Glenn Frey’s death the other day was just the latest in a series of bummer music industry deaths to kick off the new year.
And save me your “the Eagles sucked!” stuff so many on the Internet have been going on about in the past couple of days. Music is subjective and the Eagles had a lot of fans for whom their music meant a lot. Frey’s loss to them is no less worthy of respect than Bowie’s loss was to his fans. Music means something different to everyone.
Even if you decide to go all music critic-y with it, at least do what the best critics do and judge the Eagles and Frey based on what it is they set out to do and whether they did that particular thing well. Are the Eagles my favorite band? Nah, not at all. But they distilled country and laid back Laurel Canyon rock into something a lot of people who never would’ve listened to either of those things in the first place really loved. Congratulations if you own Joni Mitchell and Gram Parsons records — that’s good stuff! — but don’t slag on the Eagles just because they sold a lot of records to people who don’t. If you don’t like them don’t listen to them, but get off of your superiority trip. Besides, I have long suspected that Gram Parsons would’ve put out something like “Life in the Fast Lane” if he had lived long enough. The late 70s were rough on everyone.
Anyway, all of that leads to this, which provides a good excuse for a baseball blogger to write about Glenn Frey. He visited Vin Scully in the broadcast booth one time in 1985. And rather than just shut up and let the pro handle things when Pedro Guerrero went yard, he called it himself. Sure, there are some uneasy parallels to Frey taking charge with the Eagles and maybe screwing Don Felder out of some songwriting royalties for “Hotel California” — a control freak is always a control freak — but just like in everything else he did, Frey handled his baseball play-by-play duties with professionalism. Even if that’s not to your taste, you gotta respect it on some level.
Rest in peace.