First Bowie, Then Frey… The End of an Era
As someone who has loved music my entire life, it's been a tough week. First David Bowie dies of cancer at the age of 69, then eight days later Glenn Frey of the Eagles dies at 67. Both artists played a big role in my life.
In 1975, I got my first real stereo. Turntable, receiver, speakers...the whole works. I remember a couple of the first records I ever played on that stereo were 'The Eagles Greatest Hits (1971-75) album and a 45 rpm record of David Bowie's 'Fame'. Within a year, I added Bowie's 'Changesonebowie' greatest hits to my collection. Toss in the Doobie Brothers, Elton John and the Beatles and those records were pretty much the soundtrack to my youth.
In fact, those artists inspired me to get into the radio business. I remember pretending that I was a DJ when I 'spun' those records in my room. Ironically, some of the first songs I played when I actually did get into radio were by artists like David Bowie and Glenn Frey. In the mid-80's you couldn't turn on the radio without hearing hits like "Let's Dance", "Modern Love", "China Girl", "The Heat Is On", "Smuggler's Blues" and "You Belong to the City" in heavy rotation. They were cool, fresh and hip and I remember it like it was yesterday.
When David Bowie died last week, I grabbed some of his old CD's and played a few of his songs. My 11-year-old son listened with me. He liked some but not all of them. (Admittedly, some older Bowie music is an acquired taste). Now this week, I did the same thing with my old Eagles and Glenn Frey records. My son said some of the songs were a bit too 'country' for his taste, but also thought many were excellent. I’m glad he shares my love for music and that he let his old man play a few old songs for him.
Listening to those classic 70's and 80's songs brought back a lot of memories for me. And if this past week has taught me anything, it's that while our musical heroes are mortal and die, their music can live on forever. Especially if you are fortunate enough to share it with a younger person who will appreciate it.