Glenn Frey, the Royal Oak-bred Rock and Roll Hall of Famer and a founding member of the Eagles, died Monday. He was 67.
Frey, a 1966 graduate of Dondero High School in Royal Oak, succumbed to complications from rheumatoid arthritis, acute ulcerative colitis and pneumonia, according to a note posted on the Eagles’ website. Those complications forced the four-member group to postpone their recent Kennedy Center Honors until next December.
Guitarist Frey and drummer Don Henley formed the Eagles in Los Angeles in the early 1970s, along with guitarist Bernie Leadon and bassist Randy Meisner. They would go on to become one of the biggest rock bands of all-time; an Eagles greatest hits collection from the mid-1970s and “Hotel California” are among the best-selling albums in history.
Frey got his start as a background singer and acoustic guitar player for Bob Seger. As a member of the newly formed Eagles, Fre provided backup for pop singer Linda Ronstadt.
It was Frey’s winsome tenor that we first heard of the Eagles, singing about standing on a corner in Winslow, Arizona, in “Take it Easy,” in 1972. The song was written by Frey with Jackson Browne. It was in England, ironically, that the band recorded that sun-soaked debut album in the spring of ’72, “The Eagles.”
“Take it Easy” was followed quickly by “Witchy Woman” and “Peaceful, Easy Feeling.”
With the Eagles, Frey wrote or co-wrote the band’s biggest hits, including “Hotel California,” “Desperado” and “Take It to the Limit.”