Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Take It Easy: Tell Me How You Really Feel About the Eagles

Posted By on Wed, Oct 16, 2013 at 2:20 PM

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As your dad already knows, [the] Eagles will play Music City's Bridgestone Arena tonight. Of course, anybody who has the most remote interest in seeing Don Henley & Co. probably bought their tickets pretty much immediately, and remaining tickets appear to be dwindling. Point is, everybody already knows how they feel about the Eagles. One way or another, we're not changing anyone's hearts or minds here.

Now, our resident grumbling audiophilic misanthrope Sean L. Maloney penned the following Critic's Pick for tonight's show. The pick, as you'll see, is less a critical stamp of approval and more a bit of misdirection followed by a pretty solid burn. Read it really quick:

Let us, for a moment, discuss the brilliance of Joseph Fidler Walsh. He was the best damn thing that ever happened to the Eagles. Why, you ask? Because he’s the best damn thing that ever happened to humanity, that’s why. Have you ever heard the James Gang? No? Please turn in your rock ’n’ roller card and board the bus to Chode-ville. Are you some sort of Lumineers fan or something? Grow a pair. James Gang destroys all comers, and Walsh’s solo records are the finest classic rock relics of the late ’70s. Shit, “Life’s Been Good” is not only the weirdest song on classic rock radio, but it’s also the only one that has not and never will get annoying. If we were in charge of classic rock radio, it would be the only song on classic rock radio. Plus the man is immortal, a god among men, and cannot be killed by mere booze and hard drugs. Wait, this isn’t a Walsh solo show? Why is this a pick? The Eagles fucking blow. Maybe Walsh isn’t perfect after all. —Sean L. Maloney

OK, first of all, hahaha. Second of all, damn it — "Life's Been Good" will now be stuck in my head for the remainder of the day. We might as well listen to it together after the jump. And then, I have a couple of questions to ask you.

By the way, tonight the Eagles will "perform classics spanning their career including 'Hotel California,' 'New Kid in Town,' 'Take It To The Limit,' 'One of These Nights,' 'Lyin’ Eyes,' 'Rocky Mountain Way,' 'Best of My Love' and 'Take It Easy.' Hits from band members’ solo catalogs will also be featured during the evening." Based on this knowledge and some Setlist.fm info, seems pretty likely that attendees will hear "Life's Been Good."

Now, I (like many of you, I imagine) have been trained to hate the Eagles for over half my life — since I heard my first punk song and watched The Big Lebowski for the first time. Because their Greatest Hits 1971-1975 has been sitting comfortably next to Thriller right at the top of the RIAA chart for some time now (29 million copies in the U.S. alone!), that makes the Eagles just about the best-selling band of all time (though Pink Floyd comes close). And as everyone knows, it's easy to hate whomever's at the top.

But — musically, anyhow — people don't tend hate fellow all-time chart-toppers Michael Jackson or Roger Waters en masse. Why? Well. Pink Floyd was subversive and counter-culture. Michael Jackson was a singular pop artist with a riveting persona (pop-culture overlap: Jackson and Glenn Frey both did Pepsi commercials, though as far as we know, Frey never caught fire while filming his). But people fucking hate the Eagles — enough to stab one another over it, in some cases. Personally, I like to adhere to the philosophy of the great Rodriguez: "Hate is too powerful an emotion to waste on someone you really don't like." That said, I fucking hate Jimmy Buffett. It isn't always easy to be zen.

So I guess what I'm trying to ask you guys is this: Do you really hate the Eagles? Or (as with, say, The Doors) are they one of those bands that just makes it terribly easy and fun to jump on the hate bandwagon? Yes, "Hotel California" is a long, dumb, ham-fisted attempt at a mythical saga. But is it really any worse than "The End" or "Freebird" or, like, "American Pie"? ... Yeah. It probably is. Does easy listening = easy hatin'? Yes, "Desperado" and "Take It to the Limit" are pretty boring, but I can't be the only person under 40 who kinda digs "Take It Easy," right? I know Best Local Band Natural Child likes to cover it from time to time.

So. Tell me how you really feel about the Eagles.

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