The Eagles have confirmed that they'll be joined for this summer's Classic East/West concerts not only by the late Glenn Frey's son Deacon Frey but also by country music stalwart Vince Gill, a former member of Poco and an Eagles contemporary in the California country-rock scene.
The group revealed the news in a formal announcement, while Henley, Deacon Frey and manager Irving Azoff spoke to the Los Angeles Times about the group's decision to play again.
Henley says that he "was still in shock" during initial interviews after Frey's death, when he said the band would not continue, and he subsequently changed his mind:
"I did say I thought that was the end of the band. But I reserve the right to change my mind. Ralph Waldo Emerson said, 'A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds."
Henley adds that bringing in Deacon was his idea:
"I think of the guild system, which in both Eastern and Western cultures is a centuries-old tradition of the father passing down the trade to his son, and to me that makes perfect moral and ethical sense. The primary thing is I think Glenn would be good with it -- with both of these guys. I think he'd go, 'That's the perfect way to do this.'"
And, Henley noted, Deacon Frey,
"doesn't have to do this forever...But this is a good way to break in."
Longtime Eagles compadres Fleetwood Mac will be co-headlining the stadium shows -- which take place July 15-16 in Los Angeles and July 29-30 in New York -- and the group's Lindsey Buckingham tells us that he's interested to see what the Eagles sound like with the younger Frey and Gill in the mix:
"It was just a sad thing, Glenn's passing, and kind of out of the blue, so I don't know what you do in that kind of a situation. I don't really have any preconceptions. I haven't talked to Don or anybody about Vince Gill or I guess Glenn's son...so I don't know how all of that gets presented or what the context is or how someone like Vince Gill fits in in that way. It doesn't immediately speak of something that I necessarily understand but I'm sure, they're smart guys. I'm sure it all works out on some level, and I'm looking forward to seeing how it works out."
More information about the Classic West/East shows can be found at www.TheClassic.com.
Gary Graff is an award-winning music journalist who not only covers music but has written books on Bob Seger, Neil Young and Bruce Springsteen.