On September 6, 1964 a teenage Glenn Lewis Frey attended not one, but two Beatles concerts at the Detroit Olympia. A hysterical female fan fell into Glenn’s arms while screaming out to Paul. It was after that moment he decided he wouldn’t play piano anymore, the guitar was now his musical instrument of choice. It’s been that way ever since until his death on January 18, 2016.
After the life-altering Beatles concert event, Frey would play the up-and-coming burgeoning Detroit rock music scene with fellow Michigander, Bob Seger, who was making a name for himself in the Motor City. Throughout much of the mid-to-late 1960s were spent with Frey forming bands, even Seger wrote their first single “Such A Lovely Child” and “Burned.” After Seger was signed to Capitol Records that’s when Glenn Frey would move to Los Angeles where the real music action was taking place.
He met up with Detroit native J.D. Souther in L.A. though their band’s first album went nowhere. In 1971 at the famous Troubador Club Frey met a singer by the name of Linda Ronstadt. She was in need of a touring band and invited Frey to play guitar. He then recruited a drummer whose band was breaking up by the name of Don Henley, along with bassist Randy Meisner and guitarist Bernie Leadon (Don Felder – guitar, Joe Walsh – guitar, and Timothy B. Schmit – bass would later join the Eagles and replace Meisner and Leadon). All these musicians would later become known as the Eagles.
In 1972 the Eagles debut their self-titled album and released three hit singles, with two featuring Glenn on vocals “Take It Easy” and “Peaceful Easy Feeling.” Their very first hit record “Take It Easy” was written by Jackson Browne and Frey. The Eagles defining sound of rock and country made them one of the most successful acts of this rock sub-genre, along with others such as The Byrds, Rick Nelson and The Stone Canyon Band, and Poco. Besides their talents of being fine musicians, lead vocalists with blended harmonies, and the band’s songwriting team of Frey and Henley, their songs began reaching a wider audience even if the rock critics didn’t give them their due.
Glenn would sing lead, as well as co-write with Henley, on many more hits that included “Tequila Sunrise,” “Already Gone,” “James Dean” (in honor of the 1950s rebellious actor who died in a car crash), “Lyin’ Eyes,” and of course from their stellar “Hotel California” album the number one hit single track “New Kid in Town” and later “Heartache Tonight.” In 1980 all would come to an end with the Eagles when Henley stated it would be “when hell freezes over” if they ever get together for a reunion. The 1980s was a most productive decade musically for him as a solo artist. Prior to that Glenn Frey was a frontman musician in a band.
Starting in 1982 until 1988 his solo career would amass six Top 40 hits that included his most famous “The Heat is On” from the motion picture soundtrack “Beverly Hills Cop” starring Eddie Murphy and Nick Nolte. In 1994 after 14 years of bad blood the Eagles reunited with their album and tour after Henley’s fierce statement “Hell Freezes Over.” In 2015 the Eagles were selected as honorees representing classic rock for the Kennedy Center Honors. Sadly, the band could not participate due to Frey’s ill health. One of their hits written by Frey and Henley, “Desperado,” was performed by Miranda Lambert