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