Strangely enough, the heartrending recent passing of musician/songwriter Glenn Frey reminded me of the happy times I had with my old band during our practices.
Like most bands in the ‘70s, we did a lot of Eagles covers. Not only were they great tunes that audiences loved to hear, but also they were usually utilized pretty easy three- or four- progressions and simple chords. While we couldn’t match the beautiful three and four-part harmonies heard on the albums, most of the time we could easily play and sing the catchy melodies well enough to get listeners’ attention.
I distinctly remember rehearsing the song “Hotel California,” or at least trying to rehearse it.
Our drummer, Jeff, who possessed a beautifully sweet voice, had a hard time getting through the second line of the song. (Warm smell of colitas, rising up through the air) We thought it was “warm smell of burritos,” by the way.
It wasn’t that Jeff couldn’t hit the notes. When the line came up Steve, our keyboard player, often interjected a comment about the smell of those “burritos.”
That usually cracked everyone up and totally messed up the run-through of the song. Even when Steve didn’t say anything we were all expecting it and that was enough to get us cackling like a bunch of hens.
There were any other inside jokes, good-natured insults and hilarious mistakes that made practicing not perfect but thoroughly enjoyable. A lot of that occurred while playing – or trying to play – Eagles songs.
So I want to thank the late cofounder of The Eagles, not only for that great timeless music, but for all the good memories I have associated with it.