Several weeks ago I took my father to see The Eagles to celebrate his 70th birthday. To say that he is a fan of Don, Glen, and the others is an understatement. He has their CDs, their DVDs; he knows all of their songs, and even quotes lines from the songs in his speeches…., alongside of scripture. He’s a fan!
So off to the American Airlines Center in Dallas Texas we went to see these 60+ year old men do what they’ve been doing for almost 40 years. And do it they did! As an artist who spent 13 years on the road, and now as a manager of artists, I entered the arena a skeptic, and exited a fan like my dad.
For 3 ½ hours these men (and their amazing band) performed, entertained, and mesmerized 20,000 people. And thus…..my thoughts after my evening with The Eagles.
1. A Great Song is Entertainment. In a culture where concerts have become theatrical events, The Eagles merely stood at their microphones and sang 30 years of hits. Song after song – no dancers, no fireworks, no moving stages , and only a few lighting cues, – but just great songs. And great entertainment.
2. A Great Song is Timeless. ”Peaceful Easy Feeling” (and some 25 other songs) was sung by young and old alike that Saturday night. My 70 year old father, myself, and the teenagers sitting in front of us - all singing a great song at the top of our lungs. (I do feel like my singing was better than my dad’s……..just sayin’)
3. A Great Song is a Bookmark for memories. When the Eagles began the introduction to Hotel California, I was immediately taken to the streets of Istanbul where I had heard that song incessantly for the 2 weeks I was there 10 years ago (The Turkish love the Eagles too!). But it was evident watching people around me that everyone was carried some point in their memory - and judging from what I was observing, I think many wanted to stay in the memory where they were being carried.
The ultimate take away for me – is the pursuit of the great song. So often we aspire to entertainment, or ‘the show’ - and while those things are important – it’s the great songs that build great careers, and it’s also those great songs that provide a forum for aging entertainers to continue to do what they love to do. If you look at some of the acts of yesteryear that are still touring – Paul McCartney, James Taylor, Rolling Stones, the Eagles – careers built around some of the greatest songs of our lifetime.
Speaking of great songs – Have you heard Andrew Petersen’s “Dancing in the Minefields”? Here is the video – take 3 minutes and enjoy!