Wednesday, January 20, 2016

TBT: The Eagles, "Doolin-Dalton" and "Doolin-Dalton and Desperado Reprise" live; R.I.P. Glenn Frey

I'll confess: in my twenties and early thirties I was an Eagles fan. "Take it Easy", the first song I heard by them, was aspirational; yes, I wanted to be that guy in Winslow getting the eye from a girl in a flatbed Ford. "Peaceful Easy Feeling" had a similar allure. "Already Gone" vied with Neil Young's "Cowgirl in the Sand" as what I fantasized about singing to any woman who spurned me. By the mid 1970s, though, I'd forsaken the Eagles' easygoing country-flavored rock for hardcore punk and for the edgier country rock of Gram Parsons. A few Eagles songs--"Your Lyin' Eyes"; "New Kid in Town"--stayed with me, along with one album, Desperado, I'd acquired while in the Army in Louisiana.

This past Sunday evening, looking for something I hadn't played in a while, I found Desperado and put it on my CD player. I tried to remember what had affected me so much about this concept album that tells the story, with the inevitable bad end, of the Doolin-Dalton Gang in the old West. Two lines stuck in my mind. One was "The towns lay out across the dusty plains/ Like graveyards full of tombstones waiting for the names", and, most poignantly for me, "It seems to me some fine things have been laid upon your table/ But you only want the ones that you can't get."
On Monday, I learned of Glenn Frey's death. Here's a live performance video of "Doolin-Dalton" from a concert at the L.A. Forum in 2015. Frey plays harmonica and guitar, and sings. The hand held camera is shaky, but the sound is good.

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