Tuesday, April 24, 2018
Features and More

The 'good life' evolves for Glenn Frey

It's always a little jarring when an iconic rock star dials you up himself. It's downright otherworldly, intimate even, when an iconic rock star dials you up himself — at 5:30 a.m. his time.

"Hey Sean," a sleepy, slightly weathered voice says. "It's Glenn Frey." During his glory days, the Eagles co-frontman and solo star would have been hitting the sack 'round sunrise. Now? "I'm on the bike from 5 to 6 in the morning. I have a few minutes to talk."

Frey, who had a birthday this week, says he's feeling good at 64. He's currently alternating touring with the Eagles and playing solo gigs to support After Hours, a "pretty romantic" covers LP he'll highlight at Ruth Eckerd Hall on Saturday.

"The fun thing with the Eagles is that I'll sing a song, then Don [Henley] sings a song, and I can play guitar, sing backup, have a good time," he says. "Doing a solo show is more physically demanding, because I'm the only one singing. I have to hydrate my voice, drink water, drink tea. But you know, your body gets used to playing music. My body has been doing this for a long time."

The Eagles hooked up in 1971, broke up in 1980, then reconciled in '94 and have been selling out arenas pretty much since. Part of the reason they're now chummy is their health. "I'm lucky, the guys in the Eagles are lucky," he says. "We managed to get off the party train pretty early." Even guitarist/madman Joe "Life's Been Good" Walsh? "Hey, Joe's the leader of the pack these days. It's always been fun playing with Joe, but it's even better now."

The Eagles' shaggy '70s romp through the wilds of Southern California is the stuff of bawdy rock legend (mirrors on the ceiling, the pink champagne on ice...), but Frey says a lot of that is merely myth — for the most part. "Listen, we weren't the Osmonds," he says with a chuckle. "But we weren't the Rolling Stones, either. We fall somewhere south of the Stones. You know, we were young and it was the lifestyle then."

Two of Frey's children are in college now, and he says it'd be hypocritical to tell them to fly straight when he used to be a high-soaring Eagle. "I know they're going to have fun at school," he says. "I just tell them that they have to show up. You have to get your work done."

That's a motto Frey knows well: Besides contributing such Eagles hits as Lyin' Eyes, Heartache Tonight and New Kid in Town, he's had a fruitful solo career too: Smuggler's Blues, The Heat Is On, You Belong to the City. He's also had a slyly successful acting run, which started on Miami Vice and peaked in 1996's Jerry Maguire. He's a natural onscreen, but it's not his focus.

"I [act] when people call me up and say I think you'd be great at this," he says. "[Jerry Maguire writer-director] Cameron Crowe called me up and said he needed someone who wasn't going to take any c--- from Tom Cruise. I always come back from a movie feeling invigorated, but also feeling back where I really belong."

Frey says the Eagles "trump everything but family," which, in a way, explains his first solo album since 1995. After Hours — which covers songs from the 1940s (Nat King Cole's For Sentimental Reasons) to the '60s (the Beach Boys' Caroline, No) to the '80s (Randy Newman's Same Girl) — is dedicated to his parents. His dad is 91; his mom 87.

"I played this album for my parents all along the way," he says. "They've always loved everything I do. But this album they love more than anything else because they can identify with it. This is really a tip of the tam to my mom and dad."

Sean Daly can be reached at [email protected] Follow @seandalypoplife on Twitter.

Comments
Top places to hang with your dog in Tampa Bay, from breweries to baseball games

Top places to hang with your dog in Tampa Bay, from breweries to baseball games

Dogs are more welcome in public than ever these days. Bars and restaurants are making themselves more pet-friendly, and you can find weekly "yappy hours" happening at spots all over Tampa Bay. Add to that a healthy number of dog-approved events and ...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Documentary ‘The Human Race,’ which has Tampa Bay ties, celebrates running in 50s and well beyond

Documentary ‘The Human Race,’ which has Tampa Bay ties, celebrates running in 50s and well beyond

An 80-year-old woman runs half marathons to stay one step ahead of Alzheimer’s. A man in his 50s runs his first 5K. A cancer survivor celebrates her 60s by running the U.S. perimeter.Welcome to The Human Race, an upcoming documentary celebrating seni...
Published: 04/24/18
Time for a skin cancer screening?

Time for a skin cancer screening?

Folks who live in Florida have a special relationship with the sun. After all, this is the Sunshine State. And whether we’ve lived here all our lives or come along later, many Floridians, especially seniors, have had decades of exposure to the Florid...
Published: 04/24/18
Exercise myths persist, so let’s fight them

Exercise myths persist, so let’s fight them

When it comes to fitness, can you tell the difference between fact and fiction? Misinformation abounds, and research is continually disproving it. Some myths, like "no pain, no gain," are fading away, but there are plenty more that persist. It’s impo...
Published: 04/24/18
Drunk in love with banana bread

Drunk in love with banana bread

I have a thing about bananas. They have to be perfectly yellow, with a light hint of green. And they absolutely cannot have a spot of brown on them. At all. Brown bananas make me gag. My window of tasty opportunity is small, so I love to bake with ov...
Published: 04/24/18
Cooking Challenge: Making a stovetop steak for the first time

Cooking Challenge: Making a stovetop steak for the first time

Raw meat terrifies me. Growing up, I was the kid who avoided cookie dough because it could give me salmonella poisoning. Just imagine how I feel about a slab of bloody steak. So for my latest cooking challenge, I’m diving into the deep end and making...
Published: 04/24/18
Review: American Stage hits ‘The Producers’ out of the park

Review: American Stage hits ‘The Producers’ out of the park

ST. PETERSBURG — Without question, Mel Brooks’ The Producers carved a more indelible mark than most of the musicals in the entire genre of throwaway musicals it parodied.The creator of Get Smart and Blazing Saddles not only co-wrote the adaptation of...
Published: 04/23/18
It’s a boy! Kate Middleton gives birth to third royal baby

It’s a boy! Kate Middleton gives birth to third royal baby

LONDON — For Kate, the wait is over. The Duchess of Cambridge gave birth Monday to a healthy baby boy — a third child for Kate and Prince William and fifth in line to the British throne.The couple’s Kensington Palace office announced news of the birt...
Published: 04/23/18
Taste test: vanilla wafers

Taste test: vanilla wafers

When it comes to cookies, our judges are all in. When it comes to vanilla wafers, most of them admitted to reaching for the familiar Nilla Wafers in the bright yellow box. Surprisingly, they liked the well-known brand least of the seven wafers sample...
Published: 04/23/18
Here’s who won big at the Mainsail Art Festival

Here’s who won big at the Mainsail Art Festival

St. Petersburg — The Mainsail Art Festival returned to Vinoy Park last weekend, bringing the artwork of 250 local, regional and national artists.The park was teeming with people anxious to check out the works of fine art and fine craft, including pai...
Updated: 12 hours ago