Co-founder of one of the most successful rock bands of the 1970s, Glenn Frey passed away today, after a lengthy battle with intestinal problems. The cause of death is said to be complications from surgery for acute ulcerative colitis, and pneumonia. He also suffered from rheumatoid arthritis.
Frey had surgery in November, but took a turn for the worst in December, requiring the Eagles to miss the Kennedy Center Honors.
Frey wrote, co-wrote or sang on just about every Eagles hit from the beginning. An accomplished guitarist, he nonetheless stepped back for, not one, but two lead guitarists: Don Felder and Joe Walsh.
Don Henley was the other co-founder of the Eagles, which began in 1971 when Linda Ronstadt needed a band. After a short stint with Ronstadt, Frey and Henley started their own band, Eagles, with Randy Meisner and Bernie Leadon.
The Albums include their debut, Eagles, Desperado, On the Border, One of These Nights, Hotel California, The Long Run and Long Road Out of Eden.
Without question the title track from Hotel California is their biggest, most recognized hit. The song was written by Don Felder, Done Henley and Glen Frey. The song is known for the extended out, featuring Felder and new member Joe Walsh trading guitar licks.
The band had personality issues that forced them to break up in 1980. When asked by a reporter when the Eagles would get back together, Don Henley famously said, “When Hell freezes over.” So, in 1994 when they reunited for a tour and album, both were titled, Hell Freezes Over.
They toured off and on over the years, releasing their final studio album, Long Road Out of Eden in 2007 and in the process fire Don Felder as well, resulting in a lawsuit by Felder and a countersuit by Henley and Frey. The issues were settled out of court. In 1998 the band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
After the break up in 1980 Frey had a very successful solo career, writing hits songs for several hit movies or TV shows, the two most prominent being “The Heat is On” for Beverly Hills Cop and “You Belong to the City for the TV show Miami Vice,.
He had an acting career as well, appearing on Miami Vice and Nash Bridges; and his film roles include being the owner of the Arizona Cardinals in Jerry Maguire.
Glenn Lewis Frey: November 6, 1948 — January 18, 2016.
Top photo: Glenn Frey and Don Henley of the Eagles, from a 1977 concert. (YouTube)
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