Founding member of the Eagles band, Glenn Frey, dies at age 67

Glenn Frey, a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee and a founding member of iconic rock band the Eagles, passed away on Monday, Jan. 18 in New York City. He was 67 years old. Frey’s death is said to have been caused by a combination of ongoing medical battles including rheumatoid arthritis, acute ulcerative colitis and pneumonia.
In a statement given by the Eagles’ manager, Irving Azoff, Frey endured an ongoing battle with rheumatoid arthritis, a chronic inflammatory disorder affecting the smaller joints in the hands and feet, for the past 15 years. Frey was taking several medications for his arthritis.
“The colitis and pneumonia were side effects from all the (medications),” Azoff said in a statement. It was the side effects of these medications that ultimately led to his passing.
Frey’s health was in turmoil for quite some time. In November, the band announced that they would be postponing their Kennedy Center Honors ceremony, which was supposed to take place in December the following year. The cancelation was due to Frey’s relapsing intestinal issue, which required Frey to undergo a major surgery that rendered a lengthy recovery time. This was the second time Frey was forced to deal with intestinal issues.
Glenn Frey was born on Nov 6, 1948 in Detroit, Michigan. As a teenager, he began playing with several bands throughout the city’s music scene. It was during this time that Frey met legendary singer-songwriter Bob Seger, who took Frey under his wing and helped forward his career as a musician. Seger brought Frey into the studio and showed him how records were made and introduced him to the art of recording. He also allowed Frey to play rhythm guitar and backup vocals on a few of his songs. A few years later, Frey moved to California with the hopes of making it big. He met another famous singer-songwriter, J.D. Souther, and began writing and performing with him. Frey and Souther eventually moved into an apartment in Los Angeles together. Their downstairs neighbor was Jackson Browne, another popular musician with incredible talent. It was Browne who really taught Frey how to write songs. Frey, Souther and Browne became great friends, and they continued writing and working on one another’s songs throughout the entirety of their musical careers.
Frey eventually formed the Eagles with Don Henley, Randy Meisner and Bernie Leadon, while performing alongside Henley as backup musicians for Linda Ronstadt. They later brought in famous guitarists Don Felder and Joe Walsh and, later, bass player, Timothy B. Schmit. This move added a creative edge for the band and produced some of their most well-known songs, such as “Hotel California,” “Take it to the Limit,” “The Long Run” and “Heartache Tonight.”
Glenn Frey’s incredible talent can be seen in many of his songs that he wrote for the Eagles. Frey also co-wrote, or had a hand in writing, virtually every one of the Eagles’ songs.
Don Henley spoke of Frey in a separate statement.
“He was like a brother to me,” Henley said. “We were family, and like most families, there was some dysfunction. But, the bond we forged 45 years ago was never broken, even during the 14 years that the Eagles were dissolved. We were two young men who made the pilgrimage to Los Angeles with the same dream: to make our mark in the music industry — and with perseverance, a deep love of music, our alliance with other great musicians and our manager, Irving Azoff, we built something that has lasted longer than anyone could have dreamed. But, Glenn was the one who started it all.”
Frey’s music and mark on the music industry will live on for eternity. The artwork in his songs will continue to touch, inspire and influence millions in the years to come. May he rest in peace.