The Eagles and other guilty pleasures | Liner Notes

Posted 6/3/21

Anytime my mother would slide her favorite “The Very Best of the Eagles” CD into the car’s player, I would let out a pained sound. The tinny strums of the opening song would flutter …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

E-mail
Password
Log in

The Eagles and other guilty pleasures | Liner Notes

Posted

Anytime my mother would slide her favorite “The Very Best of the Eagles” CD into the car’s player, I would let out a pained sound. The tinny strums of the opening song would flutter through the Nissan and I would refuse to “Take It Easy.”

I was 15 and “The Big Lebowski” had persuaded me that I was too cool for the softest of soft rock. In my matter-of-fact teenaged tone, I would tell her the Eagles are what play on repeat in Hell.

That kind of unyielding sentiment – sprung from my youthful ignorance – is what has forced my secret affair with Glenn Frey, Don Henley, Joe Walsh, and Don Felder.

Because the truth is, I like the Eagles, but I’ll never let my mama know.

Their songs feel youthful. They carry with them the fever of long summer nights on every quivering string and pulsating bass line.

I can’t remember if it was the banjo’s twang or the “woooooo’s” of the wild, rambling “Midnight Flyer” that sounded to me like freedom. It was a song that gifted me the strength to leave my home and, in turn, my youth behind, but it was “Take It to the Limit” that informed me — put me on a highway and showed me a sign.

With the anthemic drum beat of a high school football game, only “Heartache Tonight” can raise those departed memories of adolescence from their cap-and-gowned grave.

What started as a forbidden, guilt-filled fling has followed me well into adulthood, hauling around the music in my heart like contraband.

I can’t help but adore the fearless lead guitar that gives songs like “Life in the Fast Lane” and “Those Shoes” the same steely confidence that I strive for.

And it may be overdone, but who doesn’t like “Hotel California?” The dry heat coming off of those opening notes always make me thirst for more. The song’s haunting and desperate lyrics are similar to the words of “One of These Nights,” “Victim of Love,” and “Witchy Woman.”

Everything about those tracks are reminiscent of smoky bar rooms — their groovy electricity evokes visions of dim light casting ghostly shadows over empty bottles. And “Tequila Sunrise” has been the perfect tune to soundtrack many a morning after.

The goosebump-inducing strings and sheepish vocals of “Desperado” tear a hole right through me, but as voices in harmony mingle with a screaming crowd, it’s the live performances of “Seven Bridges Road” that put me back together again.

And despite its pseudo-soulful cheesiness and Michael Bolton-esque lyrics, I can even get down to “The Best of My Love.” There, I said it.

From the Eagles to anything by 1980s hair bands and 2000s overly-choreographed pop groups, this is a love letter to all of my guilty pleasures. But this is also Liner Notes, a column to connect the community through song.

I always need your input for the Jefferson County community playlist. I want to know your guilty pleasure songs, even if one of them is “Disco Duck” by Rick Dees. No judgement.

Email, call, or whatever – just talk music with me.

Comments

2 comments on this story | Please log in to comment by clicking here
Please log in or register to add your comment
HarveyW

A friend of the Eagles and composer of Take it Easy is Jackson Browne. He composed These Days at the age of 16. Gifted at 16. Wise at 16. At 16 said "don't confront me with my failures, I have not forgotten them". When Duane Allman sang the words, he revealed his soul.

For many Jackson carried the torch of hope, and resignation of living in our times.

Doctor My Eyes, Before the Deluge and Everyman are examples of ideals and ideas lacking in the microcosm of political Port Townsend. The album and song For Everyman grabbed this one, and revealed connections in the world of music of Jackson to Bonnie Raitt, David Crosby and others. For the powers that be here, and you Alli, here are the lyrics to Before the Deluge. May your generation have great music to guide you, and remember past songs that inspired. Check out The Sons of Champlin Follow Your Heart, and much of Bruce Cockburn.

This week by circumstance I am connected to a Mohawk historian. Our common thread is to make waves, and be aware that those living in comfort within corrupted systems and bureaucracy need to be constantly reminded of a better path to follow. Or, you can just Do Wah Diddy Diddy Dum Diddy Do. We choose which music to follow.

Some of them were dreamers

And some of them were fools

Who were making plans and thinking of the future

With the energy of the innocent

They were gathering the tools

They would need to make their journey back to nature

While the sand slipped through the opening

And their hands reached for the golden ring

When their hearts, they turned to each other's hearts for refuge

In the troubled years that came before the deluge

Some of them knew pleasure

And some of them knew pain

And for some of them it was only the moment that mattered

And on the brave and crazy wings of youth

They went flying around in the rain

And their feathers, once so fine, grew torn and tattered

And in the end they traded their tired wings

For the resignation that living brings

And exchanged love's bright and fragile glow

For the glitter and the rouge

And in a moment they were swept before the deluge

Now, let the music keep our spirits high

Let the buildings keep our children dry

Let creation reveal its secrets by and by, by and by

When the light that's lost within us reaches the sky

Some of them were angry

At the way the Earth was abused

By the men who learned how to forge her beauty into power

And they struggled to protect her from them

Only to be confused

By the magnitude of her fury in the final hour

And when the sand was gone and the time arrived

In the naked dawn only a few survived

And in attempts to understand a thing so simple and so huge

Believed that they were meant to live after the deluge

Now, let the music keep our spirits high

Let the buildings keep our children dry

Let creation reveal it's secrets by and by, by and by

When the light that's lost within us reaches the sky

Monday, June 7
HarveyW

Quick correction, Duane Allman should be Greg Allman. Don't confront me with my failures applies to all of us at times. Jackson Browne has also teamed up with Bruce Cockburn for "Great Big Love" Like always I can go on and on..........

Evening sun slants across the road

Painting everything with gold

I'm headed for home, got a woman there

I can barely wait to hold

Got wind in my hair, got the heat inside

Heart jumping up and down

An empty head and a messed-up bed

I'll be floating just above the ground

Great big love

Sweeping across the sky

Seen a lot of things in the world outside

Some bad but some good stuff too

Felt the touch of love in the works of God

And now and then in what people do

Never had a lot of faith in human beings

But sometimes we manage to shine

Like a light on a hill beaming out to space

From somewhere hard to find

Great big love

Sweeping across the sky

I ride and I shoot and I play guitar

And I like my life just fine

If you try to take one of these things from me

Then you're no friend of mine

Got a woman I love and she loves me

And we live on a piece of land

I never know quite how to measure these things

But I guess I'm a happy man

Great big love

Sweeping across the sky

Monday, June 7