Paul Fitzpatrick: London, November 6th 2022
Glenn Frey, a founding member of the Eagles would have been 74 today.
A native of Detroit, as a teenager he was due to join his friend Bob Seger’s band but his family objected as he’d been caught smoking grass with Seger.
Instead, Frey followed his musician girlfriend to California, and settled into the burgeoning Laurel Canyon music scene before accepting an invitation to join Linda Ronstadt’s backing band.
Frey subsequently introduced Don Henley to Ronstadt’s band, a line-up that already featured Randy Meisner and Bernie Leadon, and the foursome would go on to form The Eagles in 1971
Track one on The Eagles eponymous debut album was a song co-written by Frey and his friend Jackson Browne – “Take it Easy“.
“Take it Easy” was a song that Jackson Browne had intended to include on his own debut album but was struggling to finish. He played it to Frey who volunteered his services, contributing to the lyrics and the arrangement, completing the song on the basis that the Eagles could record it first.
The song featuring Frey on lead vocals was released as a single in May 1972. It was a top 20 hit in the US & Canada but didn’t register at all in the UK where Glam Rock was at its peak in the summer of 72.
In 1972 Route 66 went through the heart of Winslow, Arizona, however by the end of the decade Winslow had been bled dry by an interstate by-pass diverting traffic away from the once bustling town.
The residents looking for ideas to put the town back on the map decided to commission a statue to commemorate the exact spot in the town referred to in the song.
in 1999, a statue, a mural and a permanently parked flat-bed Ford truck, were positioned at that ‘Corner in Winslow, Arizona’, to honour the towns place in Rock history.
The monument has done it’s job attracting thousands of tourists and has become a magnet for Eagles fans all over the world….. particularly so since January 2016 when many have specifically travelled to pay their respects to Glenn Frey.
Well, I’m a standing on a corner
in Winslow, Arizona,
and such a fine sight to see.
It’s a girl, my Lord, in a flatbed Ford
slowin’ down to take a look at me.
Come on, baby, don’t say maybe.
I gotta know if your sweet love is
gonna save me.
We may lose and we may win
though we will never be here again.
So open up, I’m climbin’ in,
so take it easy.
3 thoughts on “Standing On The Corner, On Winslow Arizona”
Great piece, Paul. The Eagles were (are) big favourites of mine – despite me being heavily into my punk and rock music at the time. Never got to see them live, regrettably.
That statue and the one of Rory Gallagher in Ballyshannon would be on my ‘must see’ bucket-list if I ever won the lottery!
Great song from, I’d say, a great band. Trying to retrace the old Route 66 would be a sort of bucket list thing for me…lots of great scenery & time capsule-style restaurants, motels etc.
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I’ve always liked “Take It Easy” and knew the version by the Eagles long before I heard Jackson Browne’s recording, which I also dig. It was also great the read about Winslow’s background story, which I had not known. Frankly, I only had been aware of the place and the fact that it’s located in Arizona because of the song. I’m glad the statue helped put Winslow back on the map. It’s amazing what impact a traffic bypass can have on the fortune of a town!
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