I had to go to Vimeo instead of YouTube to find the video for this song, which is one of the better examples of a story video. Miami Vice even used this song as the inspiration for an episode with the same title. Glenn Frey played a smuggler pilot; I think his character ended up as badly as his character in the video.
Frey did a lot of work for movie and TV soundtracks in the 80s; I think it’s one of the reasons a lot of his solo work doesn’t hold up as well as, say, Don Henley’s does. But as I’ve stated many times before, being middle of the road and mainstream doesn’t mean your work takes less talent and skill. “Smuggler’s Blues” might be terribly dated now (or not, if you listen to some of the news coming out of Mexico these days), but it’s a pretty tight Rock-Pop tune. And I love the video.
My favorite Glenn Frey led Eagles tunes are the rockers. Glenn himself was a rocker from Detroit, although his knowledge and talent allowed him to dip into just about any musical pool he wanted. “Already Gone” is a sweet little kiss off tune that showcases the Eagles ability to combine their mellow harmonies with good guitar work and a fuck you attitude. That’s Frey at his best.
I told you I was afraid to look at the news.
At least it wasn’t cancer this time.
What the holy hell is going on?
Glenn Frey’s death today at 67 from complications of several illnesses is just kind of stunning. I know people die. I know I had no personal relationship with any of these artists, actors, and musicians. But goddamn, this hurts.
Celebrity deaths always feel a little bit like you’re losing someone close, someone in the family. Because the movies and music and art and words they create become part of your life. Your memories are entwined with theirs. They help you express emotions and dreams that you might not be able to share with anyone otherwise.
I’m not ashamed to admit I really enjoy the Eagles. Their work could seem superficial and shallow, but they were tapping into the psyche of a place and time–specifically, Southern California in the 1970s. Superficial and shallow came with the territory. But so did quiet desperation and unnamed fear. So did boredom and nihilism and anger. So did happiness and sex and love. So did greed and selfishness. Glenn Frey was the happy party boy turned business mogul. His music always reflected many facets. Sure, his style was mainstream and Top Forty to the core, but that doesn’t make it less skilled or entertaining. And the Eagles were always a huge part of my life; I was raised on this music. My childhood memories combined with the fact that they understood my home here in SoCal better than just about anyone else makes Frey’s death really hit home.