WHEN WE WERE YOUNG

eagles-blog480In 1972 I was smitten with the Eagles’ first album. One night when I was looking at the photo of Bernie Leadon in the album insert, I told my roommate that I was going to meet him.Yeah, okay, she said, not terribly convinced. I was 20 years old, working nights in a restaurant and sharing an apartment with a friend who worked at the same place. About a week later I walked into a music store in Westwood to get some guitar strings and Bernie Leadon was standing right there. We went to the beach that day, went back to his house in Topanga, and ended up together for the next 4 years.

Things like that happened in the 70s. Things like that happen when you’re young and go where your heart’s desires take you. Bernie, and the rest of the band, were a bit older than I was but we were all young…then. We thought life was a wide open land with roads both taken and untaken, but roads that were there for our choosing. We thought each dawn would melt off whatever damage we’d done to ourselves the night before. We thought age and infirmities were inconveniences that wouldn’t visit us for so many decades they didn’t warrant any consideration. We thought there were no consequences to drugs and drama.

It’s been well documented that there was a lot of drama amongst the Eagles. There was between Bernie and me as well. We’re good now — comfortable with each other as friends who went through a lot together, including love. And as the world knows, the Eagles mended enough fences to go back on the road together.

Now Glenn Frey is gone, reminding us that time and age are everyone’s destiny, and that some of us die way too young. Glenn was 67; David Bowie was 69. Natalie Cole was 65. It’s a sobering milestone to reach, seeing people of your own generation dying. We think back to when we were younger, wonder why we didn’t treasure it more, have more reverence for it. Why weren’t we more gentle with the life that had been given us? But maybe that’s never what youth is. Maybe it is, by definition, always reckless and fast and dramatic. And maybe the best we can hope for is to find a reverence for life as we age, a grace and a gratitude for each day, each year. For the friends and lovers who have come and gone, and those who remain.

Bernie and I wrote a song together for the Eagles album One of These Nights; it’s called I Wish You Peace. It’s the last song on the album. I remember in Florida when they were recording the album and I was there with Bernie, Glenn — bouncing a basketball in the driveway outside the studio — said to me, “It’s a nice song.” I wish I’d told him then how much that meant to me. We end up with a lot of wishes as we get older — things we didn’t say or do. But hopefully it makes us slow down a bit, and think more deeply about every day we are given. Because we finally see how quickly the currents of life move. RIP Glenn.

9 Responses to WHEN WE WERE YOUNG

  1. What a great memory! It is sad to see our musical icons fade away especially because they represented the “youth-culture” of the ’60s and ’70s.
    However, instead of lamenting for days gone by, these episodes help me to see the present as the best days.
    Thanks Patti

  2. Thank you for the memories, wonderful to hear those details, some I did not know!
    Reminiscing, your way, please do more of it for us! XO Ronee

  3. Wonderful to hear your reminscences, those details, please do more of it, your way, for us. I was there too, around another corner. Thanks. XO Ronee

  4. brad berger says:

    Who died today? We baby boomers were the largest generation and it is no surprise each day now brings us the passing of another boomer. We know these people because they have been part of our lives the famous and familiar, family and friends. There is nothing to do but watch as we move forward to what will be an end for all. Sad but true we will be blue as we head on through. But let us also rejoice as we remember the good times and those who have brought joy to our lives.

  5. NJO says:

    Eloquent, as I knew it would be. And I remember unwrapping that album, and all the others, the soundtrack to high school/college years. I never felt my age (62) until last week. Suddenly youth seems so remote and the memories so tender.

  6. David Marks says:

    Your personal experiences to words is always what gets to me. Just terrific stuff, Patti. Thank you for this.

  7. Janna Gelfand says:

    I LOVE the song, “I WISH YOU PEACE”!!!! Congrats on being a large part of that song :o) It has been such a sad few weeks with so many wonderful people passing on. They were too young to die, and they suffered greatly. Life is not fair. Thanks for making us all take a moment to stop and realize that it is essential to enjoy each day, as we have no idea how many more we have to live!

  8. Tim Daughtry says:

    A great comment on the passing of our heroes. I’m your age and my music heroes, ones I grew up with and listened to in the park, sitting just feet away from them were, the Allman Brothers. Grew up in Macon. Land of Otis Redding and James Brown, and ABB. There when two of them died exactly one year and one block away from one another. Went to the Atlanta Pop Festival in ’69. Helped build the stage and was there for two weeks prior to the beginning of the festival. Met some wonderful hippies. Did LSD way too much, lol, but somehow survived. Then got to hear and see some of the greats at that time- Jimi, Ten Years After, Janis, Blood, Sweat and Tears, Chicago, etc. Wonderful times. And yes looking back now, it is so nice to see some of our heroes still with us. But just as hopeful, that on the other side, we will meet again.

  9. Ben Levine says:

    Hi Patti,
    My sincere condolences on your Mother’s passing.
    I met you in the very early 70’s – I was in a folk-rock band with a girl named Pam Graham who was a singing waitress at a restaurant in Santa Monica. As I recall, you also worked there in the same capacity.
    I remember thinking it was nice that such a beautiful, enlightened hippie girl was the daughter of a renowned conservative!

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