No, Not The Lodge, The Group

I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again–there is no other stretch of years I’d like my life to include than the decades I’ve fortunate enough to experience, especially when it comes to music.

I’m a Boomer. Born in the mid-50s after the war, raised in the turbulent 60s, going off to school and moving into adulthood in the 70s, raising a family in the 80s, 90s and a couple of years in the 2000’s (by the way, what do you call THAT decade?) and getting ready to eventually wind down in the 2020s. The current guestimate on when I’ll “retire” is early 2026 and even then, I plan to define retirement as “doing only the things I like to do.” Most of which, I’m doing now, so it may be hard to tell I’ve retired.

As I look back at all that happened with music during my lifetime, I am truly blessed. It’s a span includes legends like Elvis, Chuck Berry, James Brown, the Fab Four and all the British Invasion bands and really, the evolution of what is Pop Music. During 50 of my 66 years, a group called The Eagles provided some pretty memorable songs. And a couple of Saturdays ago, we got to get together again and revisit those songs and so much more.

Part of the magic of the evening was that we caught the show in Seattle’s brand-new Climate Pledge Arena. Yeah, a bit of a dorky name, but reflective of the facility. This was built as the ultimate in arenas, delivering a completely zero carbon footprint. The ice for the hockey team is made from rain they collect. The electricity is generated from solar. Everything served comes in recyclable containers and is compostable. But with all that, they still gave the building amazing acoustics, such that as we listened to the Eagles play, it was like we were listening to them in our living room. I mean, that clean. Toss in an orchestra AND a choir and I get goosebumps just thinking about that night.

Don Henley mentioned in his early banter that their first album came out 50 years ago. Do the math and I was a sophomore at Torrance High School with a crush on the girl across the street. KHJ was LA’s “Boss Radio” station and when I finally got my driver’s license and could borrow the folks’ car, I’d roll down the windows and crank up the radio, listening to “Take It Easy” or “Witchy Woman”, which were on that first album.

I’ve had favorite groups come and go over the years. The Beatles were the first, followed by the likes of Three Dog Night (I had the poster on the wall and, in fact, took it with me to the UW), the Moody Blues, Electric Light Orchestra and so many more. I enjoyed the Eagles, but it’s as I get older that I realize I should be including them on that list. They were a band that played a kind of country-rock sound that was fun and cool, but in my younger years, not among my favorites.

However, when they performed that Hotel California album wall-to-wall and then played over two hours of “greatest hits”, my God, what an amazing team. Yes, Glenn Frey is no longer with us, but his son Deacon and Vince Gill covered for him nicely. When they added Joe Walsh in the mid 1970s, the band ascended to amazing new heights.

Before the intermission, Don Henley said they would be right back to play “everything we know” and he wasn’t kidding. They returned with all their hits PLUS Joe Walsh doing some of his classics PLUS some Don Henley solo pieces AND letting Vince Gill show that he was not just a country music bumpkin. He and Joe Walsh broke out into a guitar duel on one song and if you closed your eyes, you couldn’t tell who was playing.

Earlier this year, when I heard their tour was passing through Seattle, the day tickets went on sale I just had to buy a pair. Being a radio weasel, I could have waited and hoped for free tickets to get in (that’s been known to happen) but I was going in with the idea that this is probably the last time I’m going to see them all together like this. And I did not want to miss it.

And it was an amazing treat.

If, in the future, they do make it back up this way again, or if they launch a Vegas residency, I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to experience that band. I left the Climate Pledge Arena proud of the place this city has built, and thankful that I was able to see the group that pretty much has provided the soundtrack to most of my life.

And as they continue to be where I am, as I continue doing that morning show on KRKO, we play more than our fair share of Eagles songs.

Each one generating their own unique memory for me.

Musically speaking, dang, I’ve had a lucky life.

Take it easy.

Tim Hunter

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