More Drowned Albums:
I feature these because I recently took a couple of late nights to watch the 2013 documentary History of the Eagles on Netflix. (My nephew Daniel is right; even if there weren’t other things for me to binge watch on Netflix, it’s worth it for the documentaries, and it’s enabled me to enjoy a lot of them I wouldn’t otherwise have been able to see.)
I remember in years past, I couldn’t figure out how I didn’t know the Eagles broke up after The Long Run tour. That’s when I saw them in Birmingham, Alabama (they were good, and Joe Walsh was a sensation), and it just felt like the Eagles were always there. The documentary gave me some insight. They didn’t really break up. They just stopped. But nobody ever stopped playing the music for the next 14 years, so when they reunited, it was as if they never left.
What I really appreciate is this is a documentary about band dynamics–not gossip, girls, groupies, gratuitous glamorization of drug excesses. It’s about the creative ebb and flow, the alliances, the arguments, the inner circle and the satellites, all the things it takes to create a successful band. Whether you love or hate the Eagles, they are for sure a band who, a few years from their 50th anniversary, still gets played, still makes people sing along, and can still pack a venue.
And oh, Don Felder, Randy Meisner, Bernie Leadon, Timothy B. Schmit, I loved you all, as you came and went. I went through phases of Eagles rejection, but I was always lured back, even if it was hearing a song from Don Henley or Glenn Frey in their solo years. In every version of the band, there were always songs and voices and instruments that provided the soundtrack to lives being lived. (In fact, at one point, Glenn Frey says–I’m paraphrasing badly, I’m sure–that the Eagles were who people played when they were doing things: taking a road trip, breaking up, falling in love, blowing a career.)
I have a ton of stories related to Eagles songs, some funny, some sad. But for sure their music provides me another of my “I know exactly where I was the first time I heard it” moments. A few of us youngsters were at one of those places we weren’t supposed to be (this almost always means we were high school girls hanging out with college boys–it was a college town! What do you expect??). We were sitting in one room, there was an album on the turntable in another room. And like magic, I was suddenly on my feet and drifting toward that other room as I asked, “What is this? WHO is this?” It was the first Eagles song I’d ever heard and I made them play it over and over, then I went and found the 45 at our local record shop as soon as I had some money to spend.
From that teenage girl to now, “Witchy Woman” still casts a spell on me, exactly as it should.