We're talking to Glenn Frey today, founding member of the Eagles -- singer, songwriter -- who just launched his very own record label, and he's a new inductee into the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame. He was inspired in many ways by teachers throughout his life.
(Dina turns to Glenn)
The first teacher who comes to mind for you was in which grade?
Glenn Frey: 7th grade.
Dina: And who was it?
The lady's name was Virginia Boltz. I was very lucky in 6th grade. I grew up in Michigan, and went through public schools outside of Detroit, and I got put into an accelerated class. They did an experiment for two years and they tested some 6th graders, and kids who made high marks on their SAT's were put in an experimental class. I had a teacher in this class named Ms. Boltz. And she just encouraged creativity, encouraged debate and discussion. One of the prerequisites for the class was that you had to give a half-hour talk every semester in class, on any subject of your choice. She loved words; she encouraged us to do plays. A lot of things happened to me in the 7th grade that didn't happen up until that time. Although I was getting a good education, I wasn't getting charged up. And I think her enthusiasm and her creativity was matched by her students. I just felt that was a big coming out for me -- 7th grade with Ms. Boltz.
Dina: Did she turn you on to music? Or did she encourage you with your musical skills?
Actually, my mother was the woman who started me on the piano at age 5.
Dina: But didn't Ms. Boltz know that you were interested in the piano?
Glenn: Yes, she did. In fact I gave one talk on bongo drums, which was kind of a stretch, you know? I think she wanted us to talk more about Joan of Arc or some historical biography. But to do one on bongo drums -- it was a pretty short talk. I think she was disappointed.
Dina: Was she ever tough on you?
Glenn: Yes, you know, fair. I think it's important to listen when you're a teacher. You have to be fair so that you can be consistent, so that people can understand when they cross the line.
But I got excited about reading books and giving book reports, and giving those talks in class. She really got my creative juices flowing. Then later, after seeing the Beatles, my musical thing and my creative thing got together. I decided that I wanted to pursue music as my main interest.
Dina: So we can thank Ms. Boltz for helping you be creative enough to do that?