Glenn Frey, the New York Daily News and the Lionel Messi Problem

Following the death of Glenn Frey, an article by Gersh Kuntzman appeared in the “New York Daily News” titled “Glenn Frey’s death is sad but the Eagles were a horrific band”. The definition of “horrific “in the Oxford English Dictionary is “causing horror” and the definition of “horror” is “An intense feeling of fear, shock, or disgust”. I wondered how could a country rock band that created some great songs and were accomplished instrumentalists and singers cause an intense feeling of fear, shock or disgust. He then goes on to say in the body of the article that Eagles were “quite simply, the worst rock and roll band”. Again, like them or not, how could that be? There are a million other far worthier candidates; the three guys who practiced in the garage of my neighbor’s house when I was growing up, for a start. The Eagles aren’t even a rock band, they are a country rock band that occasionally plays rock n’roll and when they do, they play it well – “Life in the Fast lane”, for example.

Further down, Gersh lists other artists who were active in 1972 to 1976 – Lou Reed, David Bowie, The Sex Pistols – implying that the Eagles were creative dwarves in comparison. Whatever about Lou and David – The Sex Pistols? Never mind the bollocks, and there is an awful lot of bollocks written when it comes to The Sex Pistols, has anyone, even Gersh, listened to The Sex Pistols in the last 35 years. At the end of the article, he describes a scene in “The Big Lebowski” where “The Dude” asks his cab driver to turn off “Peaceful Easy Feeling”, because The Dude (“an icon of cool”) hates the “f**king Eagles”. Gersh exempts Joe Walsh from this un-coolness, in a sad attempt to pander, awarding him the distinction of being the only cool Eagle. Has North America become a giant high school where politicians resort to bullying, name-calling and macho posturing and rock journalists try to appear cool and hardcore by referencing The Big Lebowski and The Sex Pistols?

And then there’s Gersh’s Lionel Messi Problem. What is a Lionel Messi problem? Well, say you’re a sports fan and you are a dedicated follower of one team, you automatically can’t stand the team’s arch rival; if it’s the Vancouver Canucks, the Leafs suck; if you are an Everton fan, Liverpool suck; if you are a Real Madrid fan, Barcelona suck. But there’s a problem, Lionel Messi plays for Barcelona and is obviously the top player in the world. So if you are a Madrid fan the most you can do is to resort to lame criticism – he’s only good because of the system Barcelona play, he’s not the same when he plays for Argentina – then Messi, all by himself slaloms past four defenders and chips the ball over the keeper. Hotel California is Gersh’s Lionel Messi Problem. The lyrics are “mysterious”, only of interest to “nerds” (high school again), it’s a “novelty” song. Mysterious?  It’s poetry, Gersh, Don Henley is using imagery, metaphor, the whole song is a metaphor for chrissake! There isn’t a song writer out there who wouldn’t give his eyeteeth to have written that lyric. Apart from the lyric, the song has everything else – good chord structure, melody and great guitar. It is in fact a great rock song and how can the worst rock band produce a great rock song, that’s Gersh’s Lionel Messi Problem.

He has since written an article titled “I’m the Most Hated Man In America”.

Gersh, you are so bad!


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