Why did the Big Lebowski Dude hate the Eagles? (and what is Glenn Frey's legacy?)

posted 27 Jan 2016, 11:58 by sean grgeg   [ updated 29 Jan 2016, 06:03 ]
I have to be very careful here - as I believe it is seriously uncool to negatively comment on a soul that has recently passed on. But at the same time I do feel i have some opinions on this subject (and i do feel its somehow relevant to the now). I will try and be careful.

First off , i would like to acknowledge that without Glenn Frey there is no Eagles band (as we know them today). The massive enterprise is a direct reflection of him. Ambitious, driven, single minded and great stage presence. His confidence talking to large groups of people is a key strength. Early on in his career, the universe seemed to reward him with some incredible twists of good luck. Asylum records (David Geffen) was incredibly generous to offer them (the Eagles) a contract at that time (unknowns through and through - who were yet to develop anything original and did not even have a sound as such). Despite all this they found themselves in London with legendary Brit producer Glyn Johns. IMHO it was Johns who unleashed their sound and made them stars (that wonderful acoustic and the vocal harmonisation thing (which I think represents the Eagles at their best)). Their 3rd streak of good fortune was that the band was given relevant songs (that manifested a vibe that the generation wanted to hear). An acquaintence of the bands (Jack Tempchin) gave them their first hit "Peaceful Easy Feeling" which represents everything that a whole load of folks (including myself) want to identify with. This song is about a man wandering out into the desert to connect a woman soul before the majesty of nature "with a billion stars all around". Beautiful!.

On the other side of the coin (and I think this is what the Jeff Bridges character was going on about in the film see taxi cab scene) , that by the start of the 70s - the values of the 60s flower generation seemed to be losing traction. Change was in the wind and new energy was coming in. Frey himself, talks in the "History of the Eagles" documentary about what the sexual revolution means to him (which ran contrary to what the original architects of the 60s were on about: true equality across cultures, skin color , women and men). Its fair to say that the Eagles ignored the quiet acoustic /harmonisation based on connection with a higher spiritual plane and made it their business to be about sex,  drugs and rock n roll (with an almost self entitlement type attitude). They aligned themselves with the corporate sector (and stadium rock) and focussed on  making money for themselves. To the Dude this was selling out. Musicians of the 60s saw themselves as part of a bigger spiritual movement (and it was like they were speaking for the people). The creative heartland of the group (Messrs Leadon, Meisner and Felder) were drummed out by the type D personalities.  By the time the "Long Run" was released the vibe of the 60s had retreated right back to almost nothing.

in Summary. Yeah the Big Lebowski Dude was pissed (and he had a right to be). Everything he stood for had been undermined. I have to say I am very unsure why the Rock Gods rewarded this band with such good luck? its almost like they want us to learn something? I personally think thats the way the universe wants it. We (the children of the 60s) reached the peak of the mountain around 1969 (and so began the gradual erosion of all things spiritual and we were back into the age of "mind and ego" (and what George Harrison calls the "Wah Wah")). 

It is what it is: Glenn Frey was not a bad nor a good person - he just represented the new energy of the time. I believe he had the right mix of ambition and drive to push the band along, but his ultimate legacy is what precious learnings he can provide for us all. Open to interpretation, but I for one thank Glenn Frey for that.