It’s official, I’ve Become that Seinfeld character.
You know, Elaine’s new boyfriend who, whenever “Desperado” comes on the radio, slips into the thousand-yard stare, adrift on a wide sea of melancholy. Remember? The guy from All My Children and the voice of every video game character ever? Anyway, I get it. THE EAGLES. So many young people today just cannot over-emphasize the absolute, unabashed, naked, red-eyed hate they feel for this band. But why? Most Eagle-bashers say it’s because “Hotel California,” has been played on the radio so many times it’s become unlistenable pop music white-noise. This argument is, in fairness, the easy way out. “Pretty Woman” ostensibly sucks for the same reason. But Roy Orbison is still fantastic, that’s not even up for debate. The debate, however, rages on with the Eagles. So here’s my rock-solid case: Since their formation in 1971, the Eagles (sidebar: the band is really just called “Eagles,” which looks great on paper, so to speak, but is actually kind of clunky when you read/write something like “Eagles is a good band” on *ahem* actual paper) have had six (6) #1 albums, five (5) #1 singles, they’ve won six (6) Grammy’s and five (5) American Music Awards, and their album, Hotel California, is #37 on Rolling Stone‘s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time list. They are the highest selling American band in history and once, early on, they played a live show at Disneyland as Linda Ronstadt’s backing band. Plus, they arguably helped inspire this whole Neo-Native American fashion trend that is lighting up every Urban Outfitters rack on the planet. A stretch? Maybe. Here’s another—the Eagles are The Beatles of the American Southwest! Yes, I said it. If, somehow, the incredible track record / the fact that the band members all got honorary doctorates this year from Berklee College of Music / that last exclamation point hasn’t convinced you of the Eagles’s legendary yet still relevant greatness, I invite you to try getting very, very high on whatever it is you like, lying down somewhere close to the speakers, and listening, truly listening, to “Take it to the Limit” and “Take it Easy” on vinyl. And when you’re ready, or even if you’re not, try “Desperado” again. It’s out there waiting for you:
“Desperado, why don’t you come to your senses?
Come down from your fences, open the gate
It may be rainin’ but there’s a rainbow above you
You better let somebody love you
(Let somebody love you)
You better let somebody love you before it’s too late”
Let the Eagles love you. Before it’s too late.