While neither the Eagles' Glenn Frey, who died Monday at age 67, nor the band he co-founded originally hailed from Colorado, their history is inextricably linked to this state —
and Boulder's own rich music scene.
In October and November of 1971, the fledgling country rock group, under the direction of manager David Geffen, left Los Angeles for Aspen to play its first extended dates.
"I remember the first night, there were 40 people for the first set, then 80 people for the second set," Frey told the Aspen Times in 2010. "By the fourth show of the night, it was packed. The word spread pretty quickly."
The following month, the band was paid $100 a night to play five nights — Dec. 11-15, 1971 — at the now-defunct Tulagi on Boulder's University Hill, former Denver Post music critic G. Brown writes in his book "Colorado Rocks!"
"Those gigs were sort of our coming-out party," Eagles drummer Don Henley told Brown.
'About eight people came each night'
The Boulder concerts were booked by Chuck Morris, a University of Colorado student who got his start at Tulagi, the famed 3.2-beer bar that occupied 1129 13th St. on the Hill for more than 50 years.
Today, as CEO of Denver-based AEG Live Rocky Mountains, Morris is one of the biggest concert promoters in the western U.S.
"I got a call from their manager at the time, David Geffen," Morris told the Daily Camera in 2003 after Tulagi was seized by state tax agents and shuttered. "He said, 'I`ve got this new band I`m putting together. They`re on their way to England to record their first record. They`re going to be huge. I'd like them to play for five days, just to work out their material. Their producer`s going to fly in.'
"So I canceled my vacation and kept the club open," Morris said. "About eight people came each night, but the band was brilliant. (Producer) Glyn Johns would take notes, and after each show they'd go back to the bar and talk about it. It was tremendous. And they literally went to London right after that and produced their first record."
According to Brown's book, at one of the Tulagi shows, a "beered-up" patron kept yelling, "Play some Burritos, ma-a-a-an!," referring to country rock forebears Flying Burrito Brothers — a band Eagles guitarist Bernie Leadon previously had played in.
"We're a new group with our own songs," Frey explained from the stage, according to "Colorado Rocks!"
By February of 1972, the band was in England with Johns recording their self-titled debut. Eagles was released in June 1972 and featured three Top 40 singles, including the Frey-sung "Take It Easy."
In later years, Frey, Henley and Joe Walsh, who joined the band in 1975, would maintain homes in Colorado.
CU T-shirts and Mile High shows
The band, which split in 1980 and reunited in 1994, has passed through Colorado frequently over the years.
In their initial run, the Eagles performed at CU's Folsom Field in 1978 and 1980 — which may help explain's Frey's onetime penchant for wearing CU T-shirts on stage, as can be seen in old performance footage on YouTube and the documentary "History of the Eagles."
Dave Plati, the Buffs' sports information director, delved into that subject in a 2013 blog post, seeking input from longtime CU fixture J.C. Ancell, who served as staff adviser to Program Council — which put on campus concerts — in the '70s.
"They used to let CU athletes in the back door in exchange for CU gear, and the Eagles often wore the shirts on and off the stage," Ancell told Plati. "At the CU show (at Folsom Field on July 29, 1978, on their Hotel California tour), they made a deal for some backstage passes in return for a load of jerseys and other gear.
"Frey always seemed to like the CU-branded stuff."
In 2001, the Eagles were selected to christen Denver's just-completed Invesco Field at Mile High, performing the first-ever concert at the stadium now named Sports Authority Field.
Several more Pepsi Center dates followed in the 2000s, with the band most recently performing in Denver in 2013.
At a 2003 concert, according to the Daily Camera's review, Frey seemingly acknowledged the Eagles' latter-day reputation for exorbitant ticket prices.
"You're paying, and we're playing," he quipped to fans, who'd shelled out up to $150 apiece to see the Pepsi Center show.