates. Jim Morrison was found dead in a bath tub in Paris and Duane Allman was killed in a motorcycle accident in Macon, Georgia. (We had lost Janis the year before, tragic!) The Vietnam war was still raging on and in Washington DC, 15,000 soldiers and police arrested more than 7,000 people protesting the war. … Richard Nixon was President. “Nuff said.”
When The Eagles dropped their first album (Eagles) in 1972, I was 18 and living on my own in a small one bedroom apartment, on the wrong side of town. Disagreements about who I could and could not date and unreasonable curfews made it clear that I needed “to split.” This album gave us songs like “Take it Easy,” “Witchy Woman” and “Peaceful Easy Feeling.” What was not to like? The sound was fresh, the lyrics were timeless and the harmonies… perfection.
This was the best time of life! I had come into my own and was now “allowed” to hang with my two older brothers! This was momentous! (Before now, I was thought to be the “bratty little sister” and was prohibited from coming within a certain number of feet from either of them.) Things were now much more “laid back” between us… we hung out, shared music, had a drink together (the drinking age had been temporarily dropped to 18 in 1971!) and every once in a while we’d “burn one.”
The Eagles music had a huge impact on my generation from the early 1970’s until 1980, when the band imploded. By the time they got back together in 1993, my brothers had moved on both literally and musically; but when the Hell Freezes Over album was released, I fell right back in love with them and their music.
I am grateful that I have had the privilege of seeing The Eagles in concert at least 5 if not 6 times. The most recent was in 2014 when Nick and I travelled up to Birmingham to see them and they did not disappoint.
I get it now… I see that this numbness and grief is simply a byproduct of me subconsciously struggling with my own mortality. …but the fact remains, Glenn Frey is dead and with him goes a small part of me and my youth.
Take it easy Glenn… take it easy.