28 February 2016


by Andy Weddington
Sunday, 28 February 2016

When love and skill work together, expect a masterpiece. John Ruskin

To close out February, Sunday morning with the fine arts...

With painting (and sculpting), for example, it's rare when multiple pairs of hands contribute to a single masterpiece. Off the top of my head, an example does not come to mind. 

Music is different.

A single pair of hands can create a masterpiece. And so can multiple pairs of hands. 

Today, a brief comment about five pairs of hands, wielding different instruments, "painting" auditory masterpieces. 

A pair of those hands belonged to Glenn Frey. 

Mr. Frey, a founder of the band the Eagles, "paints" no more. 

He is dead. 

But a masterpiece among masterpieces lives on. It endures.

When painting, usually it's smooth jazz - to relax and mentally wander into another world; for the brush to do what it is supposed to do without much thought. 

Lately, sounds of the Eagles fill the studio. 

The band - Mr. Frey, Don Henley, Randy Meisner, Don Felder, and Joe Walsh - plays as one. Without each master a piece missing.

The YouTube 'Lyin' Eyes' watched (and listened to) more times than caring to admit. 


To study. To think about the writing, the musicianship, and the music. 

To learn something from masters.

Each makes their piece of work seem effortless. 

It's not. In (my) youth, the clarinet though not for long. A few years later the five-string banjo. Longer. Noise on the horn and struggle on the strings. Music? 

Tones did not make sense. 

But color is effortless. Without thought, music. With less tubes of paint than notes on the scale, any color (mix) comes with ease and from countless directions. 

Master musicians do the same, without thinking about it.

That's why the viewings, and still. 

The arts - painting - a reason to rise early every morning. To drink strong dark coffee and think and see with fresh not lying eyes. In fresh there's truth. And off the easel just maybe a masterpiece - one of these days (one of these nights). 

In closing... 

The dictionary defines masterpiece as a work done with extraordinary skill. 

But Mr. Ruskin is right, love a critical ingredient. 

Now sit quietly for six and a half minutes - watch and listen closely to a masterpiece, the perfect harmony of love of music and extraordinary skill making it.


Post Script

With success came friction in the band. 

Guitarist Bernie Leadon left. Enter Joe Walsh. 

Bassist Randy Meisner left. Enter Timothy B. Schmit. 

Oft times change destroys the magic - no more the masterpiece formula. Not so with the Eagles. 

Glenn Frey died on the 18th of January, this year.

Tribute commentary:


1 comment:

Tom Hickinbotham said...

Of their many, many songs I enjoyed listening to, "Lyin' Eyes" was my all time favorite. Their album, "Their Greatest Hits," is still one of my favorites to listen to. The music is timeless...
Thanks for the YouTube link!