The Last Days Of Glenn Frey
HLN’s upcoming episode of How It Really Happened with Hill Harper sheds light on the life and untimely demise of Detroit native Glenn Frey, co-founder of the Eagles, a loss that stunned many, including those close to him.
The episode The Last Days of Glenn Frey: Heartache Tonight delves into Frey’s career and the circumstances surrounding his passing. It features historical footage, memorable Eagles performances, and exclusive interviews with friends, crew members, and journalists from CNN, the Detroit Free Press, and Rolling Stone.
Born in Detroit in November 1948, Frey’s musical journey was ignited by his attendance at The Beatles’ 1964 show at Olympia Stadium with his aunt. In 1967, he formed his first band, Mushrooms, and during this time, he crossed paths with fellow Detroit artist Bob Seger, which he later described as a pivotal moment in his life. With Seger’s support, Frey’s first band released a single called Lovely Child.
Hill Harper, the host of the series, praises Frey’s musical versatility, noting that he excelled at singing, songwriting, and playing various instruments. In 1971, Frey and Don Henley co-founded the Eagles, a band that achieved immense success with hit songs like “Take It Easy,” “Peaceful Easy Feeling,” “Already Gone,” “Hotel California,” and “One of These Nights.”
Despite his charismatic on-stage persona, Frey grappled with significant health issues behind the scenes, which ultimately led to his unexpected death in 2016 at the age of 67 while still performing live.
The Songwriting Conflicts That Led to a Breakup
As the Eagles released their third album, On the Border, conflicts began to emerge among the band members. These differences in songwriting direction ultimately led to the band’s breakup in July 1980.
Frey embarked on a solo career, releasing his first album, No Fun Aloud, in 1982. His personal health struggles, including a battle with diverticulitis and subsequent surgery in 1990, led to a hospital visit from Don Henley.
The Eagles made a comeback in 1994 after an MTV special called “Hell Freezes Over,” resulting in a full-fledged tour. Throughout this period, Frey’s health issues persisted.
In 2013, the History of the Eagles tour marked the band’s final tour with Frey. The tour extended until the summer of 2015, but by November of that year, Frey underwent surgery again. Unfortunately, he fell into a coma and later passed away in January 2016 due to complications arising from rheumatoid arthritis, acute ulcerative colitis, and pneumonia. His inflammatory conditions became systemic, leading to multiple complications.
Subsequent to Frey’s death, his widow, Cindy Millican, filed a lawsuit alleging that the hospital and gastroenterologist had failed to correctly diagnose and treat him.
Despite Henley’s initial doubts about the Eagles continuing without Frey, in 2017, Glenn’s son, Deacon Frey, took up his father’s mantle and joined the band, preserving his father’s legacy.
Watch the video below.