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A generation of rock’n roll fans mourned again this week upon the

death of Eagles co-founder Glenn Frey. The leader of arguably the most

popular American rock band of the 1970s died in New York from

complications of rheumatoid arthritis, acute ulcerative colitis and

pneumonia. He was 67.

Statements came in from many parts of the entertainment world, but

none likely expressed the heartfelt sentiment than did the words from

another Eagles co-founder, drummer 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. Glenn was the one who

started it all. He was the spark plug, the man with the plan. I will

be grateful every day that he was in my life.”

The Eagles were said to have captured the “sound of Southern

California,” although most of the members past and present did not

grow up locally. In fact, Frey, a Detroit native, told the audience at

the Fabulous Forum in 2014 that although the Beach Boys were

“founders” of the Southern California sound,” the Eagles would become

the “settlers.” Along the way, the group moved from early bookings at

the Troubadour in West Hollywood and became one of the most successful

franchises in rock history.

The list of musicians who have played with the Eagles includes J.D.

Souther, Randy Meisner, Bernie Leadon, Jack Tempchin, Don Felder, Joe

Walsh and Timothy B. Schmit. Back then, it was Souther who encouraged

Linda Ronstadt to hire Frey , Henley, Meisner and Leadon to serve as

her backing band on a 1971 tour and shortly afterwards the Eagles were

hatched.

The group’s 1972 self-titled debut album featured one of their most

popular songs, “Take It Easy,” which was co-written by Jackson Browne,

as well as the hit “Peaceful Easy Feeling.” They released “Tequila

Sunrise” in 1973, a track featuring a beautiful string arrangement set

to what might be considered “cowboy poetry” with its melodic

visualization of the Old West.

A string of hits soon followed such as “James Dean,” “Witchy Woman”

“Already Gone” and “Best of My Love.” In 1975, Frey departed from the

“country-rock” genre and helped pen “One of These Nights” and “Take It

to the Limit;” both songs relying heavily on R&B arrangements. The

next year the group released “Eagles: Their Greatest Hits 1971-1975,”

a compilation of their biggest hits which today stands behind Michael

Jackson’s “Thriller” as the second biggest-selling album of all time.

In 1976, Joe Walsh replaced Leadon on lead guitar, and the group

released its landmark album “Hotel California” which offered a

follow-up to “Tequila Sunrise” in “New Kid in Town” as well as “Life

in the Fast Lane” and popular title track. Frey said the album

represented the excesses of Hollywood and also the rigors of being a

rock star amid personal and professional demands. “The Long Run” from

1979 would be the last album released (featuring “Heartache Tonight,”

“I Can’t Tell You Why,” “In the City”); the band disbanded for 14

years with Frey and Henley reportedly telling one another that they’d

reunite “when hell freezes over.” They resumed performing as a quartet

(they were previous a quintet) (Frey, Henley, Walsh and Schmit) in

1993 and picked up where they left off by filling concert halls around

the world.

“He was kind of like the James Dean of the band, the coolest guy,”

said Felder. He and Frey often clashed on the band’s musical content,

one time almost coming to blows after a 1980 concert in Long Beach. “I

had always hoped somewhere along the line, he and I would have dinner

together, talking about old times and letting it go with a handshake

and a hug.” After finding out Frey was dead, Felder said he received a

call from Randy Meisner—who has had health problems for several

years—and said: “Randy was in tears.”

During their heyday, the Eagles were part of a growing list of

American bands with “hot guitars,” including The Allman Brothers Band,

the Doobie Brothers and Lynyrd Skynyrd among others which would

categorize them among the southern rock genre. None of these groups,

however, sold as many records or reached the popularity among

teenagers as did the Eagles.

It was a difficult start of the new year for a generation of music

fans with the deaths of Natalie Cole, Lemmie Kilmister (Motorhead),

David Bowie and now Glenn Frey. The memories of these artists remain

etched in the hearts of teenagers of all colors who delighted back

then in visiting the local record store and spinning the great albums

of the day.

Gas Company in court over Porter Ranch

By OW Staff

Southern California Gas Company pleaded not guilty this week to

misdemeanor charges for allegedly failing to immediately report the

natural gas leak in Porter Ranch. The court appearance comes just days

after the company announced that it had temporarily capped the

months-old leak at its Aliso Canyon facility.

Attorneys for the Gas Company entered the not-guilty plea in a

Santa Clarita courtroom, and another hearing has been set for April

  1. Outside court, a spokesman for the company said the utility does

not feel any laws were broken in its handling of the leak, and it is

continuing to work to ensure the safety of Porter Ranch residents.

“We do not believe a criminal prosecution is warranted here,” said

Mike Mizahi, a spokesman representing the Gas Company. “We will look

forward to presenting our evidence to the district attorney through

the legal proceedings.”

The charges were filed by the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office on Feb. 2.

“While we recognize that neither the criminal charges nor the civil

lawsuits will offer the residents of Los Angeles County a complete

solution, it is important that Southern California Gas Co. be held

responsible for its criminal actions,” District Attorney Jackie Lacey

said at the time.

“We will do everything we can as prosecutors to help ensure that the

Aliso Canyon facility is brought into compliance,” she said. “I

believe we can best serve our community using the sanctions available

through a criminal conviction to prevent similar public-health threats

in the future.”

The company is charged with three counts of failing to report the

release of hazardous materials from Oct. 23 to Oct. 26, and one count

of discharging air contaminants, beginning Oct. 23 and continuing for

the duration of the leak. The charges are all misdemeanors.

If convicted, the company could be fined up to $25,000 a day for each

day it failed to notify the state Office of Emergency Services about

the leak.

It could be fined up to $1,000 per day for air pollution violations,

prosecutors said.

Officials with the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health have

said they do not believe the gas leak posed any long-term risk, but

plan to continue monitoring air quality in the area.

The Gas Co. announced Thursday that a relief well more than 8,600 feet

long intercepted the leaking well and crews began pumping in heavy

fluids to control the flow of gas.

Lancaster receives homeless grant

By OW Staff

Kathryn Barger, chief deputy for Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael

Antonovich, joined community stakeholders and city leaders in

Lancaster recently to present a grant of $1 million to the city for

the development of a homeless services center in the Antelope Valley.

“Working closely with the city, community-based organizations, and

county departments, this funding will be used to develop a

comprehensive homeless services center to address the ongoing homeless

crisis here in the Antelope Valley,” said Barger, also a candidate to

replace Antonovich on the board. “Effective solutions to our

homelessness problem require a multi-faceted approach and

public-private partnerships to help these individuals re-establish

healthy, productive lives.”

“The Antelope Valley has always been vastly underserved when it comes

to funding to aid our large homeless population,” said Lancaster Vice

Mayor Marvin Crist. He said the lack of money from the county has

necessitated a local collaboration with the faith-based community and

various civic organizations to mitigate growing social-service

distress. “We are extremely pleased to be in receipt of these funds,

which will go a long way toward serving the needs of our homeless

population.”

Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris said it is beneficial for the “right

people” to work toward the “greater good” of the community.

“When this happens, it is always amazing how the resources emerge to

make things happen,” Parris said. “So many resources have worked

tirelessly to compose an attainable solution for the homeless crisis

here in the Antelope Valley.

Having the vision to address these problems is not always enough. The

financial resources need to be present in order to solve the social

service challenges to our Valley. We now have something notable to

work with and build upon from a monetary standpoint.”