Don Henley on Glenn Frey: 'He Changed My Life Forever'

"Glenn was the one who started it all," Henley says of Eagles singer-guitarist. "He was the spark plug; the man with the plan"

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Henley; Frey
Don Henley penned a poignant tribute to Glenn Frey, his Eagles bandmate who passed away at 67 R. Diamond/Getty

Glenn Frey's Eagles bandmate Don Henley has written a touching tribute to his friend, following the news of the guitarist's passing. "Glenn was the one who started it all," he wrote. "He was the spark plug, the man with the plan. He had an encyclopedic knowledge of popular music and a work ethic that wouldn't quit. He was funny, bullheaded, mercurial, generous, deeply talented and driven."

Frey died Monday due to "complications from rheumatoid arthritis, acute ulcerative colitis and pneumonia," according to a statement from the Eagles. Henley wrote that the band members are still processing the death. "We are all in a state of shock, disbelief and profound sorrow," he wrote. "We brought our two-year History of the Eagles Tour to a triumphant close at the end of July and now he is gone.

"I'm not sure I believe in fate, but I know that crossing paths with Glenn Lewis Frey in 1970 changed my life forever, and it eventually had an impact on the lives of millions of other people all over the planet," he continued. "It will be very strange going forward in a world without him in it. But, I will be grateful, every day, that he was in my life."

Elsewhere in the statement, Henley marveled at how he, Frey and the other Eagles kept going over the years. "He was like a brother to me; we were family, and like most families, there was some dysfunction," the drummer and vocalist wrote. "But the bond we forged 45 years ago was never broken, even during the 14 years that the Eagles were dissolved. We were two young men who made the pilgrimage to Los Angeles with the same dream: to make our mark in the music industry – and with perseverance, a deep love of music, our alliance with other great musicians and our manager, Irving Azoff, we built something that has lasted longer than anyone could have dreamed."

Henley also noted that Frey "loved his wife and kids more than anything" and signed off by addressing the guitarist and singer. "Rest in peace, my brother," Henley wrote. "You did what you set out to do, and then some."

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