RIP: Glenn Frey

Man… They’re dropping like flies lately.

Glenn Frey at age 67.

I remember when, back in probably the early ’90s, The Eagles embarked on what was, arguably, the first of the Tours For $$ Reunions (“Hell Freezes Over”), charging the then-ungodly (and widely cursed) sum of $75 for tickets. Were they on the cusp of anticipating-the-internet (where touring compensates for the lost revenue of pirated album sales) or on the cusp-of-greed? Who knows.

Yes, “Hotel California” is the song they’re most known for. Despite being played 24/7 on some stations, that song truly is, if you imagine yourself hearing it for the first time, a great, great song, and surely the band’s high water mark.

But for my song pick, I’ve chosen the slightly less ubiquitous FM staple “Life in the Fast Line” from The Eagles’ album Hotel California (1976), co-written by many of The Eagles but likely spearheaded by Frey. Joe Walsh’s riff, so central to the song’s effectiveness, was in turn most likely tutored by Frey (pure speculation here), a lyrical vibe that would be echoed in Bob Seger’s “Hollywood Nights” (1981).

Of the song, Wikipedia notes:

It tells the story of a couple that takes their excessive lifestyle to the edge. On In the Studio with Redbeard, Glenn Frey revealed that the title came to him one day when he was riding on the freeway with a drug dealer known as “The Count”. Frey asked the dealer to slow down and the response was, “What do you mean? It’s life in the fast lane!” In that same interview, Frey indicated that the song’s central riff was played by Walsh while the band was warming up in rehearsals and Walsh was told to “keep that, it’s a song.”

He was a hard-headed man
He was brutally handsome, now

And she was terminally pretty…

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