NPR had a nice appreciation this morning of Glenn Frey of the band The Eagles, who just passed away.
Apparently he was an actor as well as a musician. Who know?
Glenn Frey also acted. He was in the movie “Jerry Maguire” and on the TV show “Miami Vice”.
But something else in the piece caught my ear.
In 1980, Frey quit and the Eagles broke up. Don Henley said they’d reunite when hell freezes over. Glenn Frey went on to a solo career, with hits like this one.
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, “THE HEAT IS ON”)
FREY: (Singing) The heat is on.
ROBBINS: Glenn Frey also acted. He was in the movie “Jerry Maguire” and on the TV show “Miami Vice.” Then, in 1994, the Eagles did reunite for the “Hell Freezes Over” tour. In 1998, the band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Glenn Frey told the audience he thought their disagreements were overplayed.
(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)
FREY: We got along fine. We just disagreed a lot.
FREY: Tell me one worthwhile relationship that has not had peaks and valleys.
Exactly. Acting is fundamentally about engaging in pretend relationships. And there is nothing more definitive of longstanding, significant relationships than peaks and valleys, as I have written about previously.
One important means of lending depth and substance to an imaginary relationship is to bring imagination and specificity to the defining moments of a relationship, the major milestones that I mentioned. How did the relationship come into being? What were its origins? What were the high points? The crisis points? How were the crises overcome, so that the relationship survived? Making these little short films of the imagination is a great way to begin to give the relationship a specific gravity. It’s backstory, yes, but not a more or less arbitrary stream of factoids strung together into a “”backstory” or character bio; it’s backstory that focuses specifically on the defining moments of the relationship, its origins, peaks and valleys. We can call this process particularization of the relationship.
So, thank you, Glenn Frey, for the music, and for reminding us of the importance of peaks and valleys!