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A MILLENNIAL EAGLE IN THE SKY

Score For Boomer Music…Again.

Eagles-2014-tour

Wednesday night the Eagles played the Moda Center at the Rose Quarter in Portland, Oregon.

Rock Royalty came to town to play the hits from a long career, but they are a different breed than most royals.

First off, they’re not English, so they could care less about royalty.

The Rolling Stones’ Mick Jagger and the Beatle’s Paul McCartney more resemble royals with their knighthoods.

No such thing for The Eagles. No Sir Glenn, Sir Don, Sir Joe, or Sir Woodstock.

The four bandmates aren’t the originals, but they’ve been together long enough, like Ronny Wood with the Stones, to forget the other guys.

The Eagles go way back to 1970. I picked them up in 1972, junior year in high school. Country wasn’t as cool then, but the Eagles did their part.

I saw them in Portland, touring behind Desperado, in 1974, and it wasn’t the Moda, or Memorial Coliseum.

The Eagles played the Paramount back then, like every other band drawing small crowds. When I saw Queen a year later in Philadelphia they played a smaller place, too.

You know the feeling of going to a concert and sitting there wondering how it’s going to sound. Safe to say the Eagles always sounded good. They took their stage work seriously and played close to their original sound.

This was no Bob Dylan act where they changed the songs around depending on their mood. They stood at their mics and cut loose with the best harmonies this side of the Beach Boys early work.

In the early 70’s the hits weren’t there yet, but the craft was. They could play and sing and let the music stand on it’s own.

At the Paramount the stage had a backdrop. Real spare decorations, and that’s all they needed.

The song that hooked me was Take It Easy, a perfect anthem to move forward a few short years after Woodstock.

That night in Portland so long ago I heard Desperado. This was the band for me.

You always hear about remembering the first time? The Eagles were my first concert and I still see them in shades of their younger selves.

Wednesday night my oldest son saw their show. He didn’t party down hard and hurl on his blue suede shoes and do the slip and slide down the steps. He didn’t crash on a park bench and tuck in with a newspaper.

Instead he saw the Eagles with friends, his girlfriend, and her folks. The short video he showed me was Take It Easy.

“Did they sound good?” I asked.

“Too close to sounding like the radio for me,” he said.

“They’re a very strict bunch who take pride in their musicianship. They don’t show up half gassed, leave early, then apologize the next day. They give you what you came for, Eagle music.”

“That sounds about right.”

“Were people singing?”

“All night long.”

“Lots of young people know the words?”

“What young people?”

“Oh no.”

“The crowd was singing because they’ve heard the same songs for decades. That was their base.”

“Glad you went?”

“I am. I’m glad I got to go. It wasn’t a band trying to play young, old, or anything but what they were. And they’re great.”

Baby boomers know the feeling. Go ahead and be who you are, not who someone wants you to be, or thinks you are. Being you is the best thing you can do for others with so many fakers running games.

Boomer bands still have a message for millennials as well as their parents. It’s in the words, always the words.

Doolin-Dalton still sounds like a diary entry from the Old West.

They were duelin’, Doolin-Dalton
High or low, it was the same
Easy money and faithless women
Red-eye whiskey for the pain
Go down, Bill Dalton, it must be God’s will,
Two brothers lyin’ dead in Coffeyville
Two voices call to you from where they stood
Lay down your law books now
They’re no damn good
Better keep on movin’, Doolin-Dalton
‘Til your shadow sets you free
If you’re fast, and if you’re lucky
You will never see that hangin’ tree
Well, the towns lay out across the dusty plains
Like graveyards filled with tombstones, waitin’ for the names
And a man could use his back, or use his brains
But some just went stir crazy, Lord, ’cause nothin’ ever changed
‘Til Bill Doolin met Bill Dalton
He was workin’ cheap, just bidin’ time
Then he laughed and said,”I’m goin,”
And so he left that peaceful life behind

Loss and remorse haunt us if we let them, why not let the Eagles do the haunting instead. If your kids don’t know the Eagles, introduce them.

About David Gillaspie
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