Heartache Tonight.

I don’t have a cool, concert story about David Bowie.

I don’t feel the heartbreak of the death of Professor Snape, also known as Alan Rickman, in Harry Potter. I’ve only read the books.

And I’ve never been to an Eagles concert.

I heard about the death of Glenn Frey in my car, on the radio.

Me: Oh no!

Emma: What?

Me: Glenn Frey died. He was one of the Eagles. Ok girls, what songs do the Eagles sing?

Emma: Um…wait. Don’t tell me…Um….

Me: Hotel.

Emma: Hotel California!

Me: Here, let’s listen. All these songs remind me of summertime.

Emma: Ha! Yeah, summer in January.

We listened to Hotel California. I skipped around through the classics – Desperado, Life in the Fast Lane, Tequila Sunrise and Heartbreak Tonight.

Emma: Mom, can I see your phone?

She held her new guitar with the strap around her shoulders.

Me: I can put the Eagles on the speakers in the living room, if you want.

Emma: No, I want to look up the guitar tabs.

Me: The Eagles?! Emma, when the audience cheers during a guitar solo that means it’s really, really hard to do.

Emma: I want to try.

Me: Ok, here you go. Look up the guitar tabs.

Emma opened my phone. She started to strum the first few notes of Tequila Sunrise.

Emma: Does that sound right?

Me: Hey! Yeah, that’s Tequila Sunrise! That’s really good, Em! I hear it!

Emma: Can I take guitar lessons so I can read the notes? I want to play that Hotel California guitar solo.

Kate: How do you spell Tequila?

I couldn’t tell you what Glenn Frey looked like. I couldn’t tell you which lyrics he wrote or which notes he composed. I couldn’t even tell you which instrument he played. But my ears know him at the sound of the first strum.

And with that first strum, the mood instantly changes to happy and carefree. The songs make me smile and sing out loud because, well, I actually know all the words. But I can also smell the lime in my beer and feel the hot, sticky air on my skin. That’s what happens when you listen to songs older than you.

Glenn Frey turned a grey, January day into summer again. And just maybe, he gave a new generation the power to recreate summer anytime she wants.

Have you ever been to an Eagles concert? Do you quiz your kids on classic rock? Did you grow up listening to the Eagles? Do you have a song or group that brings back memories? Emma is serious about guitar lessons – anyone know where I can send her in Kansas City?


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