With Passing Of Glenn Frey, Criticism Of Eagles Now Illegal?

"How else do you snort a boatload of coke?"
Turns out that, much like our national bird, the band of the same name seems to be under protective status with the passing of founding member Glenn Frey.

For all the times the music of the Eagles was forced upon us the past five decades, this writer is of the opinion that, when a member of the band dies, anyone who feels the urge is more than welcome to say, "Sorry for his passing, but his band was a pox upon humanity."

When you really stop and think about it, very few of us went out of our way to choose the Eagles because, well, the Eagles were already chosen for us.

Before any of us knew enough to start making our own programming decisions regarding the music we subjected ourselves to, the Eagles were already everywhere. Many of us are intimately familiar with every nook and cranny of all their greatest hits despite never having ever chosen to listen to the Eagles.

That's programming, ladies and gentlemen; brainwashing, pure and simple.

Bill Graham pardoning a turkey with Walsh, Frey and a bearded Irving Azoff?
Sure, Glenn Frey and Don Henley didn't set out to brainwash America, they merely benefited from it. For a sizable moment in time, their music was so all-encompassing that it threatened to block out the sun at one point. That's only a slight exaggeration, of course, but not by much.

You can't begrudge them their success, but when one considers the sheer number of bands whose music we never got to experience as a result of hearing "Hotel California" for the ten millionth time instead, it becomes evident that we are the ultimate losers.

"No, YOU ask the waitress for some more Coke.",
Truth be told, I have always found the band members themselves much more interesting than the sum of its parts. Musically, Frey's solo material was so bland as to be almost non-existent, like flavorless cotton candy. His biggest hit was a throwaway soundtrack tune written by Billy Idol's producer and was no doubt offered to him as a favor, or capitulation, to Azoff, who has always been there, pulling the strings.

By comparison, Henley's solo career was far more interesting as his lyrical prowess and embrace of synthesizers was innovative instead of merely bandwagon jumping. "Dirty Laundry" is three minutes of absolute jaded pop perfection.

Even so, it always felt a little like rich guys amusing themselves until the inevitable reunion came along, which, of course, happened even though Henley swore it never would. Or were they just playing us? They came back, which was fine for a time, but then they refused to leave as their high-priced farewell tour of 2005 fails to explain why the band was still touring (and charging even higher ticket prices) in 2015.

In doing so, the Eagles, quite frankly, confirmed their position as the band for the 1% instead of a band for the Everyman so excuse me if my enthusiasm for such a band isn't equal to yours.

Glenn Frey lived a life that most of dream about. He did more drugs and fucked more beautiful women than any ten of us will ever know. He also got to go anywhere he damn well pleases and get paid astronomical sums of money to play his own songs for people.

I just wasn't moved in any way by any of them, but his presence in my life, though forced, was not entirely unpleasant. Still, I'd have rather seen some other bands get a fraction of the attention lavished upon his band for reasons having little to do with musical merit.
Joe fucking Walsh
As for the day Joe Walsh passes away, which I hope is a long time from now, I can tell you with absolute certainty that I will be among those locked in a fetal position weeping their eyes out. Not only is he a national treasure as a guitar player, he is literally one of the funniest, most generous and frank human beings on the planet who also happens to have made some of the choices cuts from the 70's as a member of James Gang and on his own.

While I don't begrudge him the paycheck that joining the Eagles certainly was, I kinda wish he'd said no to them just to see what else he wound up doing musically. Like Ron Wood joining the Stones, I get the feeling it kind of stunted his own musical explorations to a large extent and, well, that's a damn shame.

Superior St. Rehearsal Facility

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