Point/Counterpoint: The Eagles
“Man, come on! I hate the f*#kin’ Eagles!”—The DUDE
Todd: We’ve finally come to The Eagles, eh Sylv? We’ve been together now for, what, 12 years? And I have never ever heard you mention The Eagles, which is rare given your proclivity to skewer any and all ‘70’s AOR at the drop of a hat. Why is that?
Sylvia: Because, Man ‘O’ Mine, the less said about this softest of soft rock bands pretending to be a hard rock outfit the better. Plus, any band that is championed by the horrid abomination that is the founder/Publisher of Rolling Stone magazine, Jann (pronounced ‘Yawn’) Wenner is by association an abomination.
T: So what about their music? You’ve got to admit the band was absolutely HUGE in the ‘70’s, rivaled only by Elton John and Fleetwood Mac in terms of album sales and fan devotion.
S: …and that makes them…what? Good? Groundbreaking? Originators? No, let’s try a few other words to describe this band: baby pabulum, thieves, modern day Pat Boones?
T: What? Please to explain.
S: You mean the Pat Boone comment? Sure. Pat Boone, white boy supreme who homogenized great songs in order to make them more palatable for white audiences in the ‘50’s and ‘60’s…
T: I know who Pat Boone is, what’s your po…
S:…and in the process sucked the soul, literally and figuratively, right out of them and the original artists who recorded them. Pat Boone is the reason we had bands like Bread, and America, and Jim Croce, and The Eagles, in the ‘70’s. All the Eagles ever did was jump on the backs of the country rock pioneers such as Neil Young, Gram Parsons, The Flying Burrito Brothers and The Byrds, co-op their sound, water it down and vomit it on a public who didn’t know any better. They suck like a Dyson, Todd.
T: You know, you’ve got to lighten up, open your eyes (and ears) and look a little deeper. Rock and roll has always stolen ideas from itself, that’s just the way it is. As long as the move is forward, and not lateral, then it’s progress. And The Eagles, for all of your vitriol and arguments, help bring those bands you mentioned, those so-called “originators” of the country rock sound, to a greater audience in the long run. And what’s wrong with that? Are you upset that the amazingly overrated Gram Parsons is no longer your little secret? I think so.
S: No, no no. You’re clouding the scene, man. Jesus, these guys didn’t even give Parsons any credit, never ever ever ever. They have always proclaimed that they are the reason, the sole reason, for the whole country rock thing and even worse tout themselves as the ‘inventors’ of that whole sorry movement. My GOD, I even heard Don Henly the other day trying to take credit for Uncle Tupelo, Wilco and the whole Alt-Country movement of the early ‘90’s! WTF?
T: I think there’s some truth to that, actually. If it wasn’t for The Eagles popularity there wouldn’t have been any interest in the whole country rock phenomenon, and Uncle Tupelo, and by extension Wilco and even Son Volt wouldn’t even exist.
S: Ok, don’t even go there with Wilco and Son Volt, Todd…
T: You know, now that I think about it, aren’t Wilco just The Eagles of the ‘90’s? One listen to the soft rock country sounds of Sky Blue Sky, or Wilco (The Album) will prove it.
T: Plus, you gotta give it up for Joe Walsh. The guy’s a legend.
S: The guys a cocaine and alcohol casualty of the highest (or lowest, depending) order, one of the many drug addled…
T: Sorry to interrupt you, Sylvia, but we have to beat it to another appointment. Life’s been good to us, life in the fast lane and all that jazz, you know?