Monday, January 18, 2016

R.I.P. Glenn Frey

Glenn Frey performing at the Forum in Los Angeles in 2014.
Photo credit: Kelly A. Swift
January 2016 is proving to be a difficult one for music fans. While the world continues to mourn the death of David Bowie last week, we are now just as suddenly and sadly impacted with the tragic news that Eagles guitarist-singer Glenn Frey has died. He was only 67.

Frey was an original and founding member of the band, and co-wrote beloved hits including "Take It Easy" and "Hotel California."

"Glenn fought a courageous battle for the past several weeks but, sadly, succumbed to complications from Rheumatoid Arthritis, Acute Ulcerative Colitis and Pneumonia," according to a statement on the band's official Web site.

"Glenn was the one who started it all," wrote Eagles bandmate Don Henley. The two met in 1970 and went on to form one of rock's most popular and enduring groups. "He was the spark plug, the man with the plan. He had an encyclopedic knowledge of popular music and a work ethic that wouldn't quit. He was funny, bullheaded, mercurial, generous, deeply talented and driven."

I first caught the musical troupe in concert in 1994 during the band's highly-anticipated "Hell Freezes Over" reunion tour that included a stop in Irvine, CA, and then caught the Eagles again when they performed at the Stagecoach Festival in Indio, CA in May 2008. I will continue to update this post as more news and reaction comes in from the musical community:

Ringo Starr (via his Twitter feed): "God bless Glenn Frey peace and love to all his family and friends"  

 – Travis Tritt has released a statement regarding the passing of his longtime friend, founding member and guitarist of the Eagles, Glenn Frey.
Tritt commented, "Glenn Frey and the music he created alone and with The Eagles have been such an inspiration to me. We first met at the video shoot for my version of ‘Take It Easy’ in 1993. He always went out of his way to acknowledge and encourage me ever since. I'm a better person, better musician and a better songwriter having met him. I still can't believe he is gone!"
Tritt’s 1993 release of Eagles’ “Take It Easy” led to a reunion of the famously acrimonious band as they came together to appear in the music video.  The meeting led to reconciliation and the band put aside their differences, eventually reuniting for their 1994 Hell Freezes Over tour.

The Recording Academy® re: Glenn Frey
Jan. 18, 2016

As a founding member of the Eagles, Glenn Frey was an integral part of one of the most storied bands in pop history. His songwriting, especially with bandmate Don Henley, resulted in some of the biggest hits and standards of the ’70s, including songs like "Desperado," "One Of These Nights," "Lyin’ Eyes," and "Hotel California." The latter two earned the Eagles two of their six GRAMMY Awards. Desperado and the milestone album Hotel California, along with its title track, have been inducted into the GRAMMY Hall OF Fame. The band’s Their Greatest Hits: 1971-1975 remains one of the best-selling albums of all time, a testament to the enduring music that Glenn played a significant role in creating. Glenn’s untimely passing is a huge loss for the music community, and we offer our condolences to his family, friends, colleagues, and fans.

Neil Portnow
The Recording Academy

Robert Kinsler

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