Label Exec Reflects on Glenn Frey’s Legacy

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Glenn Frey Strange WeatherThe untimely passing of Glenn Frey in 2016 reminded me of an experience I once had with him. I worked with Glenn in the early ‘90s, before the Eagles reunited in 1994. He invited the president of MCA Records, myself, the chairman and a few other execs to his home in Aspen to listen to his new album, Strange Weather. We flew in on the corporate jet that morning and flew out later that day. Yeah, that’s how we rolled in the ’90s. Memory being what it is, I remember his home, his studio and ribbing the prez about the tops of the trees we might brush by on landing (he didn’t find it amusing). But I remember little else. There’s probably a picture of us all somewhere, but I’ll be damned if I know where.

Here’s what I remember most. I was not an Eagles fan. I never really liked their music, other than the Hotel California album. And, since there was no Internet back then, I had no Wikipedia to go to in order to brush up on Glenn, who was at a bit of a low point of his career at the time. (Strange Weather didn’t even make the Top 200 Albums Chart.)

If I had, I might have read that, along with Don Henley and some of the other guys, he had written all of that great Hotel California album, though I had always credited the guitar of Joe Walsh for getting that album past my Eagles filter.

I might have looked deeper into the dozens of other songs he wrote and learned that he began by backing up Bob Seger and then Linda Ronstadt; that the Eagles had once been, essentially, her backup band. I might have read that he helped finish what Jackson Browne began on “Take It Easy,” with lyrics like these: “We may lose and we may win, though we will never be here again.” I always thought of the Eagles as wimpy, but the fact is truer lyrics were never written.

Related: Fellow musicians paid tribute to Frey upon his passing

I have been fortunate to have worked with some of the most talented people of all time, to experience and often be personally touched by greatness. Many times, as an inexperienced young exec, or merely in a rush to succeed in business, I didn’t take enough time to look around and appreciate some of those experiences. I wish I had a smartphone back then with its easy access to knowledge and its handy dandy camera. I wish I wasn’t in such a rush to get ahead. I wish I had known that though I might lose or I might win, I would never be there again.

Related: Frey’s son, Deacon, has carried on his legacy with Eagles

Bruce Tenenbaum

5 Comments so far

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  1. kel
    #1 kel 23 February, 2016, 23:33

    Strange Weather is absolutely one of my favorite Glenn Frey cds. You must have been very young not to appreciate what a great songwriter he was. And, his voice is actually dreamy in the way that it flows. I hope you cherish those memories. I’ve been to that very house. It was a special time.

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  2. Nick Vacalo
    #2 Nick Vacalo 24 April, 2016, 08:58

    Great site. Have bookmarked it. Thanks 🙂

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  3. Spodlumtee
    #3 Spodlumtee 10 November, 2017, 10:12

    Pointless article. Reveals nothing about Glenn Frey. Just dumb.

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  4. SKP
    #4 SKP 17 February, 2019, 14:34

    Bruce, why bother?

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