A Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, he helped forge the sound of ‘70s rock.
After a lengthy battle with rheumatoid arthritis and its complications, Eagles co-founder and singer-guitarist Glenn Frey died on Monday in New York. As a musical backbone of the often contentious Eagles, Frey helped write some of the band’s biggest hits and shared frontman duties with Don Henley. His plaintive vocals on songs like “Take It Easy”, “Peaceful Easy Feeling”, “Tequila Sunrise”, “Already Gone”, “Lyin’ Eyes”, “New Kid in Town”, and “Heartache Tonight” became indelibly associated with the sound of West Coast rock.
Born in the Detroit suburbs, Frey moved to the L.A. area in the late 1960s where he joined forces with folk-rocker J.D. Souther in the short-lived duo Longbranch Pennywhistle. Souther’s then-girlfriend, Linda Ronstadt, hired Frey, Don Henley, Randy Meisner and Bernie Leadon as her backup band on a 1971 tour, thus shaping the lineup that would morph into The Eagles.
Following the Eagles split, Frey enjoyed a robust solo career scoring a pair of #2 hits in 1984 with “The Heat is On” and “You Belong to the City”. In recent years, Eagles reunion tours had to be scratched due to Frey’s faltering health.
Talking about The Eagles hits compilation with Rolling Stone in 2012 after that record had toted up sales of more than 30 million, Frey reflected, “You have to adjust when things like this happen. You just have to keep perspective. As long as I keep taking out the garbage and cleaning up after the dogs and taking the kids to school, I’ll have perspective. I don’t get to bask in the afterglow much.”