I’m really not a fan of the Eagles – I get that they’re a big deal, I liked them when I was a kid, growing up, my folks had the tapes, the songs were on the radio, and then – separately – I was a Joe Walsh fan, so when I learned of his (later) involvement in the Eagles that brought them some (more) Brownie points.
But their ubiquity and smugness meant that with the passing of time it was easy to not care about them, easy to fall out of love with their sound. The stories of the band’s chief singer/songwriters helped in breaking up with them, they didn’t sound like nice people. The back-story left a band taste, it was hard to hear any heart in the music, very easy to hear the cynicism and coldness.
So, not a fan.
Recently when I was playing some records in a bar I chose a song by the Eagles. You’ll always chuck on a song or two that’s not your total favourite if the mood seems right or if it’s requested. But this was not one of those times. I put the song on because I like it.
And though it was a big hit and is usually in their show it’s perhaps not one of the “typical” Eagles songs – given it’s sung by the band’s bassist. He probably should have been allowed to sing and write a bit more on the strength of this number. But no. Not when you’ve got two colossal egos at the helm.
The Egos. A more honest name for that band.
I took no delight in the passing of Glenn Frey but I couldn’t get on board with everyone suddenly talking about how sad it was, how he was (also) some genius. His death meant only one thing to me – the death of the Eagles.
But playing I Can’t Tell You Why last week – and in fact most times when I’ve heard it (on the original album and a great version on the Eagles Live album, an important record to me growing up) – I hear hints of what might have been a different group. I hear a different sound. Well, that’s probably overstating it somewhat. What I hear, actually, is the one song I love by a band I hate.