The Eagles

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"And we would sing right out loud the things we could not say". The previous quote was made by the Eagles (L&M). While Bob Dylan was still writing songs in protest of the war in Vietnam, the Eagles were writing songs that were an influence to both themselves and to society. That is why it is interesting to look at how the laid-back style of the Eagles affected them and their music.

The Eagles expressed their style through their music. For example, the chorus to the 1972 hit song 'Take It Easy', from their first album, Eagles, "Take it easy, take it easy, don't let the sound of your own wheels drive you crazy. Lighten up while you still can, don't even try to understand, just find a place to make your stand, and take it easy". The Eagles have been through some pretty tough times in their career, especially with members coming and going. The current members of the Eagles are; drummer and percussionist Don Henley, guitarist and pianist Glenn Frey, steel and slide guitarist Don Felder, slide guitarist and organist Joe Walsh, bass guitarist Timothy B. Schmit, and former Eagles are; Bernie Leadon and Randy Meisner. The Eagles have been labeled to be musicians of many different types of music. When they started, they were considered a county group.

Later they were called a country-rock or bluegrass-rock group. They then broke into rock music with songs like 'Get Over It' and 'Life in the Fastlane'. In 1968, Glenn Frey moved to Los Angeles, California from his home in Detroit, Michigan to begin a singing career (Shapiro 26). Soon after his arrival in California, he met a man named J.D. [John David] Souther. They wrote songs together and even formed a band. In 1969, their band, Longbranch Pennywhistle, released its first album (36). However, the album failed, and in 1970, Frey and Souther went their separate ways (38). After Longbranch Pennywhistle's breakup, Frey wanted to begin a solo career. But he was strongly advised against doing so by David Geffen, future Eagles manager and president of Asylum Records. "He told me [Glenn Frey] point blank that I shouldn't make a record by myself at this point and that maybe I should join a band" (38).

In 1969, Kenny Rogers brought Don Henley and his band Shiloh to Los Angeles, from Texas, and landed them a record deal with Amos Records, the same company that signed Longbranch Pennywhistle (38). According to Henley, the first place he went to when he arrived in LA was a place called the Troubadour. Many musicians of the 1970's started out by playing at the Troubadour. The Troubadour "…was like a café society. It was where everyone met, where everyone got to hear everyone else's act" (40). Actually, the four guys who would make up the Eagles attended the Troubadour on a regular basis; they just didn't know it. Frey and Henley met at the offices of Amos Records, but really got to know each other at the Troubadour. Most of their conversations ended up turning into gripe sessions, where they would complain about members of their bands, what the bands were not accomplishing, and thoughts of their bands breaking up. Then one night in the fall of 1970, "Glenn came up to me one night at the Troubadour and said, 'My group [Longbranch Pennywhistle] is breaking up and I think yours [Shiloh] is too. Do you want to go on the road with Linda Ronstadt and make $200 a week?' I said 'That sounded good to me" says Henley (41).

As the two of them [Frey and Henley] kept talking, Henley figured out Frey's two motives. It turns out that Frey wasn't only searching the Troubadour for Linda Ronstadt's backing band, he was also looking for people who would eventually make up the Eagles (41). Even before they started the Ronstadt tour, Frey had it all planned out. Frey had told Henley that he had a lot of songs written and that he wanted to put a band together (42). They [Glenn and Don] talked about it and decided on trying to get Randy Meisner, who sang backup for Poco at the Troubadour (33), and Bernie...
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