Glenn Frey was an Asshole and a Genius and the World is a Better Place Because of Him

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Glenn Frey was an asshole. A big one. He fired original guitarist Bernie Leadon over an argument about the Eagle’s direction early on (Bernie also poured a beer over Glenn’s head in that argument and told Glenn to “chill out, I’m going surfing”). Frey replaced Leadon with Joe Walsh. Frey fired bassist and vocal Randy Meisner due to his stage fright resulting in Randy refusing to sing TAKE IT TO THE LIMIT during encores. Frey replaced him with Timothy B. Schmidt.

Don Henley would say that Glenn Frey was an asshole, but to be fair, Frey would say the same thing about Henley. They are both right. In 2001 Frey, with Henley, fired the last original member, Don Felder, over a payment dispute. Felder wanted to be paid as much as Frey and Henley. Frey’s response: songwriting power.

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Felder sued the band over the rights to HOTEL CALIFORNIA. The case was settled out of court, and Felder disgraced himself, and would never be invited to perform with the band again. Bernie Leadon performed with the during their last tour, and Randy Meisner declined due to health reasons.

Glenn Frey was an asshole, but more importantly he was a genius. He held himself and the rest of the Eagles to the highest of standards. Don Henley was absolutely right in his wonderful statement in the wake of Frey’s passing. He said that Frey started it all, he was the spark plug, and he led the band through its turbulent span.

When Frey and Henley broke the band in two, Henley went on to an amazing solo career. Frey’s career was as different from Henley’s as it could possibly get. Frey wanted to be a rock star, and in the 1980’s, he was.

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His over-the-top, borderline obnoxious Billboard hits are fantastic and have become seminal 80’s songs. THE HEAT IS ON was prominently featured in BEVERLY HILLS COP. YOU BELONG TO THE CITY and SMUGGLERS BLUES were featured in MIAMI VICE. The latter was used in an episode of the same name wherein Frey guest starred as Jimmy Cole, the antihero, guitar playing smuggler who teams up with Crockett and Tubbs.

After his brief acting stint, Frey and Henley got the band back together and went on the Hell Freezes Over tour in the early 90’s. Since then, Frey has secured the Eagles legacy, not only in American rock, but rock in general.

Glenn Frey was not only the frontman and leader of the Eagles, but he was the one to champion and enshrine them. Glenn Frey was an asshole and a genius, and the world is a much better place because he was here for such a short period of time.

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8 thoughts on “Glenn Frey was an Asshole and a Genius and the World is a Better Place Because of Him”

  1. The writer needs to do his homework. Felder was not an original member. Randy Meisner was not fired, he quit. And Glenn Frey was not a genius, but he was an asshole.

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  3. Sorry, but Glenn’s “assholeness” far outweighed his “geniusness”. As did Henley’s. What a complete pair of douche canoes. That pair altered a lot of lives. I suspect Glenn now sees the error of his ways.

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  4. It’s really insulting to call Glenn an a–hole, given that he had just died at the time this article was published.

    A couple of errors that I found are that Glenn fired Bernie Leadon and Randy Meisner – in truth, neither was fired by him.

    Bernie left in 1975, later citing a need to get healthy, but has denied the long-running reports that he left because of the move from country rock, and Randy left in 1977, because of exhaustion from touring.

    It’s true that they had disagreements with Glenn, but both men later made up with him and I’ve since learned that these disagreements are normal in bands.

    Also, Don Felder was the only ex-Eagle to burn his bridges with Glenn and Don Henley beyond repair and another error I saw was that he was the last original Eagle.

    Felder was never a founding member of The Eagles, because he wasn’t there from the start or on the first two albums, but rather, he made minor contributions to “On the Border” and joined full-time shortly thereafter, hence the late arrival credit.

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  5. He was an asshole and not much talent to boot. Just because you think that you’re part of a Lennon and McCartney writing duo does not make it so!

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  6. He didnt need to be an asshole. It was not central to his success. It was an unproductive dickishness that was on full display during the “history” doc. It stains his legacy, for what? It got him nothing.

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