Soaring high with the soundtrack of my youth. Why they’re lighting up to remember Glenn Frey.

January 19, 2016

It was the most exciting concert of my life. With the oldest audience.

The Eagles in LA .. re-opening The Forum .. almost two years ago to the day.

‘I’ve got a peaceful, easy feeling .. and I know you won’t let me down.’

It was part of what we now know will be their final tour. Because their spiritual leader, the amazing Glenn Frey, is now jamming with Bowie and John Cash.

Not everyone had a seniors’ pass. Some were there with their parents. Like my kids, they’d grown up listening to the soundtrack of the US West Coast.

‘And I want to sleep with you in the desert tonight. With a million stars all around.’

This concert went way back. Their first songs .. all the way through the decades. We knew them all. Standing and singing and swaying. A capacity crowd in one of the great stadiums. This was something special.

The lady next to me was in love with Glenn Frey. She told me. Her partner may have been at Woodstock. This became more likely, once I realised that as the boys belted out ‘Heartache Tonight’, he was passing me a joint. Normal behaviour, it would seem, for such a night.

As he leant across the ample bosom of his missus, I had a slight panic attack. Visions of the three of us sharing a cell in the LA County watch house flashed through my mind.

I had already seen security search for their tasers when they spotted someone daring to take a photo of the stage. What would they think of Cheech and Chong and Panicking Aussie?

With a smooth dance move, I managed to pass on the grass. He wasn’t offended, and simply offered his reefer to the row behind. It disappeared in a chorus of ‘New Kid in Town.’

‘Everybody loves you. So don’t let them down.

The Eagles later came to Australia with the same concert. I went to that one too. Something told me we wouldn’t be seeing them again. I hate that I was right.

I took the teenager with me. It was something we’ll never forget. She knew every song. Sent selfies to her school friends, who were actually jealous. Can you believe that? Magical harmonies from blokes in their sixties, floating across high school Instagram.

‘So put me on a highway, and show me a sign, and take it, to the limit, one more time.’

My all time favourite DVD is their Melbourne concert more than a decade ago. I saw them on that trip too. It gets a run every New Year’s Eve. Saturday morning, if the housework gets too much. And a few late nights. It would cheer me up, regardless.

Except tonight. I’m listening to it now, and the sound is sad. Four blokes who guided me through my misguided youth and beyond, are now three.

Thanks for the music Glenn. Say g’day to the rest of them for us. See you next New Year’s Eve.

‘It’s another tequila sunrise, starin’ slowly ‘cross the sky. Said goodbye..’

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Celebrating the sound of a generation. A special trip to see the band that shaped our young lives.

January 14, 2014

I first heard them in Steve’s garage. He’d turned it into his pad. It was the coolest place I knew. Except for Smithy’s garage. That had been turned into his pad. He had a fridge.

At sixteen, we were easily impressed. We thought we were so hip. If only we knew.

While our clothes may have let us down, my mate’s choice in music was impeccable. We dined out on The Beach Boys, and Australian Crawl, and Steve Miller band. The Mentals and the Doors were on high rotation on his ripper record player. The neighbours knew all about it.

One afternoon, he introduced me to another band. One that would send me soaring to places I’d never been.

They were a bunch of good ol’ boys with a unique country rock sound, out of the US West Coast. The Eagles.

What I recall from way back then, was the amazing harmonies. And guitar work that dazzled.

We would buy their new albums, and give them priority airtime in the garage. Any female visitors snuck in were stuck with Don Henley and Glenn Frey as well as us. Fair to say, few of them shared our devotion. Or stayed past song one.

Hotel California. C’mon, sing it with me now. You all know the words. Take It Easy. Life in The Fast Lane. And The Long Run. Our favourite.

As we got older and went our separate ways, those melodies stayed with us. Lines that bonded us. And described our journey.

We would catch up whenever we could, and dust off those tunes over cool drinks. We knew most of the lyrics. And would belt them out.

Others shook their heads. Our boys are an acquired taste apparently. That’s ok. Each to his own.

A few years back, they dragged their millionaire butts to Brisbane. What a treat. I got to do a story on my idols.

Cameraman Lukey and I managed to snag seats. What a show. Luke is the coolest kid in the class. I thought he might have fallen asleep. Instead, he loved it. Knew every song.

They made a DVD from the Melbourne concert. I have played it one thousand times. Usually late at night. With glass in hand.

They’ve been going for more than forty years this mob. And now, I’m going to visit them. Off to LA to see them in concert. Possibly for the last time. They could be in rocking chairs.

If you’re an American, going to the Friday night show at The Forum, keep an eye out for the excited Aussie. I’ll be easy to pick. Off-key, and mangling a lyric or two. It didn’t matter in Steve’s pad. I’m sure they’ll let me off.