Eagles (November, 1972) (L-R) Frey, Meisner, Henley & Leadon. Photo by Gary Elam.
Cameron shared his thoughts with Rolling Stone in a new tribute to late Glenn Frey. We will share an excerpt below, but please check out Rolling Stone for the entire story.
It was 1972, and “Take It Easy” was still on the charts. The Eagles came to San Diego, and I was working for a small local underground paper. I grabbed my photographer buddy Gary from high-school and made a plan. We were going to sneak backstage and grab an interview with this new group. I loved their harmonies, and the confident style that charged their first hit-single.
Glenn Frey introduced the band. “We’re the Eagles from Southern California.”
They were explosive, right off the top, opening with their acapella rendition of “Seven Bridges Road.” Then, with utter confidence, this new band, filled with piss and vinegar, launched immediately into their hit. There was nothing “laid-back,” about them. No “saving the hit for last.” This was a band with confidence. They were a lean-and-mean American group, strong on vocals and stronger on attitude. Gary and I talked our way backstage with ease, found the band’s road-manager, and he threw us all into a small dressing room where drummer-singer Don Henley, bassist Randy Meisner, and guitarist Bernie Leadon took us through the story of the band. Every other sentence began with “And then Glenn… “ Glenn Frey was the only guy not in the room.
After about a half-hour, the door whipped open and Frey walked in. He had a Detroit swagger, a memorable drawl and a patter like a baseball player who’d just been called up to the majors. He was part musician, part tactician and part stand-up comic. It was immediately obvious, Glenn had his eye on the big picture. He’d studied other bands, and how they broke up or went creatively dry. He had a plan laid out. He even used that first interview to promote his friends – Jackson Browne, John David Souther , Ned Doheny and San Diego songwriter Jack Tempchin. His laugh and demeanor was infectious. Immediately, you wanted to be in his club. At the end of the interview, I asked them all to pose together. The photo is one of my favorites. It captures one of their earliest, happiest, freest moments… a band that would later brawl memorably, was giddy and happy that night, arms wrapped around each other. Glenn’s look is priceless – this is my band, and we’re on our way.