Glenn Frey — a singer, songwriter, guitarist, and founding member of the Eagles — has died. TMZ reports that Frey succumbed to complications from intestinal issues, for which he underwent surgery back in November. He was 67 years old.
Frey was born in Detroit in 1948 and grew up in Michigan. He played guitar and sang on fellow Detroit native Bob Seger’s “Ramblin’ Gamblin’ Man” in 1968 before relocating to Los Angeles to focus on his own material. He met Jackson Browne and released one album with J.D. Souther under the name Longbranch Pennywhistle before meeting Don Henley in 1970. After serving as Linda Ronstadt’s backing band, Frey, Henley, Randy Meisner, and Bernie Leadon formed the Eagles in 1971.
The Eagles went on to become one of the most popular and successful rock bands of all time, popularizing a light, carefree version of country-rock that translated extremely well to radio. Frey wrote or co-wrote most of the band’s biggest hits, singing on many of them including “Take It Easy,” “Peaceful Easy Feeling,” “Lyin’ Eyes,” “Tequila Sunrise,” and “Already Gone.” After the Eagles broke up in 1980, Frey enjoyed solo success, particularly his Beverly Hills Cop soundtrack hit “The Heat Is On” and “You Belong To The City” from Miami Vice. He also acted on Miami Vice, Arli$$, and other TV shows in addition to film acting in movies such as Jerry Maguire.
The Eagles reunited in 1994 for the massively successful Hell Freezes Over album and tour and continued to tour and record on and off for the next two decades. Frey’s most recent release was the 2012 covers album After Hours. May he rest with a peaceful, easy feeling.
UPDATE: Here is a statement from Don Henley…
He was like a brother to me; we were family, and like most families, there was some dysfunction. But, the bond we forged 45 years ago was never broken, even during the 14 years that the Eagles were dissolved. We were two young men who made the pilgrimage to Los Angeles with the same dream: to make our mark in the music industry — and with perseverance, a deep love of music, our alliance with other great musicians and our manager, Irving Azoff, we built something that has lasted longer than anyone could have dreamed.
But, Glenn was the one who started it all. He was the spark plug, the man with the plan. He had an encyclopedic knowledge of popular music and a work ethic that wouldn’t quit. He was funny, bullheaded, mercurial, generous, deeply talented and driven. He loved his wife and kids more than anything.
We are all in a state of shock, disbelief and profound sorrow. We brought our two-year ‘History of the Eagles Tour’ to a triumphant close at the end of July and now he is gone. I’m not sure I believe in fate, but I know that crossing paths with Glenn Lewis Frey in 1970 changed my life forever, and it eventually had an impact on the lives of millions of other people all over the planet. It will be very strange going forward in a world without him in it. But, I will be grateful, every day, that he was in my life.
Rest in peace, my brother. You did what you set out to do, and then some.