Last Sunday (August 5, 2007) I sat through a recorded performance of one of my favorite bands “Eagles,” misty-eyed and a lump in my throat. I am sure wifey was wondering why I had gone glassy eyed, of a sudden. Nostaligia for an age that had passed, a phase that had ended made me very sentimental as they crooned numbers I closely associated with the process of growing up in middle-class Chembur in Bombay.
Don Henley and Glenn Frey [they are the guys squatting in front of the picture] were, and still are, my favorite singers, since a long, long time. The others are equally good and include: Don Felder, Bernie Leadon, Randy Meisner, Timothy B. Schmit, Joe Walsh, etc. were icons.
The distinction of their music with that of the present generation was made painfully apparent by these ageing heroes of my childhood. They were mostly above fifty, wrinkled, with finely lined faces. However, their music and their skill shone through their age, their faltering attempts at jauntiness, now, looking a bit jaded. It was obvious they believed in something, even that music could change lives, and isn’t just a means to let off frustration.
They weren’t rock stars of the generations that came after them, but musicians who knew what melody and harmony meant. (Ahem, most bands today don’t know what harmony means, for them making screeching vinyl sounds, or, thumping beats is all that counts.)
The song they sung? “A New Kid in Town”, “Peaceful Easy Feeling”, “I Can’t Tell You Why”, “One of These Nights”, “One Day at a Time”, “Lying Eyes”, “Tequila Sunrise”, “Love Will Keep Us Alive”, “Take It to the Limit”, “Heartache Tonight”, besides others. Oh, how can I forget their evergreen hit “Hotel California” which plays everyday, each time and every time I visit my favorite pub – Café Mondegar in Colaba.
I can shut my eyes and visualize the smooth harmony and soft guitar chords of these songs and bring back those days of juvenile sentimentality, when the rushing of adrenaline (due in part because of these songs) seemed to promise much more than the later years delivered. Amen!