The Eagles‘ Don Henley has paid tribute to late bandmate Glenn Frey, who has passed away aged 67.
The band confirmed the sad news on Monday (January 18), with Brian May, Ryan Adams and Brian Wilson among those offering messages of condolences.
Don Henley, drummer and vocalist with the American act, has released a statement in which he honours Frey and speaks of their close bond.
“He was like a brother to me; we were family, and like most families, there was some dysfunction. 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.”
“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. He loved is wife and kids more than anything. We are all in a state of shock, disbelief and profound sorrow. We brought our two-year ‘History of the Eagles Tour’ to a triumphant close at the end of July and now he is gone.”
Henley continues: “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. 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. Rest in peace, my brother. You did what you set out to do, and then some.”
Frey founded the Los Angeles-born act alongside Henley, Bernie Leadon and Randy Meisner in 1971, and saw them become one of the most successful acts of the 70s, before they split for almost 15 years between 1980 and 1994. They’ve been touring sporadically since.
Frey, alongside Henley, was one of only two members that remained part of the band throughout their lifespan, recording hits like ‘Hotel California’, ‘Take It Easy’, ‘Tequila Sunrise’ and ‘Take It To The Limit’.
“Glenn fought a courageous battle for the past several weeks but, sadly, succumbed to complications from Rheumatoid Arthritis, Acute Ulcerative Colitis and Pneumonia,” a band statement read. “Words can neither describe our sorrow, nor our love and respect for all that he has given to us, his family, the music community & millions of fans worldwide.”
Difficulties with Frey’s health had caused postponements from the bands previously, ones that they were expecting to require a lengthy recovery period.