Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Nurse the Hate: RIP Glenn Frey

I was horribly shaken by the death of Glenn Frey, and by “horribly shaken” I mean almost completely unaffected.  There aren’t too many celebrity deaths that merit more than an “Oh?  He died?” as I have already painstakingly noted earlier when I was equally unaffected by the death of Lemmy, David Bowie, BB King, etc.  I did not know Glenn Frey.  I do not know anyone that was particularly close with Glenn Frey.  I refuse to become upset about someone that is at the very least three full degrees of separation from me.  Example:  “Wow, this Glenn Frey thing really threw me for a loop.  I know how upset Nancy is who is Glenn’s sister-in-law’s dental hygienist.  I better give her a call…  I’m devastated as she is devastated by how devastated Glenn Frey’s sister-in-law is right now…  The whole thing is devastating.”.

I do have a theory.  There are two potential reasons to be upset if you are not in the immediate family circle.  If the loss that is felt is primarily over future music that you feel was robbed from you and the world, I challenge you to produce a copy of Glenn Frey’s 2012 “After Hours” record (which I only know exists because I looked it up).  Let’s not lose our minds here.  That isn’t really it.  Isn’t the only real reason anyone is upset is that it signals their own mortality?  They listened to the Eagles in their dorm room and considered the band contemporaries.  The death of Glenn Frey means that you could die too.  Anytime.  Just like he did.  Yikes.

I’m pretty callous.  I’m aware.  If this piece went viral, I’d have all kinds of Eagles fan clubs on my ass.  Oh, I would be justifiably vilified.  I feel I can be very cavalier about the Glenn Frey thing as I worked at a couple of classic rock stations from 1993-2004.  I heard “Life In The Fast Lane” every day for over a decade.  If I ever hear “New Kid In Town” again it will be too soon.  I stood around the “WNCX Prize Wheel” while rubes tried to win worthless prizes as “Tequila Sunrise” played on the speakers 687 times.  I’ve had more than my share of The Eagles and Glenn Frey.  To me he is nothing more than a consumer product I have been force fed since 1973.  Glenn Frey’s music=Diet Coke=Chrysler LeBaron=Snickers.  He’s just “a thing” to me.  I’m sure his loved ones and associates are upset.  I feel badly about that.  Well, conceptually I feel badly about that.  I’d feel worse if I knew you personally.  It’s just that I have only had two marginal encounters with The Eagles beyond hearing “Hotel California” 73,509 times.

I worked with a guy that was in a band that opened for the Eagles on their second victory lap tour in the 90s, which I believe they called the “We Are Charging As Much As We Think We Can Get Away With” Tour.  The gig was in an enormous college football stadium.  The Eagles had taken over the home AND visitors locker rooms for dressing rooms as the five guys in The Eagles would obviously require a facility built to comfortably house 200 college football players in full equipment.  This placed the opening band in the referee locker room, which was snug but adequate.  Prior to their soundcheck the opener had a meeting with the Eagles tour manager.  “Don’t leave this immediate area unless someone from the tour is escorting you.  You are not to go anywhere until we guide you to the stage.  Also, in the off chance that Mr. Henley or Mr. Frey walks into this area on their way elsewhere, DO NOT MAKE EYE CONTACT with either Mr. Henley or Mr. Frey.”  My friend laughed as he assumed it was a joke.   The tour manager frowned at him.  It was not a joke.  Uh-oh.

Mere mortals were not allowed to gaze upon these rock Gods with their naked eyes, even if they opened for them.  Now, I don’t know if this was management creating this policy because they were so sick of those guys bitching about anything/everything to them, or if it was an “artist request”.  I like to think it was yelled through a slammed door at the beleaguered tour manager by either Henley or Frey, but I’m taking some artistic license there.  Maybe it was because of the mountain of cocaine those guys did in the glory days made them edgy.  Who knows…  Such are the ways of corporate rock.  

My only other contact with The Eagles was when I was at Kent State.  Joe Walsh is a Kent State grad.  Well, I don’t think he graduated.  I think he lived in the dorms for a spell while he played gigs at JB’s with The James Gang.  Regardless of his lack of academic achievement, that loose association with the university was enough for the school to ask him if he wanted to be grand marshal in the homecoming parade.  Amazingly, Joe Walsh agreed and actually showed up.  I was a little helper guy.  I cannot ever recall seeing someone that fucked up at 930am before or since.  I had to take him by the arm to guide him to the car.  I will say that Joe was quite pleasant, but more in the manner of a really good dog as opposed to a human being because I don’t think he was capable of speech that morning.  Had I known that “don’t gaze upon us with your naked eyes” policy of The Eagles, I would have asked if he was allowed to look at those guys.  Maybe he could have nodded “yes” or “no”.  

As you can see, my Eagles association is limited at best.  I will carry on as best I can.  The Glenn Frey passing is more evidence that none of us will live forever.  Damn.  I will tell you this though.  If there is an afterlife and I run into Glenn Frey lingering around the pearly gates, I’m looking him dead in the eye.


At January 22, 2016 at 10:19:00 PM EST , Blogger kyle maukjkma said...

I kind of thought that Mr. Frey and Mr. Henley were the same person. Hell I thought the whole group was portrayed by one dude. It was all just camera tricks like those Eddie Murphy movies where he plays a dozen different roles,well you learn something new every day. Farewell Glenn And "The Greeks Don't Want No Freaks.

At January 29, 2016 at 11:33:00 AM EST , Blogger Not the Kook said...

Paul Kantner died yesterday. RIP Paul. "Stairway to Cleveland" best song ever!


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