by Bob Sparrow
I have a friend, who happens to know a guy, who is an acquaintance of the road manager for the Eagles, so I felt distantly-connected for getting good tickets for the kicking off of their History of the Eagles concert tour at the ‘Even More Fabulous Forum’ last week. My friend said, that his buddy told him, that the road manager indicated that we’ve got great floor seats with back-stage passes AND we’ll have an opportunity to grab a bite to eat with the Eagles prior to the concert – are you in? “Am I in? You’ve got to be kidding me – the Eagles are my all time favorite group. Book it!’
Our limo was waved up right next to the entrance to the Forum Club, a well-dressed gentleman escorted the four of us into ‘the club’ and then into a separate room where there were only about twenty people. Among those twenty were Don Henley, Glenn Frey, Timothy B. Schmit and Joe Walsh – the Eagles, who were casually moving amongst the guests, meeting and chatting with them. I personally got to meet them all and in fact carried out a plan to give Don Henley a $2 bill saying, “I sang one of your songs, For My Wedding, at my daughter’s wedding, but changed the words to fit the occasion, so I figured I owed you a royalty of some kind.” I held out a $2 bill. He looked at me sternly, grabbed the $2 bill, then smiled and said, “It’s about time you paid up!” and we both had a good laugh. He kept the $2.
I thought I was too excited to be really hungry, but the food looked and smelled so good I had to try it – I ended up trying it a lot. I didn’t think I was that thirsty either, but how do you pass up ‘having a cold one’ with the Eagles? OK, maybe a couple of cold ones. OK, OK, it was more than a couple, but it was free . . . and it was the Eagles for crying out loud! After about 30 minutes the Eagles said their good-byes and went off to prepare for the concert. We stayed a while longer, eating, drinking and thanking the people that made this all possible; we were then escorted to our seats – floor level, middle, 6 rows back – perfect!
The concert started with just Don & Glenn (yes, we’re now on a first name basis) coming on stage with guitars and singing ‘Whatever Happened to Saturday Night?’ Other band members, including former member and guitar virtuoso, Bernie Leadon, gradually joined them on stage.
“BOB? BOB? BOB, WHERE ARE YOU?” LINDA SAID AS OUR LIMO PULLED INTO THE PARKING LOT OF THE FORUM. “OH, SORRY, I WAS JUST IMAGINING HOW THE EVENING WAS GOING TO UNFOLD.”
Reality first struck when we picked up our tickets at Will Call, which I now refer to as ‘Won’t Call’ – no backstage passes! So instead of a gourmet meal with the Eagles that I had envisioned, we bought a Pink’s hot dog from a vendor wandering through the masses in the Forum lobby. Don’t get me wrong, I like Pink’s – it’s an LA landmark that started with a funky little hot dog stand back in 1939, but it wasn’t the beef filet tornados sliders on Hawaiian rolls that I had imagined. Of course, there was no personally meeting the Eagles and the seats . . . well, not exactly floor level, but we could see the floor from where we were, more importantly, we could see the ‘Jumbotron’, which is where we watched most of the concert. Right before the concert began, I was almost expecting to hear the announcement, “Sitting in for Glenn Frey this evening will be Stir Frey, Glenn’s older, tone-deaf brother.”
Further reality sunk in when the concert actually began – the Eagles are still amazing – great harmonies, great musicians and great guitar riffs. They talked to us between songs and provided stories around the history of the group and the songs. Glenn Frey said he wrote ‘Lyin’ Eyes’ after the divorce from his first wife, whose name was ‘Plaintiff’. The sound system, which was an integral part of the recent $100 million makeover of the Forum, was second to none in the world (so I’m told, I haven’t actually heard them ALL). In my opinion, the only thing they neglected in that makeover was to move the Forum out of Inglewood.
All in all it was a wonderfully entertaining evening, both real and imagined.
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