Raising a Glass to Glenn Frey

I love music, and when I was finishing up high school, the Eagles were just beginning to really catch fire.

In 1975, when I was a junior at Newport Harbor High School in Newport Beach, California, the Eagles were starting to redefine the “California sound” that the Beach Boys had created. While the Beach Boys were pure, dizzily happy pop, the Eagles brought a sound that merged country with rock, delighting and alienating equal numbers of fans of both genres.

But that “country-rock” sound endured, and the Eagles became huge. Now, as we learned earlier this week, one of the architects of that sound is gone. Glenn Frey died from complications from rheumatoid arthritis, acute ulcerative colitis and pneumonia. He was 67.

Back in ’75, the Eagles scored their first No. 1 single on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles Chart with “Best of My Love.” The next year, they released the song with which they would become most synonymous: “Hotel California.”

My love affair with wine was still 10 years in the future, so I had no idea those two songs would one day fit into my extremely broad definition of “wine songs.” (For me, a “wine song” is any tune that mentions wine in any way.)


The key lyrics from “Best of My Love”:

Beautiful faces and loud, empty places

Look at the way that we live

Wastin’ our time on cheap talk and wine

Left us so little to give


The key lyrics from “Hotel California”:

So I called up the Captain,

“Please bring me my wine”

He said, “We haven’t had that spirit here since nineteen sixty nine”

I love the Eagles and their music so much that I’ve been willing to overlook the technical inaccuracy in “Hotel California.” The “Captain” apparently did not recognize that wine is not a spirit. A spirit is a distilled liquor such as brandy, whiskey, gin or rum.

I’m especially willing to overlook it now… now that Glenn Frey is gone. Rest in peace, Mr. Frey. And thanks for all the great music.

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4 comments on “Raising a Glass to Glenn Frey
  1. Pete Velasquez says:

    Great story. So much to say ,hard to believe the Eagles music was a big part of my life too. Thanks for sharing

  2. Anonymous says:

    Spirit was meant to refer to Woodstock, not wine. We haven’t had that spirit here since 1969. Don Henley said this at one time.

  3. Joseph Reid says:

    I agree, I always took That line in he song as a spirit of the soul, and not the substance . however comparing the Late Glenn Frey to a very fine wine is a gracious and kind tribute. His talent and effects on so many people will stay with us and only age with us Like a fine wine. It will only get better with time.

  4. Bob Henry says:

    “It’s Your World Now”
    (by Glenn Frey and Jack Tempchin)

    “It’s Your World Now”

    A perfect day, the sun is sinkin’ low
    As evening falls, the gentle breezes blow
    The time we shared went by so fast
    Just like a dream, we knew it couldn’t last
    But I’d do it all again
    If I could, somehow
    But I must be leavin’ soon
    It’s your world now

    It’s your world now
    My race is run
    I’m moving on
    Like the setting sun
    No sad goodbyes
    No tears allowed
    You’ll be alright
    It’s your world now

    Even when we are apart
    You’ll always be in my heart
    When dark clouds appear in the sky
    Remember true love never dies

    But first a kiss, ONE GLASS OF WINE
    Just one more dance while there’s still time
    My one last wish: someday, you’ll see
    How hard I tried and how much you meant to me

    It’s your world now
    Use well the time
    Be part of something good
    Leave something good behind
    The curtain falls
    I take my bow
    That’s how it’s meant to be
    It’s your world now
    It’s your world now
    It’s your world now

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