Don Henley opened up about the death of his friend and bandmate, Eagles guitarist Glenn Frey, in an emotional statement on Monday.
“He was like a brother to me; we were family, and like most families, there was some dysfunction,” Henley said in a statement to ET. “But, the bond we forged 45 years ago was never broken, even during the 14 years that the Eagles were dissolved. We were two young men who made the pilgrimage to Los Angeles with the same dream: to make our mark in the music industry — and with perseverance, a deep love of music, our alliance with other great musicians and our manager, Irving Azoff, we built something that has lasted longer than anyone could have dreamed.”
Together, Henley and Frey wrote some of the Eagles’ most memorable hits, like “Desperado” and “Hotel California.” The band split in 1980, but reunited 14 years later and continued recording and touring through 2015.
“Glenn was the one who started it all,” Henley continued. “He was the spark plug, the man with the plan. He had an encyclopedic knowledge of popular music and a work ethic that wouldn’t quit. He was funny, bullheaded, mercurial, generous, deeply talented and driven.”
Frey is survived by his wife, Cindy, and three kids, Taylor, Deacon, and Otis, whom Henley said the guitarist loved “more than anything.”
“We are all in a state of shock, disbelief and profound sorrow,” the drummer and vocalist wrote. “We brought our two-year ‘History of the Eagles Tour’ to a triumphant close at the end of July and now he is gone.”
While fans and musical peers share memories of the guitarist on social media, Henley took a moment to remember when he met Frey, over four decades ago, playing in a backup band for Linda Ronstadt.
“I’m not sure I believe in fate, but I know that crossing paths with Glenn Lewis Frey in 1970 changed my life forever, and it eventually had an impact on the lives of millions of other people all over the planet,” he concluded. “It will be very strange going forward in a world without him in it. But, I will be grateful, every day, that he was in my life. Rest in peace, my brother. You did what you set out to do, and then some.”