Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Since you asked:

The more I read about the hilariously incestuous world of the L.A. rock scene from 1967 to 1978, the simpler it becomes.

Incestuous I say? Linda Ronstadt, Joni Mitchell and Judy Collins slept with everybody, and they were considered good girls because they did not participate in orgies.

And by everybody I mean James Taylor, Jackson Browne, J.D. Souther, 
Crosby, Stills, Henley and Frey. Just to name a few.

The bands were the same interbreeding without sex. Randy Meisner was a good example. He played on James Taylor’s albums, was in Poco and Rick Nelson’s Stone Canyon Band that included members of Buffalo Springfield, The Byrds, Little Feat and Crazy Horse. 

When Meisner left the Eagles because he was too coked-out to be able to stand the ego of a more-coked-out Glenn Frey, he was replaced by the guy who replaced him in Poco, Timothy B. Schmidt.

Glenn Frey was the David Crosby of the Eagles. Both had the biggest egos, did the most drugs, but not the most talent. Do not get me wrong, Crosby had a great voice and so did Frey when it was matched with Henley. But on his own, Frey’s voice was just OK. 

Frey, rest in peace, had an amazing gift for taking written or almost written songs and turning them into hits, ala Jackson Browne’s “Take it Easy.” “Seven Bridges Road” was never going to be a hit the way Steve Young - who wrote it - did it.

Go ahead, name a great David Crosby or Glenn Frey song. “Almost Cut My Hair” is self-indulgent high school poetry at best. For writing and making the awful “Sexy Girl,” Frey should have lost his legal ability to make songs. "The Girl From Yesterday" is almost a parody of country rock. "Teenage Jail" is the definitive think-piece about the destructive effects cocaine has on musical creativity.

Neither CSN&Y nor the Eagles would be anything without the respective Crosby and Frey. But they are also the reason they both were nowhere near as good as they could and should have been and also why they broke up in their prime.

People who knew Crosby and Frey either loved them or hated them. Crosby's biography has 50% of the people's contributions starting out by saying, "I hate David Crosby, but . . . " His own biography.

When I saw Glenn Frey upclose at a celebrity golf tournament, he seemed to take himself and his golf game way, way, way too seriously. One can only assume he did that even more with his music.