Glenn Frey

Glenn Frey is best known as one of the two most popular and longest tenured members (along with Don Henley) of the Eagles, and as an intermittently successful solo artist in the decades since that band ceased being a full-time working group. Although associated closely with the Eagles' brand of Southern California-spawned laid-back country-rock, Frey's origins were a long way away from either the place or the music that his work came to epitomize. He was born in Detroit in 1948, and grew up in Royal Oak, Michigan. Music was just one of many interests that drove him during childhood -- a precocious youth, he was an avid reader and, despite his relatively small stature, a serious athlete in elementary and junior high school. He also took piano lessons from age five -- at the insistence of his parents -- until just before his teen years. His interests in high school included such advanced and outre subjects for the time as the writings of Jack Kerouac and the films and image of actor James Dean, who died when Frey was seven years old; they reflected a rebellious and aggressive nature that also manifested itself in an attraction to rock & roll. The music had come along during Frey's childhood -- he was seven when "Rock Around the Clock" shot to number one on the charts, and eight when Elvis Presley became a national phenomenon. In contrast to his future bandmate Timothy B. Schmit, Frey was never a would-be folkie, but jumped right into rock & roll, especially after he saw -- at age 16 -- how girls reacted to rock stars on-stage.