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Thread: Glenn to be Guest at Songwriters Hall of Fame Master Session at NYU

  1. #81
    Stuck on the Border Henley Honey's Avatar
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    Default Re: Glenn to be Guest at Songwriters Hall of Fame Master Session at NYU

    I LOVED the song. He simply picked up the acoustic guitar and just let if flow out of him. There was dead silence in the theater during the performance. The lecture was fabulous and although it was two-hours long, it felt like it went much too quickly and after a standing ovation and some thank-you's it was over.



    Thanks for your help Soda. I could not have done this without you.
    Don't get spoiled, boarderers. I am SO NOT taking notes at the Vegas show. I'm planting my butt in that front row and soaking it all in. I'm not even bringing a pen!

  2. #82
    Administrator sodascouts's Avatar
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    Default Re: Glenn to be Guest at Songwriters Hall of Fame Master Session at NYU

    Lol! Well, we did pretty good, eh, HH?

    I thought of some additional bits I'd like to add:

    I remember when he was talking about Detroit, he mentioned he had taken piano lessons from the time he was 5 until the time he was 12, and he said, "I'm now a firm believer in early education" because playing just comes naturally to him even now, after all these years. If I'm not mistaken, his mother was in the audience sitting not too far from us, and I wonder if she was thinking "Yep, that was sure a good idea I had making him do that!" lol

    As HH mentioned, Glenn talked about his association with Seger. He said that when he was a senior in high school trying to make it with a rock band, he wanted to be managed by Punch Andrews who was also managing Bob Seger, since Andrews owned a lot of clubs that all the bands wanted to play. He met Seger and was in awe of him because Seger had a record deal and had songs getting played on the radio. Glenn said that Bob kind of looked at him as a little brother and introduced him around to people like Marvin Gaye, and let him sit in on studio sessions like for "Heavy Music" when he was just 19.

    He is very specific in his memory of when Seger told him he needed to write his own music - amazingly specific, I thought! What a memory! He recounted, "Bob and I went to Ann Arbor ... I was spending as much time with him as I could. We were at a club in Ann Arbor called The Fifth Dimension and we were watching a band called The Rationals. Now, The Rationals was a very good, four-piece white R&B band. They had a great singer named Scotty Morgan and a guitarist, bassist, and drummer. And we're sitting there watching The Rationals at the Fifth Dimension and Bob said to me, 'You know, they're never gonna make it, Glenn.' And I said, 'Really? Why?' And he said, 'Because they don't write their own songs. If you wanna make it, you have to write your own songs.... so you need to start writing your own songs.' I looked at him and I said, 'Well, what if they're bad?' And without blinking an eye he said, 'Oh, they're gonna be bad. You just need to keep writing, and keep writing, and eventually you'll write a good one.'"

    Glenn's retelling of his time with J.D. Souther as Longbranch Pennywhistle was also cute. He called them "The Everly Brothers without a band" because "it was just the two of us, playing guitars and singing harmony parts." He said they met Jackson Browne at a benefit for the Long Beach Free Clinic. According to Glenn, "Jackson was walking around in the back singing a song called 'Jamaica Say You Will.' It's a beautiful song that has a great chorus that just cries out for harmony parts. So J.D. and I jumped out and after we got done with our stuff, we started singing harmony parts with him." At this point, Glenn actually sang a snatch of the chorus of "Jamaica Say You Will." SIGH!

    He continued, "We met him, and we talked, and it was interesting how at that time, nobody was really in competition with each other. 'Oh, you're a songwriter, too? Well, where do you play? What do you do?' And actually J.D. and I were both breaking up with our girlfriends and we were looking for a place to live. And Jackson said, 'I have a place down in Echo Park that's really cheap, and there's a place up above me that'll take two people.' So we rented the house at Jackson's request in Echo Park. So now, J.D. and I are living above Jackson in this really tiny place. Jackson's got a piano downstairs. And J.D. was... uh... he had a quite a way with the ladies. And he actually... J.D. didn't come home a lot when we were living in Echo Park."

    And this point, the interviewer interjected, "And you did?"

    Glenn nodded emphatically. "And I did! I wasn't quite as good as J.D. yet. I didn't have all those moves together. " The audience was laughing pretty hard at this point. He went on to tell the story of how listening to Jackson work diligently on his songs, playing them again and again and again until he got them right, showed him that songwriting wasn't just about inspiration. It was about hard work. "At 9:00 in the morning, I'd hear his teapot going off, and then I 'd hear him playing the piano. He'd be working on the song 'Rock Me on the Water.' And he'd play the intro, and verse, and first chorus, over and over again for like a half hour. And then there'd be silence. And then the teapot would go off again. And then there'd be some more silence. And then, 20 or 30 minutes later, I'd hear him play it again and there'd be a second verse. And I'm upstairs going, 'So THAT'S how you write songs! You get yourself a cup of coffee, you roll up your sleeves, and you hunker down and work at it!'" He said Jackson showed him that it was craftsmanship, that you "sand and varnish" songs like a table until they were perfect.

    Always in our hearts, Never forgotten

  3. #83
    Administrator sodascouts's Avatar
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    Default Re: Glenn to be Guest at Songwriters Hall of Fame Master Session at NYU

    Quote Originally Posted by EaglesKiwi View Post
    I particularly like that Glenn was so respectful to both Randy and Felder. (Did Bernie get any mention?).
    As far as I know, Bernie only got mentioned when Glenn was talking about how Witchy Woman, which was a Leadon/Henley composition, was really the only good song from the first album that wasn't at least partially written by a non-Eagle.

    Wish I'd been there to see Nancy's face at the origin of Steely Dan's name.
    I gave a little scandalized gasp, covered my mouth, and turned red. Luckily it was dark in there. lol

    BTW, someone mentioned filming... it was filmed by a single camera set up on a tripod in the middle of the seats. Perhaps they will make some kind of low-budget release of the series?

    Always in our hearts, Never forgotten

  4. #84
    Administrator sodascouts's Avatar
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    Default Re: Glenn to be Guest at Songwriters Hall of Fame Master Session at NYU

    Some more additional tidbits that occurred to me:

    I thought it was funny that he compared Don Henley's small-town roots to something from The Last Picture Show.

    I want to expand more on that story about Glenn making demos at Muscle Shoals because it cracked me up. While he was on the road with Linda Ronstadt, they stopped by Muscle Shoals, Alabama, which has a famous recording studio. Glenn called up David Geffen and asked him if he could record some demos there because they had a couple days off. Geffen told him "OK, you can spend $500." As Glenn puts it, "So I recorded for two and a half days and I spent $2300. He was furious. He asks me, 'What did you do?!'" At this point, Glenn imitates his 70s self and in a drugged up voice gives his reply: "Well, man, the guys were soundin' so great and we were havin' such a great time, and I just kept on recording!" The audience was really laughing at that. So, that was when Geffen told him "You know what? You need to be in a group. You need to be in a group with people who will have strengths to cover your weaknesses and will give you an opportunity to show your strengths, too." Glenn said he took that advice, kept it in mind, and when he and Don were touring with Linda, they decided to form a band together within days of performing together.

    Factoid: Ned Doheny gave them The Gunfighters book that inspired Desperado.

    Glenn said that they were different from country bands at the time because they didn't dress in "country finery" but rather "Jeans, T-shirts, and cowboy boots" and that they "drank Heineken onstage."

    At one point, the interviewer said he'd found a version of Linda Ronstadt doing "Desperado"on YouTube and he actually attempted to play the video during the lecture (he had a laptop hooked up to a projector, where he also displayed lyrics that, sadly, weren't 100% accurate). Unfortunately, there were some technical difficulties and he was unable to play the video of Ronstadt's version. I had to wonder what would have happened if someone interviewing Don had tried to play a YouTube video of Desperado! Veins would have been popping! lol

    I thought it was noteworthy that he said sometimes you "own" a song more after touring with it, that you start doing it better. I especially found this interesting considering how the Eagles often strive to stay married to their original recordings, which doesn't seem to allow room for making it better.

    List of artists he said he respected and influenced him in the 70s: Neil Young, Stephen Stills, Joni Mitchell, Brian Wilson, Jackson Browne, Tom Waits, Danny O'Keefe, and Laura Nero (?).

    He said that when Don and he would get together, Don would ask him, "You got any chords? You got any song titles?" and they would start from there and it would just flow.

    He compared finding the right songwriting partner to finding the right dancing partner. "Maybe there would be ten pretty girls who were all perfect but only one would feel right in your arms."

    Factoid: The first album Szymczyk ever produced was BB King's The Thrill Is Gone, so he brought some blues cred to OOTN.

    When Glenn said that Felder wrote the intro to OOTN, he added that Felder was a good bass player and had also written the bass part for Hotel California. He said, "Felder did a lot of good things.... for a while," and left it at that! lol! At any rate, it took Randy a day to learn the parts that Felder came up with.

    Glenn mentioned that guitar parts should be singable, using George Harrison as an example - that they need to respect the vocal, but also add to the music and not just be filler. He said they would spend "hours if not days" on guitar overdubs.

    Factoid: John Boylan is the one who suggested the "angel in white" lyric for OOTN; they originally were thinking of using "daughter of God."

    An interesting comparison he made when talking about the brevity of songs was that, like ads, you had to get the message out there as memorably as possible without much time.

    He compared dedicating oneself to working at songwriting to dedicating oneself to calisthenics - going to the gym and getting oneself in shape (and he even - perhaps unwittingly - used the same phrase he used in his 1988 Bally's ad that the most important thing is "showing up" to do it).

    Factoid: "The One You Love" was written while they were working on "I Found Somebody." Glenn just randomly brought up that famous introductory sax line and they went from there.

    (And... in the interest of accuracy I have to throw this in.... Hotel California has not yet surpassed Rumours in sales. However, Their Greatest Hits 1971-1975 has blown Rumours out of the water, of course!)

    Always in our hearts, Never forgotten

  5. #85
    Stuck on the Border
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    Default Re: Glenn to be Guest at Songwriters Hall of Fame Master Session at NYU

    Quote Originally Posted by sodascouts View Post
    I'll try to add a little more while HH takes a break!

    IMHO, they spent way too long playing that crappy Nancy Sinatra cover. You know, I couldn't help but notice that they didn't play a clip from an Eagles song GLENN sang one time! We heard clips from Desperado, OOTN, LITFL, and HC. Now, I can only surmise this is because Glenn thinks that those are the Eagles' best songs and he wanted those highlighted but still, I was kind of bummed. At least we got to hear him sing ICTYW and, of course, IYWN.
    This sums up why Glenn apparently seems to think that the best Eagles songs are the ones sung by somebody else. Perhaps I was wrong to use the word 'gushing' about his praise of Don but in my opinion Glenn downplays his own talent to the point of .... well, you just want to say to him 'stop it. Give yourself some credit'. It would have been interesting to hear him sing ICTYW.

    I can correct a couple of other names Soda referred to. In the George Harrison doco they would have talked to Ravi Shankar, & Laura Nyro is one of the songwriters he talked about.

    At least he finished with IYWN which sounds if he is proud of his work on LROOE (by the way, if they had reverted to him only having one lead vocal on a double album, it would have been ludicrous. I am sure he knows that, even if he'll never say so). I notice that he barely mentioned his solo career.

    Thanks again to Soda & HH for their insights.

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    Stuck on the Border Glennhoney's Avatar
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    Default Re: Glenn to be Guest at Songwriters Hall of Fame Master Session at NYU

    I LOVE READING ALL OF THIS...WHAT A GREAT EVENING...THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR SHARING!!!!

  7. #87
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    Default Re: Glenn to be Guest at Songwriters Hall of Fame Master Session at NYU

    Quote Originally Posted by sodascouts View Post
    I'll try to add a little more while HH takes a break!

    After talking about bittersweet songs and BOML, the interviewer commented that many people thought BOML was a great love song. [Me, Nancy, I'm sitting there thinking, "Who are these people and do they not understand lines like 'We both see it slipping away'? Um, BOML is so obviously NOT a love song!"] But back to Glenn, lol.
    Minor point, but most people probably still classify breakup songs under the category of love songs, especially given the title of this song.

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    Default Re: Glenn to be Guest at Songwriters Hall of Fame Master Session at NYU

    Quote Originally Posted by sodascouts View Post
    He came up with an example of not-so-clever vs. clever: "'My baby left me, I'm all alone, I sure am blue.' Now, that's not as interesting as 'An empty glass, an ashtray, a lonely room' - that's more interesting, but it's the same story. Again, it's about spinning a tale, casting a little intrigue out there. I mean, is there anything more interesting than the intro of Phil Collins' 'In the Air Tonight'? That intro comes on, and just the chords, and the dark pad, and you're hooked, you're there. It's not always the lyrics, sometimes it's the mood, but the whole idea is to draw people in. It has to be interesting. It can't just be slop. Like I said, if you find yourself writing cliches or hating the chords that you've written, well, then you keep working and find some good chords. You find another way to do these things. You just keep working."
    This is perhaps the most insightful part to me of how he approaches songwriting. The part about 'my baby left me' etc reminds me of Some Kind Of Blue, which is that type of song, but now I understand why he wanted to start it with 'sunny day, two people walking' etc to give it some background.

    I am just delighted that he seems to love In The Air Tonight as much as I do (and Koala, if I'm not mistaken). Apart from the Beatles this appears to be the only non-American song he talked about.

  9. #89
    Administrator sodascouts's Avatar
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    Default Re: Glenn to be Guest at Songwriters Hall of Fame Master Session at NYU

    Quote Originally Posted by Freypower View Post
    This sums up why Glenn apparently seems to think that the best Eagles songs are the ones sung by somebody else. Perhaps I was wrong to use the word 'gushing' about his praise of Don but in my opinion Glenn downplays his own talent to the point of .... well, you just want to say to him 'stop it. Give yourself some credit'. It would have been interesting to hear him sing ICTYW.

    I can correct a couple of other names Soda referred to. In the George Harrison doco they would have talked to Ravi Shankar, & Laura Nyro is one of the songwriters he talked about.

    At least he finished with IYWN which sounds if he is proud of his work on LROOE (by the way, if they had reverted to him only having one lead vocal on a double album, it would have been ludicrous. I am sure he knows that, even if he'll never say so). I notice that he barely mentioned his solo career.

    Thanks again to Soda & HH for their insights.
    Thanks for the corrections, FP - I should have looked them up myself, but I was too busy trying to get everything down.

    I agree that sometimes Glenn gets a bit extreme with regard to self-deprecation and downplaying his contributions and talent. Modesty is a virtue but sometimes it gets a little bit over-the-top. To hear him talk, you'd think nobody wants to listen to him sing - Don's voice is "money" and the unspoken implication is that Glenn's voice isn't on the same level. Meanwhile, Glenn's vocal achievements such as his Grammy-winning lead vocal on "Heartache Tonight" aren't even mentioned. I only hope he knows his true worth in his heart and doesn't really believe that his voice is so inferior to Don's, despite what his words would indicate.

    Always in our hearts, Never forgotten

  10. #90
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    Default Re: Glenn to be Guest at Songwriters Hall of Fame Master Session at NYU

    Thank you Soda. You just summed that up perfectly. I hope he doesn't believe that either. His voice will always be Number One for me & the songs he sings with the Eagles will always be my favourites with a couple of exceptions.

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