EAGLES, FLEETWOOD MAC -- The speculation has begun
With word leaking out Thursday about the Eagles and Fleetwood Mac coming together for two two-day festivals this summer -- one in New York at Citi Field and the other in Los Angeles at Dodger Stadium -- many are beginning to wonder exactly what's in store for what's being called Classic East and Classic West. Among the concerns are:
What made Don Henley decide to resurrect the Eagles? He was quoted as saying he felt the band's tribute to Glenn Frey at last year's Grammy Awards marked the end of the band, but he sang a different tune in September. In an interview with the Montreal Gazette he said, "Glenn has a son who can sing and play quite well... the only way I would consider any kind of reunion, I think, would be with Glenn’s son, Deacon...
"Then in November, Henley told Sydney, Australia's Daily Telegraph, "His son is quite talented -- but he is only 22 years old so there are no plans in that regard.” But, he added, "I have spent my entire year trying to get my head around the fact that [Frey] is no longer with us -- and I’m just now beginning to come out of the fog. But the tour I did this summer was very healing for me and I am in a way the curator -- or perhaps the torchbearer -- of the legacy that he and I created and the songs that we wrote.
”There are many people who feel the music is more powerful than who is playing it, and the songs of the Eagles mean so much to so many. Having reunited with former guitarist Bernie Leadon for its last tour, the band is still a four-piece at its core and Henley, Timothy B. Schmit and Joe Walsh can each tackle a few of Glenn's songs. Or, they can ask Jackson Browne like they did at last year's Grammy tribute, or have Frey's childhood friend Bob Seger sit in. Seger paid tribute to Glenn at December's Kennedy Center Honors.
As for Fleetwood Mac, while Stevie Nicks is against doing another album, she's never said she would no longer perform with the band.
Both the Eagles and the Mac are managed by Irving Azoff, whose Azoff MSG Entertainment is behind the show, along with Live Nation, the country's largest promoter. This is Live Nation's answer to Desert Trip, which is produced by their competitor, Goldenvoice/AEG.
Azoff also manages Journey, and while Steve Perry has always been opposed to reuniting with the band for a tour, perhaps he can be persuaded to do these handful of shows. We may get a better sense of what he is thinking if he joins his former bandmates when they are inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame next month.
In regards to the other acts expected to be added to the bill, Live Nation is also producing tours this year for Sting, Coldplay, U2, Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers, Bon Jovi and Eric Clapton, all of whom fit in nicely on a bill with the Eagles and Fleetwood Mac.
And finally, unlike Desert Trip, which is more than two hours from Los Angeles and San Diego, and more than four hours from Las Vegas, the Classic East and Classic West shows are smack dab in the middle of the country's two biggest cities, making them much easier to get to, and providing more lodging options with air conditioning and showers as opposed to camping in the desert.