A Rockapaedia Obituary
Band: The Eagles
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Glen Frey died on 18th January 2016 at age sixty-seven from complications of rheumatoid arthritis, acute ulcerative colitis, and pneumonia, while recovering from gastrointestinal tract surgery.
Since arround the year 2000, Glen Frey had suffered from rheumatoid arthritis, which affected various joints of his body. The medication that he was prescribed to control the disease eventually led to colitis and pneumonia, and in November 2015, the Eagles announced that they were postponing their appearance at the Kennedy Center Honors since Glen required surgery for intestinal problems and a lengthy recovery period. Following surgery, Glen was placed in a medically-induced coma at Columbia University Medical Center.
Glen Frey was publicly mourned by his friends, fellow musicians and bandmates including Don Henley, Randy Meisner, J. D. Souther, Jack Tempchin, Irving Azoff, Linda Ronstadt, Don Felder, and Bob Seger. At the 58th Annual Grammy Awards, the remaining members of the Eagles and Jackson Browne performed "Take It Easy" in his honor. A life-sized statue of Glen Frey was unveiled in Winslow, Arizona in 2016, to honor his songwriting contributions to "Take It Easy", made famous by the Eagles as their first single in 1972.
Glen Frey was married twice. From 1983 to 1988, he was married to artist Janie Beggs. He married dancer and choreographer Cindy Millican in 1990. They had three children: a daughter Taylor, and two sons Deacon and Otis, and remained together until his death.
Glen Frey was born in Detroit, Michigan, U.S.A. Growing up in Royal Oak, Michigan, he studied piano at age five, later switched to guitar, and then became part of the mid-1960s Detroit rock scene. One of his earliest bands was called the Subterraneans, named after Jack Kerouac's novel.
Immediately after graduating from Dondero in 1966, Glen was invited to join The Four of Us, a local band led by Gary Burrows who had seen him performing with the Subterraneans. Glen also attended Oakland Community College while in the band, and he learned to sing harmonies performing with The Four of Us. In 1967, He formed the Mushrooms with Gary Burrows' brother Jeff, Bill Barnes, Doug Gunch, and Larry Mintz. That year Glen also met Bob Seger, who helped him get a management and recording contract with a label formed by Seger's management team, Hideout Records. Bob Seger also wrote and produced the band's first single, "Such a Lovely Child", and the band made television appearances to promote it. In the later part of 1967, Glen Frey also pulled together another band called Heavy Metal Kids with Jeff Burrows (piano), Jeff Alborell (bass), Paul Kelcourse (lead guitar) and Lance Dickerson (drums).
In 1968, at age nineteen, Glen Frey played the acoustic guitar and performed background vocals on Pete Seger's single, "Ramblin' Gamblin' Man". Glen has said that Pete strongly encouraged and influenced him to focus on writing original songs. They remained good friends and occasional songwriting partners in later years, and Glen Frey would also sing on Pete Seger's songs such as "Fire Lake" and "Against the Wind".
In Detroit, Glen Frey also met and dated Joan Sliwin of the local female group The Mama Cats, which became Honey Ltd. after the group moved to California in 1968. Glen Frey went to Los Angeles hoping to reconnect with his girlfriend, and he was introduced to J. D. Souther by her sister, Alexandra Sliwin, who was with Souther at the time. Glen Frey returned to Detroit after three weeks, but then went back again to Los Angeles to form a duo with Souther called Longbranch Pennywhistle. They were signed to Amos Records and released a self-titled album in 1969, which contains songs he wrote such as "Run, Boy, Run" and "Rebecca", and "Bring Back Funky Women" he co-wrote with Souther. Glen also met Jackson Browne during this period. The three musicians lived in the same apartment building for a short time, and Glen later said that he learned a lot about songwriting from hearing Browne work on songs in the apartment below.
Glen Frey met drummer Don Henley in 1970. They were signed to the same label, Amos Records, at that time and both spent time at the Troubadour. When Linda Ronstadt needed a backup band for an upcoming tour, her manager John Boylan hired Glen Frey because he needed someone who could play rhythm guitar and sing. Don Henley was approached by Glen to join Ronstadt. Randy Meisner and Bernie Leadon were also hired, although as the backing band personnel changed through the tour, the four had only played once together at a gig at Disneyland. Glen Frey and Henley decided to form a band together while on the tour, and they were joined by Meisner on bass and Leadon on guitar, banjo, steel guitar, mandolin and dobro, forming the Eagles, with Glen Frey playing guitar and keyboards and Henley playing drums. The band went on to become one of the world's best-selling groups of all time. Glen Frey wrote or co-wrote, often with Henley, many of the group's songs, and sang the lead vocals on a number of Eagles hits including "Take It Easy", "Peaceful Easy Feeling", "Already Gone", "Tequila Sunrise", "Lyin' Eyes", "New Kid in Town", "Heartache Tonight" and "How Long".
The Eagles broke up around 1980 and reunited in 1994, when they released a new album titled Hell Freezes Over. The album had live tracks and four new songs. The Hell Freezes Over Tour followed.
The Eagles' album Long Road Out of Eden was released in 2007, and Glen Frey participated in the Eagles' Long Road Out of Eden Tour.
In May 2012, Glen Frey was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Music from Berklee College of Music along with Henley, Joe Walsh and Timothy B. Schmit.
After the Eagles disbanded, Glen Frey achieved solo success in the 1980s, especially with two No. 2 hits. In 1984, he recorded in collaboration with Harold Faltermeyer the worldwide hit, "The Heat Is On", the main theme from the Eddie Murphy action comedy film Beverly Hills Cop; then, Glen Frey performed "You Belong to the City", from the television series Miami Vice, the soundtrack of which stayed on top of the U.S. album charts for 11 weeks in 1985. His other contribution to the soundtrack, "Smuggler's Blues", hit No. 12 on the Billboard Hot 100. During his solo career, Glen Frey had 12 charting songs in the U.S. Top 100. Eleven of those were written with Jack Tempchin who also wrote "Peaceful Easy Feeling".
Glen Frey was the first choice to record "Shakedown", the theme for the film Beverly Hills Cop II. Glen did not like the lyrics and then came down with laryngitis, so the song was given to Bob Seger. After the song went to number one, Glen called to congratulate Seger, saying "At least we kept the money in Michigan!"
Glen Frey also contributed the song "Flip City" to the Ghostbusters II soundtrack, and "Part of Me, Part of You" to the soundtrack for Thelma & Louise. In 2005, he appeared on B.B. King & Friends: 80 on the track "Drivin' Wheel".
On May 8th 2012, Glen released his first solo album in twenty years, After Hours, featuring covers of pop standards from the 1940s to the 1960s.