Life in the Fast Lane: 10 Wild Memories of Glenn Frey and The Eagles

RealClear Staff


The Eagles' frontman, who has died at 67, had a wild ride through the music industry, Hollywood and that certain 1970s Los Angeles lifestyle.

1. He Started the Eagles in 1971

Glenn Frey was a guitarist, singer and songwriter. The Eagles, founded in Los Angeles in 1971 by Frey and the drummer and singer Don Henley, lived furiously in the musical spotlight for nearly a decade, pumping out hits that defined a post-Beach Boys California pop.

2. No Band Sold More Records in the 1970s

They had four consecutive No. 1 albums, five No. 1 singles and its “Greatest Hits 1971-1975” album alone sold more than 26 million copies.

3. 'Hotel California' Was Their Signature Song

From the 1977 album of the same name, the song famously said, "You can check out anytime you like/But you can never leave." Other hits included “Lyin’ Eyes,” “Heartache Tonight,” “Take It Easy,” “Peaceful Easy Feeling” and "Life in the Fast Lane." All featured Frey’s lead vocals.


4. The Beatles Changed His Life

Born in Detroit on Nov. 6, 1948, he took piano lessons from the age of 5 — “that alone could get you beat up after school in suburban Detroit,” he said — but switched to guitar after seeing the Beatles perform live in downtown Detroit and having the girls in the audience go wild.

5. He Played on an Early Recording of a Bob Segar Song

The "Night Moves" singer also grew up in Detroit. "I just want the world to know he was a truly great artist and a truly great guy," Seger said. "He was a joy to be around. He had a fantastic sense of humor. He was whip smart, just brilliant, even at 18 years old when I met him." Seger last saw Frey when the Eagles played Joe Louis Arena in July.

6. Credit for The Eagles? Linda Ronstadt

After moving to Los Angeles from Detroit, Frey met Don Henley, and the two of them toured with Linda Ronstadt’s band. Frey, Henley and two other members of Ronstadt’s band, bassist Randy Meisner and Bernie Leadon, who played guitar and other stringed instruments, were the first incarnation of the Eagles. Other members included guitarists Don Felder and Joe Walsh and bassist Timothy B. Schmit.

7. Frey Went Solo in 1980

The Eagles broke up in 1980, and Frey went onto a solo career that included the hit "The Heat Is On," the signature song of Eddie Murphy's "Beverly Hills Cop" movies.

8. Dude, He Was on 'Miami Vice'!

In addition to solo work in his post-Eagles career, Glenn Frey also acted. Beginning with a seven-episode run on "Miami Vice," he also appeared in "Nash Bridges" and a bunch of other shows.

9. The Eagles Got Back Together in 1994

After 14 years apart, The Eagles released a new album titled "Hell Freezes Over." Frey said, "When the Eagles broke up, people used to ask me and Don (Henley), 'When are the Eagles getting back together?' We used to answer, 'When Hell freezes over.' We thought it was a pretty good joke."

10. The Eagles Made the Rock 'N' Roll Hall of Fame

The Eagles were inducted in 1998 along with Santana, Fleetwood Mac, Gene Vincent, The Mamas and the Papas and Lloyd Price.



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