Cloudy Days…but the Music Goes On….Indeed

david on stageWOW…what a January it has been for losing some of music’s legends! One being Glenn Frye of The Eagles. The Eagles have always been one of my most favorite bands, because of the songs but even more so because of the vocals. Their strong vocal harmonies had such a tone and quality that gave them a unique sound and set them apart from other bands of their time. Then their songwriting developed and gave them longevity as Music Icons

Well said words from Eagles co-creator, Don Henley  –  “Glenn had an encyclopedic knowledge of popular music and a work ethic that wouldn’t quit.  He was funny, bullheaded, mercurial, generous, deeply talented and driven.  He loved is wife and kids more than anything.  We are all in a state of shock, disbelief and profound sorrow.  We brought our two-year History of the Eagles Tour to a triumphant close at the end of July and now he is gone.  I’m not sure I believe in fate, but I know that crossing paths with Glenn Lewis Frey in 1970 changed my life forever, and it eventually had an impact on the lives of millions of other people all over the planet.  It will be very strange going forward in a world without him in it.  But, I will be grateful, every day, that he was in my life.  Rest in peace, my brother.  You did what you set out to do, and then some.”

There is a great documentary “The History of The Eagles” that has played on CNN and is also streaming on Netflix. It was a story that illustrated to me how those times of the 1970’s were times when the recipe was there to follow and become famous in music that doesn’t exist today. I think about myself and my beginning bandmates and how we had those great 4 part vocal harmonies and were also set apart from so many of our peers. In the documentary, there was a line of Glenn Frye’s from when he first went to California and met Jackson Brown…he said, the only way you’re going to become famous was to write songs. Our band just didn’t write the songs. We were a local town bar band. We had fun, made some money and did something that many others couldn’t…be really good doing what we loved.

“These cloudy days, make you wanna cry. It breaks your heart when someone leaves and you don’t know why ” – Glenn Frey

(above lyrics from the song, “No More Cloudy Days” from the “Long Road Out of Eden” album. Check it out…it’s a great album.)

So far in 2016, these music legends have passed away:

Paul Kantor

January 28, 2016: Kantner, a co-founder of the ’60s psychedelic rock staple Jefferson Airplane, died at age 74 as a result of multiple organ failure and septic shock. He struggled with health problems for some time, having suffered a heart attack in March 2015. A vocalist and rhythm guitarist, Kantner helped create the “San Francisco sound” that so defined the counter-cultural movement with songs such as “White Rabbit” and “Somebody to Love.” As a songwriter, he crafted the band’s “Young Girl Sunday Blues” and “Today,” among others.

Glenn Frey

January 17, 2016: Eagles co-founder Glenn Frey died at the age of 67 due to complications from rheumatoid arthritis, acute ulcerative colitis and pneumonia. The guitarist co-wrote some of the bands most famous hits, like “Desperado” and “Hotel California,” and Frey also provided vocals for songs like “Take It Easy,” “Heartache Tonight,” and “Lyin’ Eyes.” His 1982 solo album, No Fun Allowed, cracked the top 40 with “The One You Love,” “Smuggler’s Blue,” “Sexy Girl,” and other hits.

Dale “Buffin” Griffin

January 17, 2016: Mott the Hoople drummer Dale “Buffin” Griffin passed away in his sleep at the age of 67. Mott the Hoople’s most famous album, 1972’s All the Young Dudes, was produced by David Bowie. Griffin was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease in 2009.

Pete Huttlinger

January 15, 2016: Musician Pete Huttlinger died suddenly at the age of 54 after a stroke. The guitarist is best known as the lead guitarist for John Denver. A graduate of Berklee College of Music in Boston, Denver also toured with John Oates and LeAnn Rimes. He also recorded more than 15 albums of his own solo work.

David Bowie

January 10, 2016: After an 18-month battle with cancer, legendary musician/artist/fashion visionary David Bowie passed away surrounded by his family. He was 69. Bowie’s knack for blending musical styles like rock, jazz, cabaret, dance, electronica, and soul helped him create some of the most beloved and iconic songs in history. His first album,The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars was released in 1972. In 1976, he achieved international success with his second album, Young Americans and the single, “Fame.” Other memorable songs from his 40 year career include: “Space Oddity,” “Heroes,” “Changes,” “Under Pressure,” “China Girl,” “Modern Love,” “Rebel, Rebel,” “All the Young Dudes,” “Panic in Detroit,” and “Fashion.”

In addition to his musical prowess, Bowie found another artistic outlet in film, starring in movies like The Man Who Fell to Earth, The Last Temptation of Christ, and Labyrinth. Just a month before his death, Bowie’s rock musical,Lazarus opened on Broadway. His final album, Blackstar, was released January 8, just two days before he passed away.

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