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Monday, October 27, 2008

Frail Grasp on the Big Picture

Let's continue our travelogue through the Eagles' brilliant Long Road Out of Eden. To my untrained ears, this is one of the best CDs of the past 10 years and it shows that a band that has been around since 1971 still has serious musical chops.

In fact, I would like to put a copy of the CD into a time capsule so folks 100 years from now can understand, through the magic of music, the absurdities of life in the Age of Rove.

A favorite cut from the CD is "Frail Grasp on the Big Picture," a Don Henley-Glenn Frey composition that is one of the funkiest numbers the Eagles have ever done. It is a long way from the country rock that marked the band's early years.

Henley is the Eagles chief lyricist, and he is known for rants about the greed, selfishness, and cluelessness that permeate postmodern America. Henley gets right to the point in "Frail Grasp:"

Well, ain't it a shame
About our short little memories
Never seem to learn
The lessons of history

We keep making the same mistakes
Over and over and over and over again
Then we wonder why
We're in the shape we're in

The scene shifts to a bar where "good old boys" are munching on peanuts and talking politics. Unfortunately, it's an exercise in futility:

They think they know it all
They don't know much of nothing
Even if one of 'em was to read the newspaper
Cover to cover
That ain't what's going on
Journalism dead and gone

Henley then turns personal, counseling a "love-drunk friend" who doesn't seem to understand the basics of real relationships. This guy's living in a "hormone dream" and just wants to "get some snoggin done:"

All your romantic liaisons don't deal with eternal questions like:
"Who left the cap off the freakin' toothpaste?"
"Whose turn to take the garbage out?"

Finally Henley skewers religion--or at least the way some of its adherents have bastardized faith in postmodern America. And he does it as a haunting church organ provides the backdrop:

So we pray to our Lord
Who we know is American
He reigns from on high
He speaks to us through middlemen

He sheperds his flock
We sing out and we praise his name
He supports us in war
He presides over football games

And the right will prevail
All our troubles shall be resolved
We put faith above all
Unless there's money or sex involved

This song should be released as a single. But something tells me it would rile a few folks up. Hopefully, it would make even more folks think a little.

Here's a version of "Frail Grasp" from YouTube. This features a regular guy playing along to the song on a snazzy looking drum kit. I don't know the first thing about the technique of playing drums. But this guy looks like he can play them pretty well. Enjoy.

1 comment:

invisible said...

Dear Schnauzers,

Please know that, even though I may not comment, I go to this blog at least once a day---usually more.

Another Fellow Schnauzer Admirer

The legal schnauzer will scale all obstacles in pursuit of truth and justice