Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Travel Tunes - Week 16

Glenn Frey and Don Henley started off in Los Angeles providing backup music for Linda Rondstadt. Soon, they were joined by Randy Meisner and Bernie Leadon in the studio. The four gelled musically, and with Ronstadt’s support, went off on their own to become The Eagles.

Signing with David Geffen (who we all learned this week is the subject of Carly Simon’s You’re So Vain) and Asylum Records, they went off to London to record their first, self-titled album in 1972. The album was a hit and yielded three top 40 singles - Witchy Woman; Peaceful Easy Feeling; and Take It Easy.

Take It Easy was a song floating around in Jackson Browne’s notes. Browne was a neighbor and friend of Glenn Frey. Collaborating together, it was Frey who provided the second verse…and key location…of the song with the classic line “I’m standing on a corner in Winslow, Arizona…such a fine sight to see…” when the girl in the flatbed Ford slows down to take a look at him.
The song has had such an impact on the town of Winslow that a mural was painted and a statue installed on a downtown corner reenacting that bit of music. Notice in the picture the reflection of the girl in the Ford. It’s also just a great, simple catchy tune that helps the miles roll off as you’re driving down that lonely stretch of road.

Take It Easy was the Eagle’s first hit single. Travis Tritt wanted to sing it on an Eagles tribute album, Common Thread: The Songs of the Eagles. He wanted to get the band to work with him on the video but they were no longer together. He and his agent inquired, and to their surprise, the band came to his aid and appeared in the video. This reunion led to The Eagles getting back together (with Timothy Schmidt and Joe Walsh instead of Meisner and Leadon) and performing their hit Hell Freezes Over tour, which is also the best concert show I’ve seen on PBS.

As Frey starts it off in the video below (from the Hell Freezes Over special), here is where it all started…

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