Glenn Frey Flies from Eagles to Family Man
By Tamara Wieder
Boston EarthFest Official Guide 4/21/98
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He was a vocalist and guitarist in one of the most successful bands of all time, but just because the Eagles have broken up and their much-heralded reunion tour is over, don't be fooled into thinking that Glenn Frey has nothing to do.
In fact, it's quite the opposite.
"You know, variety really is the spice of life," Frey, 49, says, laughing. "and if I'm splitting my time between playing live [solo] shows, producing other people, writing songs myself and acting, and playing a few of these great golf tournaments and stuff, then I've got a lot of variety in my life, and I think that keeps me interested.
"I don't like to do just one thing," he adds. "but basically everything I'm doing now, it's all a quality-of-life choice for me. It's like, 'How much am I going to enjoy this project?' It's not really about dollars; it's about whether I am going to enjoy myself."
These days, Frey's been enjoying himself quite a bit. After three years of traveling on the Eagles wordwide reunion tour, he's back with his wife and children, ages 5 and 7, and back to being a family man, doing regular, family things. It's a welcome change of pace.
"I've been doing a lot of normal things, taking my kids to school and carpool, you know, those kinds of things," he says. "Parenting. So it's a great time for them and it's a great time for us. I've been doing a little traveling with my family. We moved to Hawaii for a year after the Eagles reunion; we actually put our kids in school and based out of there for a year, which was a nice way to recharge after three years on the road."
Now that he's recharged, Frey is spending some time cultivating his solo career, although it's not exactly in the same league-- nor does he want it to be-- as the wild success of the Eagles. At this point in his life, that is OK with him.
"Performing with the Eagles, it's a very high-level experience, the level of expectation," he explains. "It's intense and it's very serious. I maybe don't approach my solo gigs with the same, I mean, I'm not quite as serious about that, I suppose. But you know, I just think, you do it for more people and for more money with the Eagles, that's really the main difference."
"But it's all performing, " Frey continues. "You get on stage and you try to sing and play as good as you can that night. I'm not addicted to the stage. I don't feel like I've gotta be up on stage all the time. I enjoy it when I do it, though. It's rewarding. In fact, I enjoy it even more these days."
Frey's also been enjoying producing albums for his own Mission Records label, including "One Planet, One Groove," the debut album from another EarthFest performer, Max Carl & Big Dance. Frey's thrilled to be able to perform alongside the group at EarthFest.
"I'm happy because I'm going to be able to share with the music fans of New England the talents of Max Carl and his band, because it's a really cool band, and he's a great singer, and he's great on stage, and so that's really exciting for me," explains Frey.
"And then the fact that it's an environmental cause, the fact that it lifts awareness and stuff, well then that makes it, like, doubly great, " he adds. "I don't think one is any more important than the other; I just think it's nice when you can marry a good cause and a good show. For me that just makes it doubly good.