Just saw the Eagles documentary on Netflix , worth the entire 3 hours and it is amazing about the band, how it grew to have its own sound, the changes, the business end of it, how they named it "The Eagles." The one person who told them what they needed to hear in order to begin to have a unique sound was Bob Seger. He told Glenn Frey and Don Henley, "If you're going to make it big you'll have to write your own songs." Glenn and Don had no idea how to write and compose songs at the time were only musicians playing local gigs. So they retorted back to Bob; "What if we write bad songs?" Bob Seger re-assured them "Oh you'll write bad ones sure enough but you'll also write good ones eventually; you'll have to work at it. "
They did and eventually the Eagles were born. Working their own songs as they opened up for people such as Linda Ronstadt and lived above Jackson Browne they worked at opening up their own musical identity to the world. To create a new idea, a new sound that was the first crossover band from country and rock and continued to maintain that posture directly on the fence. It was the risk and the foundation and the fact that they were new to the song writing act, they weren't yet shaped by others, unqualified to criticize and clip their creative efforts. From Take it Easy and Witchy Woman working with their current colleague in the industry they leaped off the cliff of music already known into their own sound.
It takes guts. It takes courage with your soul to really continue to work at something newborn in the world. Working like a grape on a vine absorbing all the current events around them, the song "Take it Easy" was a hit as it told everyone during current edge of the 70s that everything was going to be OK. Eventually they did write and compose "good songs" ultimately leading up to "Hotel California" being the most talked about song in their long career. It was the culmination of all experience with their songwriting flourishing by practice and determination. Business decisions were made,band members came and went, but it's the creation of their own unique take on the worldand sound that's what makes them an Eagle in the truest sense of the word. Never wearing anything more expensivethat their favorite patched jeans, their excellence was in their standards of music writing , harmony singing, and musical talent.
That is the reason we love them so much. They had the courage to put those events into a time capsule attached to their personal thumbprint. Not knowing nor being that concerned if it outlasted them. Which it did, the latter concerts begin sung mostly by the crowd of fans. We miss Glenn Frey dearly but we can always play any one of his songs and hear his words, his music.
It's the bold move to make your own sound. While it's great to learn from colleagues, mentors, books, seminars, eventually you'll have to compile all of these forces into your unique sound. A sound the world has not heard before, absorbent ofwhere you live, the time you are living in and if you work your soul into it then it will be timeless.
Like an Eagle, leap off the cliff and write your own songs, make your own sound. Whether is is really a song or a concept or a method, develop it as your own and share it with the world. Your unique take is more important than copying a mentor; which is fine at first but eventually, you have to put your creation out there. We don't always have to do what's been done. We are living in new times, inspiration from the past great but how you put things together, your opinion, the way of the world in this time, your creation is far more important.
Make it yours and make it excellent.
"Don't even try to understand. Just find a place to to make your stand and take it easy." Jackson Browne/Glenn Frey
Sharon Sullivan - CEO of First Step Resources
Originally posted on LinkedIn on Feb. 2, 2016