Monday, January 18, 2016

Glenn Frey's Already Gone

The music world is still reeling from David Bowie’s death a week ago, and now the news has arrived about the untimely passing of Glenn Frey at the age of 67 in New York. The cause was rheumatoid arthritis, acute ulcerative colitis, and pneumonia. He was recovering from intestinal surgery.

Photo by Steve Alexander; used under license of Creative Commons.
While he trained as a pianist, Frey was better known as a guitarist who doubled on piano. His first recording was playing rhythm guitar and singing backup on Bob Seger’s “Ramblin’ Gamblin’ Man” in 1968. After touring with Linda Ronstadt in 1970, Frey, Don Henley, Randy Meisner, and Bernie Leadon formed the Eagles. Glenn sang a number of their hit records including today’s featured recording: “Already Gone.”


This 1974 hit was co-written by Jack Tempchin and Robb Strandlund. Tempchin and Frey would later team up to write a number of Frey’s solo hits. The lead guitar parts on “Already Gone” were supplied by both Frey and the band’s newest member, Don Felder. Although “Already Gone” only peaked at #32, it remains one of the Eagles’ better known songs.

Following the break-up of the band, he had a successful solo career with five Top 40 hits between 1982 and 1988. His last album was released in 2012 and departed from the styles he developed in the Eagles and as a solo artist. Laying aside his guitar and using only his voice as his instrument, “After Hours” was an album of standards and other songs in a similar vein.

I had the opportunity to meet Glenn on August 24, 1985 in Charleston, WV when he was opening for Tina Turner on her “Private Dancer” tour. While a number of radio programmers from four different markets were getting ready to meet him backstage, Glenn loudly called me by name “Jim, how on earth are you doing?” After giving me a big hug, he whispered in my ear, “I saw your name on your jacket. Just play along and we’ll make all of these other radio guys jealous.” After some banter he grabbed my hand and just started to dance. What you see below was caught on film by a friend. He was one of the most congenial stars that I’ve had an opportunity to meet.



The world has lost another great musical voice and we sadly pay our respects to Glenn Frey – Rest in Peace.

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