Episode 018–The History of the Eagles 1971-1980 by Bruce Hilliard


With the death of Glenn Frey January of 2016, many a story has been released regarding the rise, fall and resurrection of the “L.A. sound” band.  (None of the members from the Eagles were, in fact, from Los Angeles).

Co-founders Glenn Frey (Detroit, MI), guitarist, and drummer Don Henley (Gilmer, TX) were later joined, but not all simultaneously, by Bernie Leadon (Minneapolis, MN), Randy Meisner (Scottsbluff, NE), Don Felder (Gainesville, FL), Joe Walsh (Wichita, KS) and Timothy B. Schmit (Oakland, CA).

Early on Frey and musician friend J.D. Souther shared an upstairs portion of a duplex with Jackson Browne. Names and places that seemed chaotic at the time have culminated in what appears to be a carefully crafted novel years later. The Byrds, the Flying Burrito Brothers, Linda Ronstadt, PocoTom Petty, Joni Mitchell, and Crosby, Stills and Nash are among the names of fame. As with episode 16 starring Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Gainesville Florida seems to incubate rock stars at a remarkable per capita rate.

Having been around so many chart topping song writers and many other notables, Frey is quoted as saying, “This unspoken thing was created between Henley and me, which said, ‘“If we want to be up here with the big boys, we’d getter get our game together and write some fucking good songs.”’

The Eagles went on to be one of the world’s best-selling bands of all time, having sold more than 150 million records. They've had 5 number 1 singles, 6 Grammys, 5 American Music Awards and 6 number 1 albums. Their Greatest Hits (1971-1975) sold over 42 million copies alone and was the best selling album of the 20th century in the U.S.  They are the highest selling American band in U.S. history.

“We’ll get together when hell freezes over,” Frey had told Henley when the band broke up.  After a 14-year hiatus from 1980-1994 they released a live album named in the honor of that statement that immediately went to No. 1 on Billboard.

With the passing of Glenn Frey in January of 2016, it’s another reminder of a time and youth gone by. Thanks Mr. Frey, “you belong to the night.”


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