I still remember the iconic cover of the first Eagles album I purchased. A small, black silhouette of a feathered bird with the word “Eagle” imprinted on it, flying off into the sunset somewhere over the desert. After hearing their first single, “Take It Easy,” I had a feeling this group was destined for a good flight and a solid landing wherever it went.
I’m not a musician, but growing up on ’50s and ’60s music, I knew the blended sounds created by Glenn Frey, Don Henley and company would reach a large audience that was ready to move on to another sound, a sound that reflected a softer, more thoughtful combination of melodies and lyrics. After the tumultuous ’60s, that first album, which included “Witchy Woman” and “Peaceful, Easy Feeling” along with “Take It Easy,” was enough to make me see what these guys would follow up with. They did not disappoint.
Their offerings over less than a decade reflected the Zeitgeist of a culture seemingly turned inward and preoccupied with itself. The lyrics were at once more poignant and more acerbic—a moral plea for truth and love, and acute observations of the material excesses rotting society’s foundations. Of course, the pressures of being in a group of creative souls attempting to stay a course true to each individual took its toll. We all know where that usually leads: breakup.
In spite of disbanding 20 years ago, the Eagles have shown the power of their music since they debuted in 1971, 45 year ago. Though I no longer own that round piece of black vinyl purchased for plus-decades ago, I can use my new technology to recapture those days of my youth.
So thanks, Glenn. You took us to the limit, gave us the best of your love and a peaceful, easy feeling to boot. Take it easy, buddy.
E. G. Singer takes it easy in Santa Rosa.
Open Mic is a weekly feature in the ‘Bohemian.’ We welcome your contribution. To have your topical essay of 350 words considered for publication, write [email protected].