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Glenn Frey

"Being from the Great Lakes and watching the sun set in the west,
that's where I wanted to go.

-Glenn Frey, Rolling Stone, 1990

Between the years 1962 and 1966, there was music in the air and Dancing in the Streets of Detroit, Michigan. Maybe there was something in the water as well because the Motor City was humming, alive with a new sound swerving out of West Grand Boulevard, pistons pumping sweet soul music into the night air. Choosing it's young stars from street corner harmony groups, church choirs, and the housing projects of Brewster, Motown Records crashed through established racial barricades in radio programming, put African-Americans on album covers, and forever changed the sound of popular music.

In the midst of this exuberant, youthful revolution, Glenn Frey attended high school, participated in interscholastic sports, discovered girls, and discovered the guitar as a means of impressing girls. By his late teens, while indulging only in the fashionable vices of his day, Glenn had fronted a few bands, (namely The Subterraneans, The Mushrooms, The Four Of Us, and The Heavy Metal Kids) and cemented what would be a lifelong friendship with Bob Seger.

On the return trip, Detroit must have looked much smaller, while at the same time a thunderhead of electric-driven folk was gathering strength in the West, exhorting America's youth to wear flowers in their hair and celebrate the Summer of Love. Soon-to-be hippies flocked in astonishing numbers to the golden sands and tarnished streets of Los Angeles, bringing regional music tastes and styles with them. It was a fringed and beaded carnival of freedom, expression, and experimentation. For a certain Detroit boy, it would prove the sort of heaven that offered frequent whiffs of brimstone and fires of damnation bright enough to ensure a permanent California tan. It was an intoxicating brew, at once enticing and intimidating. And for Glenn, it was time.

Upon arrival in Los Angeles, Glenn met and forged a friendship with J.D. Souther and spotted David Crosby shopping in the Laurel Canyon Country Store, practically in the first twenty-four hours. The first encounter would prove pivotal, the second merely prophetic. Glenn and J.D. formed an acoustic duo, Longbranch Pennywhistle. The two friends went off in search of a record contract, and even more importantly, contacts. Friends such as Ed Sanders, Jackson Browne and Jack Tempchin would come to play important roles.

The requisite years of struggle followed close behind, mitigated somewhat perhaps by the friendships and artistic alliances coalescing within the mock-tudor walls of the Troubadour Nightclub, on Santa Monica Boulevard.

"We can never know about tomorrow,
still we have to choose which way to go . . ."

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