No Peaceful Easy Feeling

Why, according to this critic, millions of Eagles fans can be wrong

Isn't it time for the Eagles to retire already?
Isn't it time for the Eagles to retire already?

Can you believe the Eagles are swooping into Spokane during Volume, asking $200 for a lower-bowl ticket (including service charges) while we're celebrating local and regional independent bands? Shameless.

For that same $200, you can treat nine friends and yourself to no less than 90 bands playing over two days. Of course, you have to be interested in music far more compelling than the country-lite schlock Don Henley, Glenn Frey and their assorted hired hands have been churning out since the 1970s. You know, the '70s — when re-electing Richard Nixon and disco fashion were considered good ideas in America.

Do I sound bitter? It's because my formative years came right after the Eagles' heyday, when they'd split up but radio continued to inundate us with their cocaine-cowboy croons. Thankfully, new styles like punk, New Wave and hip-hop came along as a reaction to the Eagles' arena-sized egos and stage shows, showing a lot of impressionable youngsters that a private jet doesn't make you a good band. If anything, it probably means you've lost touch, literally and emotionally, with the fans.

I don't begrudge anyone's love of any band; if you're listening to the Eagles, I'm happy you're listening to music instead of Sean Hannity. But when it comes to the Eagles, I fall firmly into the "hate" camp famously led by the Dude in The Big Lebowski.

Reasons to dislike the Eagles:

— Rock 'n' roll should be dangerous. I don't want to "Take It Easy" with my rock 'n' roll. I want "Anarchy in the U.K.!" I don't want a "Peaceful Easy Feeling," I want a "Blitzkrieg Bop!"

History of The Eagles, the band-approved documentary, is three hours and eight minutes! Compare that to the Mötley Crüe episode of VH1's Behind the Music. Over 40 minutes, the Crüe bio tackles deaths, overdoses, car crashes, breakups and all manner of groupie shenanigans — a complete, highly entertaining career arc. The biggest drama in the Eagles' doc involves a contract negotiation.

— Rock 'n' roll should be fun. Watch the interviews in that doc, or the performances. There's no joy. If you're not dangerous, at least have a good time. The Eagles are like a classic-rock animatronic Chuck E. Cheese band.

— Even the band's drug-fueled rock excess is boring. Joe Walsh liked to trash hotel rooms? Big deal. Ozzy Osbourne snorted live ants and pissed on the Alamo!

— Have some dignity. A lot of bands have gone the cash-grab "reunion tour" route, but none to quite the same degree as the Eagles, who have now spent more time soaking up every dollar possible on their "reunion" — 21 years and counting — than they spent together originally.

Isn't the retirement fund full enough by now? ♦

Eagles • Fri, May 29, at 8 pm • $200 level all that remains at press time • All-ages • Spokane Arena • 720 W. Mallon • • 279-7000

Kurt Vile and the Violators, Chastity Belt @ Knitting Factory

Thu., May 19, 8 p.m.
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About The Author

Dan Nailen

Dan Nailen is the managing editor of the Inlander, where he oversees coverage of arts and culture. He's previously written and edited for The Salt Lake Tribune, Salt Lake City Weekly, Missoula Independent, Salt Lake Magazine, The Oregonian and KUER-FM. He grew up seeing the country in an Air Force family and studied...