No, I never stood on a corner in Winslow, Arizona to see the Eagles. And I never checked into the Hotel California. Nevertheless I was and still am a big Eagles fan.
Glenn Frey, a musical icon and founding member of one of America's most popular and enduring rock bands, died Monday at 67 from complications from several ailments including pneumonia. The Eagles are such a prominent part of my musical collection that I actually felt like I lost a good friend or a member of the family.

No, I never stood on a corner in Winslow, Arizona to see the Eagles. And I never checked into the Hotel California. Nevertheless I was and still am a big Eagles fan.

Glenn Frey, a musical icon and founding member of one of America’s most popular and enduring rock bands, died Monday at 67 from complications from several ailments including pneumonia. The Eagles are such a prominent part of my musical collection that I actually felt like I lost a good friend or a member of the family.

A guitarist and keyboard player, Frey teamed up with drummer Don Henley to pen almost all of the band’s popular hits. Henley and Frey rank among the most influential and prolific songwriting teams of this generation and should be mentioned in the same breath with the likes of John Lennon and Paul McCartney, Mick Jagger and Keith Richards as well as Elton John and Bernie Taupin. He was the lead vocalist on such mega-hits as “Take It Easy,” which he co-wrote with singer-songwriter Jackson Browne, “Peaceful Easy Feeling,” Tequila Sunrise,” “Already Gone,” “Lyin’ Eyes,” “New Kid and Town” and “Heartache Tonight.”

He will be sorely missed.

Henley made this comment to The Associated Press: “I’m not sure I believe in fate, but I know that crossing paths with Glenn Lewis Frey in 1970 changed my life forever, and it eventually had an impact on the lives of millions of other people all over the planet. It will be very strange going forward in a world without him in it. But, I will be grateful, everyday, that he was in my life. Rest in peace, my brother. You did what you set out to do, and then some.”

During the Eagles hey day, Henley and Frey ate, slept, drank and wrote music together. According to Henley, Frey was like a brother to him and the bond they forged some 45 years ago he said was never broken, even during the band’s break-up period.

When you reflect on the music of the 70s you can’t help but help recall the county-rock flavored sound of the Eagles. They evolved from being a back-up band for legendary female rock superstar Linda Ronstadt. Between 1975 and 2008 the band garnered Grammy Awards in several musical categories including the rock, pop and country genres.

The Eagles recorded two of the largest selling LPs of all-time – “The Best of the Eagles” and “Hotel California.” It seemed that almost everything the band touched turned to multi-platinum.

A close friend introduced me to The Eagles sound way back in 1972. I bought their first two albums but gave them away to another friend a few years later when I couldn’t resist purchasing  “The Best of the Eagles.”  Today, it is one of the few recordings, other than a Beatle album, that I have on vinyl, cassette tape and compact disc. I later regretted giving away those early albums and eventually went back and re-purchased them.

There are not many weeks that pass that I don’t listen to some Eagles music.

I never got to see them perform in person. However, thanks to the Wild Hog Music Festival and Warfield Concerts I had the opportunity to see their tribute band Seven Bridges perform and I have two DVDs of Eagles concerts. I can only imagine what a real Eagles concert must have been like.

Over the years there were many personnel changes in the band. Bernie Leadon departed and was replaced by Joe Walsh. Randy Meisner exited and Timothy B. Schmidt stepped in. Henley, Frey, Walsh and Schmidt eventually unceremoniously fired Don Felder.

Frey and Henley remained the only constant.

The Eagles didn’t go out with a whimper. The 1980 break-up was ugly. One band member stated to the press, “Don’t kid your self, rock ‘n’ roll bands don’t break up over musical differences they break up because they hate each others guts.”

Another reporter asked if there was a possibility the Eagles would eventually get together. Another band member retorted, “When hell freezes over.”

In 1994 the group got together for a MTV concert special and some new recordings and proclaimed, “Hell has frozen over.”

In between Frey launched a highly successful solo career with such 1980s hits as “You Belong to the City” and “The Heat is On.”

Twenty-eight years after releasing what was believed to be their final studio album, the band got together again and recorded a double CD entitled “Long Road Out of Eden.” While the album didn’t get the recognition as some of their earlier efforts, it too went multi-platinum.

Now it seems the Eagles have been laid to rest for good. They were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1998. The following year, the Recording Association Industry of America named the Eagles to its list of Artists of the Century alongside the likes of The Beatles, Elvis Presley, Barbara Streisand and Elton John.

“Take it Easy” Glenn.  Here’s hoping you’ve now got that “Peaceful Easy Feeling.”