Eagles co-founder and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Glenn Frey died earlier this year at the age of 67. Monday night at the 58th annual Grammy Awards, he was honored by the bandmates who survive him, fellow co-founders Don Henley and Bernie Leadon, along with guitarist Joe Walsh, bassist Tim Schmidt, and singer-songwriter Jackson Browne in a pitch-perfect tribute.
Browne performed the tune he co-wrote with the guitarist and on which Frey sang lead: the folk-rock anthem “Take It Easy.” Brown manned the mic, and rather than try and make it his own he remained faithful to the iconic arrangements, singing it with the same ease we all might, driving down the road and singing along with one of our all-time favorites.
It’s not the first time Browne has performed the song since Frey’s death — He performed the tune in concert on Jan. 19, the day after the seminal guitarist died.
When the special homage was announced last week, Eagles famed manager Irving Azoff told the L.A. Times, “We wanted something simple and elegant, and in discussing it with the family, we wanted an uptempo moment.” After their moving rendition of Take It Easy, it’s safe to say this mission was accomplished.
After their performance during the commercial break, Grammy producer Ken Ehrlich presented the Eagles with a Grammy Award of their own — albeit 38 years late. The group won Record of the Year for “Hotel California” but did not attend to accept the honor at the awards ceremony in 1978. The Grammy audience in Los Angeles Monday evening gave them a well-deserved standing ovation.