The Eagles have made no announcement regarding the future of the band following the death of Glenn Frey earlier this week, but it’s nearly impossible to imagine them carrying on. “We built something that has lasted longer than anyone could have dreamed,” Don Henley wrote in a moving statement about his bandmate. “But Glenn was the one who started it all. 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.”
Fans had little idea that Frey was facing such serious health issues, at least until the band postponed its Kennedy Center Honors in November due to the singer facing “major surgery and a lengthy recovery period.” Just last year, Frey was well enough to play 38 Eagles concerts, wrapping up July 29th, 2015 in Bossier City, Louisiana. If the band never plays again, the History of the Eagles tour was a great way to wrap it up. Founding guitarist Bernie Leadon came back to the band after a long break, and every night the Eagles played two lengthy sets that traced their entire career in chronological order.
Sadly, original bassist Randy Meisner and guitarist Don Felder never got a chance to perform on that tour. Meisner is still dealing with the aftermath of an alleged violent incident in 2014, while Felder became persona non grata in the Eagles camp after a series of messy lawsuits following his departure from the group a decade and a half ago. Fans hoped that at some point all of the past and present Eagles might find a way to come together, but that is now impossible.
The only time all seven Eagles shared a stage was at their induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame back in 1998. The multiple-era-spanning lineup – Frey, Henley, Leadon, Meisner, Felder, Joe Walsh and Timothy B. Schmit – played “Take It Easy” (which you can watch right here) and “Hotel California.”
Frey was the last one to give his induction speech. “Obviously what’s going on tonight is a lot bigger than any of the individuals onstage,” he said. “And a lot has been talked about and speculated about over the last 27 years about whether or not we got along. We got along fine. We just disagreed a lot. Tell me one worthwhile relationship that has not had peaks and valleys. You cannot play music with people for very long if you don’t genuinely like them. I guarantee you that over the nine years the Eagles were together during the 1970s, and the three years we were together during our reunion, the best of times ranked in the 95th percentile and the worst of times ranked in the very small percentile that obviously everyone but the seven of us have dwelled on for a long, long time. Get over it.”