Sunday, January 24, 2016

100 Things I Want to Tell My Children and Grandchildren: #17

I snubbed Eagles front man Glenn Fry, and now he’s dead, and I want to apologize.

In1980, my friend Paul Gongaware, AEG Live Co-CEO and concert promoter for Bruno Mars, Bon Jovi, Carrie Underwood, Jennifer Lopez, Justin Bieber, Kanye West, Taylor Swift, and others, was at the time promoting the Eagles The Long Run Tour. On the February night they played at the Frank Erwin Center in Austin, Paul invited me to the after-party at The Driskill Hotel. Having attended many such concert after parties, and needing to be at work at The University of Texas bright and early the next morning, I didn’t stay long, but several extraordinary things did happen while I was there.

First, I had a nice long conversation with Don Henley, who was soft-spoken and very appreciative of my comment that the audience at the Erwin Center had a great time. That’s what he was interested in – that the audience had a good time.

At some point Joe Walsh walked in, making a bit of a commotion - laughing joking, asking where the beer was - but he did take a few minutes to stop by and meet me. Later, after I’d left, Paul said Joe keep asking, “Where’s SueA-n-n-n-n?” in a parody of my west Texas drawl.

When Glenn Fry came over to join the conversation between Don and me, I sort of resented the interruption and noted that he was short and a bit arrogant. In telling this story I always mention I thought Glenn Fry was a jerk. Now he’s dead, and honestly, I have no idea whether he was or not.

So I want to say I’m sorry Glenn Fry, for judging you. And I’m sorry you died so young. You were an exceptional writer and singer, bringing immeasurable musical pleasure to many, and I’ll bet you have the penthouse suite in the Hotel California in the sky.

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