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Thursday, January 21, 2016

Everyone Needs a Muse - A Tribute to Glenn Frey

Okay, so where am I?

It's been a busy week for the Media Guy!
I'm in Hollywood this week with what seems like LL Cool J Week. First, I run into him at the fabulous Redbury filming NCIS: Los Angeles and today I watched him get the 2571st star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Usually I only see LL Cool J at the Grammys, but twice in one week? With all the broo-ha-ha about diversity in Hollywood (well-deserved I might add), there was some front and present at the Hard Rock Cafe on Hollywood Boulevard with Diddy and Queen Latifah flanking him with his new star after the hour-long ceremony. At least this took my mind off the deaths of some the greats in entertainment, namely Alan Rickman, David Bowie and Glenn Frey.

I took the first two pretty hard. I mean who doesn't get a chill when Hans Gruber implores his ballet terrorist buddy Alexander Godunov to "shoot, the glass" or when you hear the David Bowie and Freddy Mercury wax poetic about being under pressure?

But Glenn Frey? The Eagles? That's another level of loss. That a loss of inspiration. Seriously, when I heard that he passed away, a tear crept down my face (much like the three that streamed down when I heard the Rocky theme crescendo in Creed). It wasn't planned. It was just there. Like a stomach punch of epic proportions.

As an ad man you need inspiration. The Eagles provided that from when I was a just a kid and took me to a different place as the idea man working in New York. Don Draper had his old fashioneds and his women. I had the Eagles.

What was great about the Eagles is that, for me, it took me to a place I could not get by myself emotionally. Glenn Frey may have said it best when he reflected that "people do stuff to the Eagles." They go on drives. They dance. They get intimate. A lot of music you just chill with and listen to at home. The Eagles were different altogether.

For me, I created. When I was a kid, I created stories that I hoped would be turned into movie and television scripts. As an adult I create commercials and ad campaigns. Some of my better work had the Eagles as a soundtrack in my head. Maybe everyone has that soundtrack where they find their spot. The Eagles were/are my road map to creative success.

I mean, this is the kind of ad you whip up when you don't have a muse like the Eagles driving your creative energy:

The Bloomingdale's holiday date rape print ad for the retailer shows an image of a woman and a man with a very questionable headline between them. The headline reads, "Spike your best friend's eggnog when they're not looking." It was quickly followed with a pullback from corporate:

Like I said, this is what you get without the Eagles...yet I digress...

As America's greatest band, they were a success outside of their Eagles work. Much like the Beatles (each of the Fab Four had success in music and business in addition to their Beatles' work), the Eagles found greatness with their individual work as well. Don Henley and Joe Walsh found stardom on their own. But Frey was beyond that. Even his bit work on Miami Vice and Jerry McGuire stood out to me. I felt like his talent made my talent better. When therapy was needed, and it was (try working at an advertising agency for month with all of those insane client demands), the Eagles were always there driving me to a place to confront the demons.

Let's just say that it there were a biopic of my life, the producers would have to pay a fortune in royalties to ensure the Eagles are playing in most scenes.

RIP Glenn Frey:

RIP Hans Gruber (aka Alan Rickman) ... apologies to Harry Potter fans, but he will be forever Hans Gruber:

RIP David Bowie: