Oh, Jeff Slate. You don’t get to spew about how much the Eagles suck and not get some sort of response from me. I will agree with you – they are not a rock band. Just like ABBA was not a rock band. If you compare them to rock, you are contributing to the problem you are complaining about in the first place. You and I are on the same side on this one. Yeah, I can see heated arguments with famous musicians.
Mr. Slate was writing his unhappy response to the above article where the Eagles Greatest Hits from the 70’s has outsold Michael Jackson (also not a rock act) to be top of the list for most albums sold. I think the first conversation anyone should have is why we included a greatest hits album on a “best of albums list” to begin with. But, I digress.
I can appreciate his opinion – he is, after all, writing about music for a living. And, he has already lived my dream of writing for Rolling Stone. There are some of us who love music and some of us who merely turn on the radio. I, like Jeff, am a music lover. My favorite thing to do in the world, is to talk music with anyone who loves and appreciates it as much as I do. If I have a glass of wine in one hand while doing it – I couldn’t be happier.
So, I agree with Jeff, they are not a rock band. And, we grew up in roughly the same era – so we have heard the same things. I’ve written about it before but things have changed a little since I was growing up. Back then we had AM radio and FM radio. Everything was played on AM radio, except the harder rock or less mainstream stuff that showed up on FM. I don’t even remember FM radio until high school – I had a semi nomadic life as a child – not all towns are created equal when it comes to radio. Especially for dinos like me.
I spent a lot of time in my mom’s car back in the day. It was nice – she drove a Lincoln Continental with leather seats – the nicest car we had ever owned. It was the late 70s. I always wanted the radio on – mom compromised – we could listen to her 8-tracks. She had ABBA (of course), Eddie Rabbit, George Jones, John Denver, Charlie Rich ( I can sing Behind Closed Doors in my sleep), and the Eagles Greatest Hits. I was listening to Styx and Bowie – I hadn’t crossed all the way over to hard rock, yet. The Eagles were doable and Mom liked them – A Lot. So, listen I did. Until Hotel California came out. My brother gave it to me for Christmas – my very first ever cassette tape. I still have it. But, I wore that out. It was the Eagles, who my mom loved and new music – which she hated. It was a win-win for this little rebel. Old Eagles is something we could agree on. Ha. it was probably the only thing we agreed on.
Flash forward a bit, and you have me now in my mid-twenties and rockin’ the local live rock bar on weekends (weekdays too, but that is another story.) The Eagles were okay, but I was more interested in Bon Jovi (yes, I know you hate him, too, Jeff) and Motley Crue. I enjoyed more hard and metal and no easy listening except for the Madonna and Rick Astley my College roommate would play when she couldn’t take the “noise” anymore. So – I was more into Joe Walsh than Glen Frey.
I feel like one of my most important jobs as a mom is to make sure my kids have a healthy music appetite and appreciation. I want them to know everybody I know. We started playing “who sings this song” when they were little. We still do – the daughter is amazing at it – the boy – poor kid. He likes music but isn’t the fanatic the rest of his family is. She is also a choir kid – so, I introduced her to the Eagles young. Because, hate or whatever – those boys could sing amazingly together. She loved them. When she was 11 or 12, I gave her her first concert/band T. She had asked for several for Christmas – but, I bought her the Eagles, Hotel California shirt. She didn’t ask for it, but I had a feeling. I have never before (or after) given her anything that elicited such a fantastic response. She didn’t open any other presents for a while. She still wears it. Last summer me and the kids road tripped on RT 66, travelling all the way to Winslow, AZ….I am sure you can guess why.
If my mom was still here – the Eagles are something our three generations could share. How many other music acts (bands, groups or other) can say that? They were not a rock act. Unless, you want to put them under the soft-rock category. But, I don’t think that exists. Whether or not they sucked? If you like and enjoy them and they make you happy – even if only for the time the song is on – that doesn’t suck. I can remember one Christmas eve where an entire family of fifteen (spanning generations) had a fantastic evening watching the dvd of their farewell tour. We sang, we laughed, we had a blast.
You are entitled to your opinion, Mr. Slate. But, don’t expect to hate and not hear about it.