Tag Archives: Hotel California

The Eagles Flew in from the West Coast

22 Feb

A few weeks ago, the news broke that Glenn Frey passed away. I meant to write something about his death, but outside influences kept me from it. Then, we watched the Grammy Awards and the tribute with the Eagles and Jackson Browne. Again, I meant to write something, but outside influences kept me from it. Now, it is a quiet Sunday night, and the chance to write has finally arrived.

When I heard about the death of Glenn Frey, my mind went to the first time I saw the Eagles in concert. They were one of my favorite bands, and everyone knew that they would never go on tour. However, I always told myself that I was going to see them if they ever reunited. Then, Hell froze over, and they went on the Hell Freezes Over tour.

I got second row tickets to see them at Starwood Amphitheater and could not wait for the show. I would finally see the Eagles. Then, disaster struck. They postponed a bunch of concerts, including the one in Nashville. I could not remember why they postponed the shows, but, upon Glenn Frey’s death, I read that it was due to his illness. It would be the same medical issue that would eventually cost him his life.

When the show was postponed, many people assumed that it would be cancelled and were refunded for their tickets. I refused to do that. The tickets were too good to let go. I kept them for months before hearing that the show would go on, and it was an awesome show. They opened by playing the entire Hotel California album.Eagles

As the years passed, the Eagles went on more tours, and I saw them a couple of more times. The last concert was a journey through their history with original members coming back to play with later members. However, nothing would compare with seeing that first show and hearing them open with the guitar notes of “Hotel California” as fake lightning flashed behind them.

The Eagles are my favorite band, and Glenn Frey was one of the driving forces behind their music. He will be missed.

As I have been writing this, Eagles songs have been going through my mind. I think I will end this post by listing my Top 5 Eagles songs. Since, “Hotel California” usually dominates such a list, I will leave that one out.

  1. Wasted Time” – The last track on Side 1 of the Hotel California album. It was released in 1976.
  2. Lyin’ Eyes” – The second single from the One of These Nights album. It was released in 1975.
  3. Pretty Maids All in a Row” – The third track on Side 2 of the Hotel California album. It was released in 1976.
  4. Seven Bridges Road” – Appeared on the Eagles Live concert album. It was released in 1980.
  5. Witchy Woman” – The second single from Eagles, their debut album. It was released in 1972.

Over the weekend, my wife and I went to the Country Music Hall of Fame. I mention that because I believe the Eagles should be inducted.

What are your favorite songs by the Eagles?

Hey, Nashville! Be a Real Music City and Build an Amphitheater

17 May

Last night, we went to a concert. That seems to be a theme for us since I am a concert addict. This one had three awesome act – The Devil Makes Three, Alison Krauss and Willie Nelson. Before the show, I had planned on a post about the show and the crowd. Instead, this post is about the venue.

It is called the Woods Amphitheater and has a semi-appropriate name. The woods part is accurate. Basically, they went into the middle of the woods and put up a stage. As far as I could see, that was the only major structure around.

While calling it an amphitheater is technically correct, it is a stretch of the definition. The reserved seats were folding chairs. There were a few concession stands. There were no permanent restroom facilities. My wife refused to drink anything in the fear that she might have to use the portable ones.

After spending too much time in a concession line, I said that I would not come back if Elvis rose from the dead for one last show. And, I am a huge Elvis fan.

In short, I was disappointed with the setup. A stage with folding chairs is advertised as a major concert venue. Look, the owners are not worried about what I think. The concert was sold out, and I am sure they are making plenty of money. However, the city of Nashville should be worried. It bills itself as Music City, but it does not have a real outdoor amphitheater where people can enjoy major acts in the outdoors. There is no excuse.

On top of that, we used to have a great once called Starwood.Starwood

Last night, I started thinking about Starwood and how cool it was. You could buy reserved seats under a cover. They were actually bolted to the floor. If you wanted to bring a blanket and sit on the grass hill behind the seats, then you could do that, too. The best place to sit depended on who was performing.

Starwood was the place where I got kicked out of a Metallica concert. Actually, my buddy got kicked out, and I had to go with him.

Starwood was the place where Robert and I walked into the middle of a knife fight at a Lynyrd Skynyrd concert.

Starwood was the place where I saw The Eagles on their first reunion tour. They opened up by playing the entire Hotel California album.

A lot of people have some great memories of what happened on the stage and in the crowd at Starwood.

As I sat in the wannabe amphitheater, I tried to think of the people I saw perform at the real amphitheater. This is not a complete list, but some of the concerts are hazy.

The aforementioned Metallica, Lynyrd Skynyrd and The Eagles in addition to:

KISS. Judas Priest. Hootie and the Blowfish. Edwin McCain. ZZ Top. Rod Stewart. Chicago. Elton John. Ted Nugent. Crosby, Stills and Nash. Motley Crue. John Fogerty. Rob Zombie. Velvet Revolver. Ozzie Osbourne. Alan Jackson. John Mellencamp. Jimmy Buffett. Def Leppard. Marshall Tucker Band. Meatloaf. Dave Matthews Band. Blues Traveler. Earth, Wind and Fire.

I have no idea how many more there are, but it is a bunch.

Starwood was not one of the all-time great concert locations, but it was better than what we have now. Nashville is a great place to listen to all kinds of live music. It has the Ryman Auditorium, which is legendary. It has an arena and a stadium for the huge shows. There are small places, like the Bluebird Cafe, scattered around town where great musicians perform every night. Heck, Dave Grohl did a surprise show there this week.

However, Nashville’s music scene will not be complete until it gets a real amphitheater.

 

A Very Long Post About What I Learned While Sitting In A Bar

4 Feb

Over the weekend, my wife was out of town, and I took the opportunity to hit the streets. Robert, my good friend and college roommate, got a pass for Saturday night, and we took the opportunity to relive some of those olden college days. The first stop was a high-caliber restaurant where there was more food on the plate than there were clothes on the waitresses. To provide an example of what I am talking about and to rack up more page views, here is a photo.Twin Peaks

After our meal, we drove a short distance to the Tin Roof, a drinking establishment that has several locations around the state. When I tweeted out our location, my nephew replied, “Are you in college?” I tweeted back that I teach at a college. Most of the Tin Roof locations are known as hangouts for those in college or a little older. This one is geared more toward an older set, so I can understand his confusion.

We found a table and ordered some drinks. It was just like the old days. We told stories; talked about people; laughed a lot; and recalled our days of youth. Along the way, I learned a few things. From my first days of going to bars, I have had a habit of watching the people around me. It is not a “watching my back” kind of thing. It is more of a study in the social interactions of inebriated humans.

This night was no different. As we talked, I watched. As I watched, I learned a few things.

A cover band that opens up with “Hotel California” must feel pretty confident. Not long after we arrived, guys were dragging guitars and drums, and that is usually a good sign that they are in the band. As usual, it took a while for them to set up. When they started playing, we got fired up because this is, in my humble opinion, one of the greatest songs ever recorded. It was really good for the age of the crowd.

However, that is when I started thinking. How do you follow up one of the all time great songs? With “Stairway to Heaven”? The set can only go down from here. I was worried that the band had peaked too soon. It turned out that they knew better than I. This bunch played for hours without taking a break.

Bands in small suburban bars have groupies, too. As the band played, a tall blonde came walking through the door. She stopped at the bar to get a drink and talk to some people. However, she did not stay there for long. She founded a spot in front of the stage – actually, a raised platform – and never moved the rest of the night. She did not dance. She did not have another drink. She just sat in front of the lead singer and stared at him.

If you think the bouncer is your friend, then you go to that bar too often. The bouncer was huge and looked tall even while sitting on a stool by the door. He was doing his job of checking ID’s and watching the crowd. The funny part was when people would come up and talk to him. Women gave him hugs and whispered in his ear. Honestly, he probably did not mind that. Guys came up and shook his hand or slapped him on his shoulder, which I would not recommend doing to someone in the security business.

The funny part was the expression on his face. Whenever someone came up to him, he had this “who are you? don’t bother me” look on his face. I wondered how many people go up to him in a weekend and act like they are his best friend. I also wonder how many of them he actually knows by name.

Bottom line: if he knows your name, then you need to expand your circuit and get to some other places.

Former NFL players cannot go anywhere without being bothered. At some point, a large man walked into the bar. I thought he looked familiar, but I kept saying that I did not think he was who we thought he was. Robert googled him and found out that he was who we thought he was. It was Albert Haynesworth, former Tennessee Volunteer and Tennessee Titan.Albert Haynesworth

He and the lady he was with went to the bar for a few drinks. She knew a few people and began introductions. She even introduced him to the bouncer. I guess that means she goes there a lot, too.

Anyway, it was not long before guys started talking to him. Hey, I saw you play that one time. Hey, do you remember that game where you tackled that guy? On and on it went. Finally, he found an empty booth where he and the lady could sit. That is when a couple of dudes sat in the booth with them. She tried to be nice, but Albert stayed on his phone. Eventually, Albert and the lady left. However, those guys can always say that hung out and drank with a former NFL player.

Old people get in bar fights, too. Suddenly, the bouncer leapt from his stoop and ran into the patio area. Luckily, nobody was hugging him at the time. That is not unusual to see in a bar. Drunk people get in fights all the time. The unusual part happened next.

After the bouncer took off, we heard a crash right next to us. Some woman had thrown a beer bottle at some man. She did not hit him, but the bottle broke. Beer landed on everyone around. One guy wearing an Alabama shirt was soaked. Of course, that did not bother me. They could have thrown more bottles at him for wearing that shirt. Especially since he was also wearing an Alabama cap.

(An aside: Why do Alabama fans feel the need to cover themselves in university memorabilia every single day of their lives? Do they not have something to lay claim to other than being fans of a college football team?)

When the glass settled, it turned out to be an old woman who threw the bottle at an old man. I say old. They were not as old as I am making out. They just seemed to be too old to be in a bar fight.

The bouncer made his way through the crowd and threw the woman out. For the rest of the night, she tried to sneak back in. She even pointed at Robert and claimed to be with him. Last we saw, she was trying to climb over the fence around the patio.

People from Alabama do not like it when you disparage their state. At some point, a group of young ladies came in and stood near our table. They looked like former sorority girls who are making their way through their 20s. When the band played “Sweet Home Alabama”, I knew that they were former sorority girls. Wait, is there such a thing? I guess a sorority member is always a sorority member.

Anyway, they sang the song at the top of their lungs and added, “Roll Tide Roll!” That meant they were sorority girls who went to the University of Alabama. For the uninformed, the University of Alabama has adopted the Lynyrd Skyrnyrd tune as a de facto fight song.

I find this ironic because Lynyrd Skynyrd wrote it from the point of view of the racist older generation who loved Governor George Wallace. It was an indictment of southern ideals that has been adopted by Alabama natives, and other southerners, as a celebration of southern ideals. When people sing along with the song, I always wonder if they really know what it is all about.

So, the women are from Alabama. I figured that out pretty fast. Then, one of them came over to ask what happened in the fight. I told her, and she replied, “That happened in Franklin? They must be from southern Williamson County – down around Maury County.” Again for the uninitiated, Franklin and Williamson County are the suburbs to beat all suburbs in these parts. Only the “beautiful people” live there.

That is when Robert said, “They may have come up from Alabama.” She got all haughty and said that she was from Alabama and was a graduate of the University of Alabama. That is nice. However, if Alabama is so great then why is she living in Tennessee?

A lot of people in bars are looking for what I already have. A lot of people go to bars to relax and have a good time. However, a lot of people go to bars in search of someone. If not, then they would not get so dressed up. Think about it. If people are going to a bar to just hangout, then why do they not wear comfortable clothes. Instead, they try to look their best. That means they are looking for what I already have – a soul mate.

The greatest thing I learned was something I already knew. I am glad that I do not have to go out and look for someone. I have found the love of my life. That means I can go to a bar without worrying about being alone or finding someone to take home. I can sit back; have a drink; watch people; learn about them; and listen to the band. As Robert kept saying, “It’s all about listening to the band.”