5 Things You Might Not Know About Glenn Frey

Monday, November 6, 2017
5 Things You Might Not Know About Glenn Frey

You know him from his work as an Eagles member, you know him for his solo work, but how much do you really know about Glenn Frey? For instance, do you have any idea what he was doing musically in the years before he teamed up with Don Henley and the rest of that crew? Well, we can help fill in the blanks on that matter as well as a few other topics that might serve to educate you a bit more about Mr. Frey, who was born on this date in 1948.

  1. One of his first big breaks came courtesy of Bob Seger.

By 1967, Seger was already kind of a big deal in Detroit, having found success with his band The Last Heard, and he used some of that popularity to help Frey’s band The Mushrooms secure a management and recording contract with Hideout Records, a label formed by Seger’s management team. The Mushrooms’ first single, “Such a Lovely Child,” was actually written and produced by Seger, and it led to Frey and his bandmates making a few television appearances to perform the song.

  1. He and J.D. Souther recorded an album as a duo in 1969, calling themselves – and the album – Longbranch Pennywhistle.

Both Frey and Souther were recent transplants from Detroit to Los Angeles when they decided to join forces for the Longbranch Pennywhistle album, which was released on Amos Records. The label came to an end in 1971, but the guys weren’t terribly bothered by that development, having already dissolved their musical partnership a year earlier. As history reveals, however, Frey and Souther ended up working together again a few years later, with Souther writing and/or co-writing several huge Eagles hits.

  1. To get his role on Miami Vice, all he ultimately had to do was have lunch with Michael Mann.

When asked by Interview Magazine how his role on Miami Vice came about, Frey explained that it started with a phone call from right after he’d finished the video for “Smuggler’s Blues.” “Michael Mann called and wanted to have lunch,” said Frey. “I’d never met Michael Mann in person, so I went the blue-suit routine-full Wall Street. I’m sitting at the bar in Le Dome, awaiting the arrival of the executive producer of Miami Vice, and in walks this guy in white Levi’s, sandals and a Hawaiian shirt. I wore a suit so he wouldn’t think I was a rock ‘n’ roll weirdo. Boy, did I figure this guy wrong. Michael sat down with me, never asked me if I could act, and explained to me his concept of an episode based on ‘Smuggler’s Blues,’ [and he said] ‘You’re going to play this guy Jimmy, and you’ll be great.’”

  1. Although he later scored big with his role in Cameron Crowe’s Jerry Maguire, Frey’s first film was a box office bomb.

It’s not as though Frey had any control over whether or not Let’s Get Harry was a success or not, but it’s a film that seems destined to appear on the podcast How Did This Get Made? at some point. Frey, Thomas F. Wilson, Michael Schoeffling, and Rick Rossovich star as factory workers who embark on an expedition to Colombia to rescue their kidnapped co-worker, played by Mark Harmon. Oh, and they also bring along Gary Busey, who plays a car salesman that helps finance the expedition on the condition that he gets to go along, and a mercenary played by Robert Duvall. Sure, it sounds great, but by all reports, it was not.

  1. After finding tremendous success with “The Heat is On,” Frey was offered an opportunity to record a song for the sequel to Beverly Hills Cop, but he declined.

Given our history with wanting to bring things full circle, we’ll see how long it takes you to work out where we’re going with this, but…the song Frey was offered for Beverly Hills Cop II was one that had been written by Harold Faltermeyer and Keith Forsey. Less than enthused by the lyrics, Frey subsequently came down with laryngitis, which made it easy for him to take a pass on tackling the track. Instead, the song – entitled “Shakedown” – was given to Frey’s old pal Bob Seger. After tweaking it enough to warrant a songwriting credit, Seger recorded the song and earned himself a #1 hit single in the process, an accomplishment which led to Frey making a congratulatory call to Seger and saying, “At least we kept the money in Michigan!”