Anytime my mother would slide her favorite “The Very Best of the Eagles” CD into the car’s player, I would let out a pained sound. The tinny strums of the opening song would flutter …
Anytime my mother would slide her favorite “The Very Best of the Eagles” CD into the car’s player, I would let out a pained sound. The tinny strums of the opening song would flutter through the Nissan and I would refuse to “Take It Easy.”
I was 15 and “The Big Lebowski” had persuaded me that I was too cool for the softest of soft rock. In my matter-of-fact teenaged tone, I would tell her the Eagles are what play on repeat in Hell.
That kind of unyielding sentiment – sprung from my youthful ignorance – is what has forced my secret affair with Glenn Frey, Don Henley, Joe Walsh, and Don Felder.
Because the truth is, I like the Eagles, but I’ll never let my mama know.
Their songs feel youthful. They carry with them the fever of long summer nights on every quivering string and pulsating bass line.
I can’t remember if it was the banjo’s twang or the “woooooo’s” of the wild, rambling “Midnight Flyer” that sounded to me like freedom. It was a song that gifted me the strength to leave my home and, in turn, my youth behind, but it was “Take It to the Limit” that informed me — put me on a highway and showed me a sign.
With the anthemic drum beat of a high school football game, only “Heartache Tonight” can raise those departed memories of adolescence from their cap-and-gowned grave.
What started as a forbidden, guilt-filled fling has followed me well into adulthood, hauling around the music in my heart like contraband.
I can’t help but adore the fearless lead guitar that gives songs like “Life in the Fast Lane” and “Those Shoes” the same steely confidence that I strive for.
And it may be overdone, but who doesn’t like “Hotel California?” The dry heat coming off of those opening notes always make me thirst for more. The song’s haunting and desperate lyrics are similar to the words of “One of These Nights,” “Victim of Love,” and “Witchy Woman.”
Everything about those tracks are reminiscent of smoky bar rooms — their groovy electricity evokes visions of dim light casting ghostly shadows over empty bottles. And “Tequila Sunrise” has been the perfect tune to soundtrack many a morning after.
The goosebump-inducing strings and sheepish vocals of “Desperado” tear a hole right through me, but as voices in harmony mingle with a screaming crowd, it’s the live performances of “Seven Bridges Road” that put me back together again.
And despite its pseudo-soulful cheesiness and Michael Bolton-esque lyrics, I can even get down to “The Best of My Love.” There, I said it.
From the Eagles to anything by 1980s hair bands and 2000s overly-choreographed pop groups, this is a love letter to all of my guilty pleasures. But this is also Liner Notes, a column to connect the community through song.
I always need your input for the Jefferson County community playlist. I want to know your guilty pleasure songs, even if one of them is “Disco Duck” by Rick Dees. No judgement.
Email, call, or whatever – just talk music with me.