Glenn Frey, Eagles guitarist, dies aged 67

The founding member of the US rock band had been suffering from intestinal problems for several months

Glenn Frey, Eagles guitarist, has died at the age of 67 in New York.

The founding member of the US rock group had been suffering from intestinal problems for several months and had surgery in November.

Frey co-wrote and sang some of the Eagles’ best-known songs, including Heartache Tonight, Take It Easy, and Lyin’ Eyes, and co-wrote Hotel California and Desperado with Don Henley.

The band announced his death on their website.

“Glenn fought a courageous battle for the past several weeks but, sadly, succumbed to complications from rheumatoid arthritis, acute ulcerative colitis and pneumonia,” a statement read.

“The Frey family would like to thank everyone who joined Glenn to fight this fight and hoped and prayed for his recovery.

“Words can neither describe our sorrow, nor our love and respect for all that he has given to us, his family, the music community and millions of fans worldwide.

“Glenn was the one who started it all,” Henley 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.

“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.”

Frey and Henley later became estranged and that rift kept the band apart in the 1980s. Henley had vowed Eagles would reunite only when “hell freezes over”, which became the name of the subsequent 1994 album.

Tributes flowed for Frey on Twitter. Musician Ryan Adams tweeted:

RIP, Glenn Frey. Travel to the stars safely, bro.

— Ryan Adams (@TheRyanAdams) January 18, 2016

Musician Huey Lewis tweeted:

Glenn Frey. I’m shocked. A brilliant songwriter and a really good guy. Talented, funny, cynical and sweet. - Huey

— Huey Lewis (@Huey_Lewis_News) January 18, 2016

Beats 1 and former Radio 1 presenter Zane Lowe tweeted:

All those incredible songs we grew up with. Thank you Glenn Frey. R.I.P.

— Zane Lowe (@zanelowe) January 18, 2016

Frey was born in Detroit in 1948 and moved to Los Angeles with his then girlfriend in the late 1960s and began writing songs and performing. He briefly shared an apartment with Jackson Browne, with whom he wrote many songs.

After meeting Henley in 1970, the pair formed Eagles and released their self-titled debut two years later.

The band was wildly successful in the 1970s, selling some 100m albums in the US alone, and a further 50m worldwide.

The 1976 release Hotel California is perhaps their best known, although the Greatest Hits album of the same year was, for a time, the best-selling album in US music history, certified platinum 29 times..

Frey had a successful solo career in the 1980s with hits including The Heat Is On, which featured on the soundtrack to the Eddie Murphy film Beverly Hills Cop, and You Belong to the City from the TV show Miami Vice.

His most recent album, After Hours, was released in 2012.


Chris Johnston and Andy Welch

The GuardianTramp

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