Thursday, August 14, 2014

I Never Knew

I did not expect that over this summer I would find time to watch more than three hours of a documentary about the Eagles. Not the flying raptors, the symbol of this great land, but the rock group from the late seventies. It actually took me longer than that, since I was suffering from a persistent case of telerepetitis which kept me dropping in to the second half of the story, during which the boys in the band lost patience with one another and went their separate ways, only to be brought back together in a wave of feelgood happiness that made the rest of the escapades seem more like the terrific setup rather than petty squabbles between millionaires.
Did I say "petty?" Listening to these guys talk about each other, it certainly doesn't sound "petty," unless your definition includes Tom Petty, who once broke his own hand by punching a wall. And maybe this definition won't quite fit for any of the Eagles, who seemed more intent on punching one another rather than recording studio walls. Except Joe Walsh. He didn't just punch walls. He used chainsaws and other machinery to rearrange the accommodations in his hotel suite. As for the rest of the guys, well, they seemed happy to rearrange one another's faces.
And here's the irony, for me: "Peaceful Easy Feeling." "Take It Easy." Two of the greatest hits of the greatest hits band of all time. All that peace and easy taking feelings didn't seem to extend much past the actual songwriting, with by all accounts wasn't the smoothest sea to sail, either. The Eagle's Lennon and McCartney got along a lot like, well, Lennon and McCartney. But since they also got to decide who got paid, it ended up not mattering as much. Like The Beach Boys before them, the sounds coming out of the studio were always a lot sweeter than the sounds going on inside.
And when it was all over, and somebody had to take a stand, it was the one that brought them closer to the cash. Will they get back together? Sure, "When Hell Freezes Over." I suppose it makes sense that people would pay to see that, just like people would have paid to see the Beatles get back together. Three thousand dollars worth? Of course, this is 2014, and that offer from Lorne Michaels would have to be more like six thousand, especially if they wanted to get Don Felder back in the band. Or maybe Glenn and Don could offer up an additional six thousand just to keep him away. That's the kind of sweet harmony I've come to expect from these guys.

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