Already Gone

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Did y’all watch the Grammy’s?

It was heartbreaking to watch Jackson Browne and the Eagles play together as a tribute to Glenn Frey who passed away on January 18th. They performed “Take It Easy”, which Jackson Browne wrote with a little assistance from his upstairs neighbor Glenn, while living in the Echo Park area of Los Angeles.

Jackson would end up giving this song to the Eagles and it became their first #1 hit on their first album in 1972.

There’s been many other times that Browne and the Eagles have played together throughout the years. And one of those times I remember with fondness, because I was there along with the other 55,000 in attendance.

It was the most anticipated concert of the year, the twentieth anniversary of the death of James Dean just two days away; a gorgeous Sunday afternoon, the skies clear and blue, the temperature perfect for an outdoor concert at Anaheim Stadium in Orange County, California. My boyfriend (now husband) had asked me out on a date and purchased tickets to see one of my favorite groups. I was so excited. I had only been to a couple of concerts before and this was my first outdoor concert at a stadium and it was huge.

Huge perhaps is an understatement. Yes, there was a huge crowd. Yes, there was huge anticipation. Yet, it was the performers that made this concert such a huge event.

You see, the Eagles weren’t the only band who played that day. Besides the opening act Toots and the Maytals, we were entertained by Linda Ronstadt and Jackson Browne with his two year old son frolicking across the stage. Cute!

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Do you see how much it cost for this concert?

Ten bucks! Ha, ha, ha! Mind you, ten dollars only bought you general admission. But that just meant it was festival seating. Since the stage was set up in center field, everyone stood and sat as close as possible. Yet, as it turned out, we were at an advantage because those with assigned seats were clear in the back.

Score!

First to perform was the group Toots and the Maytals. While they never achieved the commercial success of the Wailers, Toots & the Maytals were nearly as important in the history of Jamaican music as Bob Marley.

Next came Jackson Browne. Okay, I’ll just come clean right now and tell you I had a huge crush on Jackson Browne. What girl didn’t? And when he sang Doctor My Eyes, no girl in the audience had a problem with their eyes. We could see just fine. My, oh my. ☺

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(This was taken at the concert. I told you Jackson Browne’s son was cute!)

Then Linda Ronstadt took the stage and wow what a voice. “You’re no good, you’re no good, you’re no good, baby you’re no good.” I don’t know who or what she was talking about because she sounded really good to me.

Finally, last but not least, the Eagles walked on stage. Now you have to know this was quite a turn of events since the Eagles were once the backup band for Linda Ronstadt. Oh what a difference a few short years can make. But that’s the amount of success the Eagles had achieved even before their Greatest Hits album was released the following year becoming the best selling album of the 20th century.

And to think this occurred before the Hotel California album.

Huge indeed!

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Yet, here we were rocking out to hits such as Already Gone; Witchy Woman; On the Border; One of These Nights; James Dean; Take It to the Limit; Peaceful, Easy Feeling; Desperado; Best of My Love; Along with the rich harmonization of Take It Easy and Lyin’ Eyes.

Now how many bands do you know can kick out a stream of hits such as these in a matter of 3 years?

But that wasn’t the end of the concert.

As the Eagles began to end their set, a surprise guest walked on stage.

Joe Walsh.

The crowd went crazy. None of us knew this was his initial introduction into the band. We had no idea he would be there. His name wasn’t on the ticket.

He began strumming a riff with his guitar. Over and over, the notes flowed through the airwaves and took over the entire stadium. We all knew we were in for a special treat when we recognized the song.

Oh yeah, baby. Rocky Mountain Way.

The crowd went wild. Everyone was on their feet, including those in the back in their seats. People were dancing, jumping up and down, hootin’ and hollerin’. And when we turned around, we noticed something strange, something quite frightening.

We watched as the whole upper first tier of the stadium tottered. We’re talking reinforced concrete nodding up and down like an ocean wave filled with row upon row of bouncing people.

Was it an earthquake? Were we actually having an earthquake? After all, this was California.

We had no idea if the tier would collapse, or if the people would live through the song, until it became evident that the tier bobbed up and down to the beat. Ah, this was no earthquake. The girders were reacting to the weight as everyone danced and stomped to the rhythm of the music.

I looked over to my boyfriend who knew a thing or two about construction and he reassured me that the building was made to give with weight or in case of an earthquake. Okay, that made me feel a little bit better. But at the end of the song, they made an announcement from the stage asking everyone on the first tier to sit through the encore.

What an experience. It was a one of a kind experience that I will never forget.

This memory brings me back to the other night. I was surprised and amazed how Don Henley and the rest of the band were able to pull it together so soon after their founder and close friend had died. Although, if you watch closely, you can see the strain and bittersweet sorrow on their face, as each respectable member cladded in black, struggled to make it to the end of the song. In fact, when Jackson Browne sang the line, “but we will never be here again,” he almost lost it.

Well, I lost it and so did many other fans. Yes, it would’ve been nice if they’d had a more formal introduction. And of course the fans would have loved to hear more than one song.

But you know what? How they got through that one song is beyond comprehension. These men were dealing with raw emotion. Their hearts were still bleeding from the unexpected loss of their colleague and friend, and the knowledge that they might never play as the Eagles again.

We’re all going to miss you Glenn.

“There’s a hole in the world tonight,
There’s a cloud of fear and sorrow,
There’s a hole in the world tonight,
Don’t let there be a hole in the world tomorrow”

So even though Glenn Frey is already gone, let’s hope his memory will still linger on.

So what do you think? Did you watch the Grammy’s? Are you an Eagles fan? Who is your favorite group? What fond memory do you have of your favorite concert?

Cheers everyone! I hope that life is treating you well. And, as always, thank you so much for all your support and wonderful comments!
Karen

30 thoughts on “Already Gone

  1. Mike Devich

    I found your page with your memories of that show by doing an Internet search for tickets like the one you pictured. Your image came up. You see, I have two unused tickets from that show. My late brother Don was supposed to attend that show with a girl but at the last minute he had to cancel. So afterwards he gave me the tickets. I saved them like I save everything. So it was nice to read about the show he never got to see. I wasn’t there either, but I did actually get to see Linda and the Eagles (although they weren’t the Eagles yet) perform at my high school’s Grad Nite at Disneyland back in June 1971. They played on the Tomorrowland Stage. She wasn’t a big name yet at the time. Top billed were Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, second were the Staples Singers, and then Linda and her band. Anyway, cheers and thanks for the read.

    Reply
    1. Karen Post author

      Hi Mike. Thank you for taking the time and sharing your experience. Or should I say, your bother’s unfortunate missed experience. You never know where Google will take you. I did not know Linda played Disneyland. It’s sad to note that Disneyland just took out the Tomorrowland Stage. It was a unique time to live in Southern California. Glad we were all a part of the history that made the Eagles and others so special. 🙂

      Reply
  2. Alarna Rose Gray

    Although the Eagles were a bit before my time, I did digest their music for a while in my youth, and remember those days fondly. The best musicians kind of record our memories with them. I’m sad for all the beautiful musicians we’ve lost this year. And glad we were blessed with their art.

    Reply
    1. Karen Post author

      Ah yes Alarna, those good ‘ol days of classic rock. “The best musicians kind of record our memories with them.” I love that! And we have lost quite a few of them lately. So glad they left their music behind for all to enjoy! 🙂

      Reply
  3. Denise D. Young

    Wow, Karen. What a walk down memory lane. Sounds like a day/night to remember!

    My favorite concert memory is of attending a Jewel concert with my dad when I was 15. It was back in the day when Jewel was huge (I’m still a fan, BTW). My dad was resistant to going, but he agreed to drive out to Pittsburgh with me and go to the concert. Truth be told, I think he enjoyed it as much as I did. It was a great night full of great music and a fun time to hang out with my dad.
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    1. Karen Post author

      Hi Denise! Please accept my apologies for missing your comment since I had forsaken my blog. But thank you for sharing your memorable concert experience. It sounds like it turn out to be an amazing night and special since you got to hang out with your Dad. 🙂

      Reply
  4. coleen

    Cool post, Karen!
    I got into the Eagles greatest hits after Don Henley’s End of the Innocence album came out. 🙂 My first real concert experience was Bon Jovi in 1987. Won’t ever forget being smushed between people at the stage while Bon Jovi, hitched to a cable, flew over our heads. Crazy, but fun. 🙂

    Reply
    1. Karen Post author

      Thank you Coleen! Thank you Don Henley for introducing Coleen to the Eagles! I personally can’t imagine a world without them. But now, since Glenn Frey is gone, I’m afraid it the end of a Long Run. Ooh, you saw Bon Jovi? He/they were really hot in ’87. Drool! Ha, I bet that was crazy and fun. Good for you. A girl’s got to get out and kick her heels up. But Bon Jovi? Totally cool! 🙂

      Reply
  5. Patricia

    I’m not into award shows and I don’t keep up with pop music so watching the Grammy’s would pretty much be a waste of my time. But . . . I do remember all of those people you just talked about and wow! What an awesome concert that must have been. Score some major points for your then boyfriend for getting tickets!

    Great post, Karen.

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt
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    1. Karen Post author

      Hi Patricia! Well I won’t make you watch it then. Yes, it was an awesome concert. And don’t you know the boyfriend scored some major point. He proposed to me a month later and now we’ve been married for forty years. Yep, he’s a keeper! Thank you girl. 🙂

      Reply
  6. Julia

    Yes an Eagles fan, and now also a fan of Alabama Shakes! Boycotted the Grammy’s this year because Taylor Swift keeps crowding out newer, better musicians. She’s a good singer but not the best on the planet, and her name keeps popping up as if she was (were?) . Thanks for the rundown on what we missed. Cheers —

    Reply
    1. Karen Post author

      Yay, an Eagles fan! Now I have to check out Alabama Shakes. Lol. You know, I don’t blame you. It is not my habit to watch the Grammy’s, but I knew ahead of time there was going to be a tribute to Glenn Frey. Now Taylor Swift?…I like her and think she’s got a lot of talent and has kept it classy and modest. Which is refreshing. IYKWIM. But hey, different strokes for different folks. Thanks for your input Julia! Cheers!

      Reply
  7. Nigel Blackwell

    I loved the Eagles and listen to them frequently on Amazon. Must have been great to see them. Glenn Frey is another great lost.

    Outdoor concerts can be great. I saw numerous bands at Kenbworth (an open air venue in England, think just like California, but cold and wet!). Loved being part of a big crowd like that.

    Cheers!

    Reply
    1. Karen Post author

      Nigel, oh how I wish I had seen them more recently, bit this was the only time I saw them in concert. But what a concert! We still talk about it. And thank you for acknowledging that. I too think Glenn Frey is a great loss. Yes, we have lost a few icons lately. What a way to start off the new year. Not! “Think just like California, but cold and wet!” I can’t even imagine, but it sounds like so much fun. Cheers to you! It’s always great to see you. 🙂

      Reply
  8. Jennette Marie Powell

    Never was a big fan of pop music, so no, didn’t watch the Grammys. Also never got into the Eagles, but they are a pop culture icon and will be missed by many–especially Winslow, Arizona! Years after the interstate took traffic away from the town, that one line in “Take it Easy” keeps it a tourist destination. Yup, the Eagles are definitely an icon!
    Jennette Marie Powell recently posted..DistractionsMy Profile

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    1. Karen Post author

      Um, Jennette, truthfully, I am not big on the Grammy’s either. But I had heard there was going to be a tribute by Jackson Browne and the Eagles and that’s why I tuned in. And yep, I have to agree that the Eagles are an icon, although I think they really paved the way for the Country/Rock genre because they aren’t considered hard rock ‘n roll. So Take It Easy my friend and thanks for stopping by! 🙂

      Reply
    1. Karen Post author

      Really? Thank you so much Kassandra! I’m glad to hear my emotions came across on the page. Like most fans, I was shocked since this was unexpected news. Listening to the Eagles was a huge part of a lot of lives. And now that’s gone. Poof! Live goes by too fast.:)

      Reply
  9. Kristy K. James

    If it’s not on Netflix, I don’t watch anything these days – and even then, I don’t watch it a lot. I do hear about all of these singers and other celebrities dying and it makes me sad. Honestly? I was never a huge Eagles fan (please, no throwing of rotted fruit please). They were okay enough – but I do love Jackson Browne. That said, what a great tribute, Karen. And what a great concert you got to see. I admit I’ve never heard of a couple of those bands though. Growing up in a house where your parents listen to country, country, and Hee Haw might explain why though. 🙂
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    1. Karen Post author

      Aha! Well, I suggest you go to Netflix and watch The History of the Eagles. It is worth seeing even if you weren’t a huge fan. And Jackson Browne is in it quite a bit. I think part of the reason why I am a Eagles fan is because they were a southern California band and that’s where I grew up. So they’re music became the backdrop of my youth and onward. Thank you so much for the compliment. I hope you enjoy the film! 🙂

      Reply
    1. Karen Post author

      I’m sorry you missed it Amy. I had a feeling it may have been missed and that’s why I shared it here on the post. Yes, the Eagles played a huge part for me also. Uh, I had all their albums. And eight track tapes. Lol. It’s going to be quite different without Glenn Frey. And thank you for sharing your thoughts about the Eagles. I’m sure we all have many of our own unique experiences that we hold close to our hearts. 🙂

      Reply
  10. Lynn Kelley

    I didn’t watch the Grammy’s, Karen, but now I wish I had after reading your post. The Eagles is one of hubby’s favorite bands and Take It Easy is one of his favorite songs.

    We went to Anaheim Stadium way back when, too, to hear Rod Stewart and Loggins & Messina. I remember the tier moving up and down like you described. We were sitting in that section, and I was scared that it was going to collapse.

    We went to the California Jam and it was way, way too big for me. Over 100,000, I think. Great music, but way too many people!
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    1. Karen Post author

      Lynn, I’m sorry you and hubby missed it. But I believe it’s on Youtube. I don’t always watch the Grammy’s, but I wanted to see the Eagles tribute to Glenn Frey. Jackson Browne did a wonderful job and the guys hung in there tight and beautiful as ever. Wow, you saw Rod Stewart and Loggins & Messina? I always wanted to see Loggins & Messina. I’m jealous! I can’t imagine how it felt on that tier. It looked terrifying from where I stood in the middle of the field. I really thought it would collapse. Wow, just wow. It’s amazing what we’ve survived. And I can’t imagine 100,000 people. Way too many. 🙂

      Reply
  11. Harley Christensen

    Just a wonderful post, Karen…I write this as I wipe tears from my eyes… Have been a huge Eagles fan since my dad taught me how to load the tape into his 8-track player and amused him to no end by belting out every word (ok, I “might” have allowed a few of my own lyrics to filter in but at 5 years old, what can you expect?).

    I finally had an opportunity to see them in Sun Devil Stadium when I moved from Washington to Arizona in the early 90’s and while some might have said the band was dated and had seen better days, I was honored just to be in the presence of such talent.

    I was both shocked and saddened to hear of Glenn’s passing…lately, it seems that we are losing so many of the greats, but posts like yours – sharing your thoughts and memories – keep their spirits alive…

    So thank you, thank you, thank you, Karen…and stealing a line, please, “…take it easy…don’t let the sound of your own wheels make you crazy…”

    Reply
    1. Karen Post author

      Harley, dearest Harley. Thank you so much for sharing your experience and feelings. I can totally visualize you singing along with your father’s eight track tape. You are such a doll. Why have we not met? I too was, and still am in shock and saddened by Glenn’s death. For me, since the Eagles were the soundtrack of my youth, feel akin to the death of John Lennon. Though not a suicide, Glenn Frey’s death was sudden and unexpected. I am so glad you were able to see them in concert. I count it as a privilege and wish I had seen them more recently. So you’re welcome, you’re welcome, you’re welcome and you too take it easy. ((Hugs))

      Reply

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