It's easy to "hate the fucking Eagles," something I've done more than my fair share of. In fact, in my recent move from three bedrooms and a basement to one bedroom and a closet, all of those Eagles and Steve Miller LPs left over from high school had to go. Say what you will about these devout capitalists, but some of the band's loudest business moves -- while definitely worthy of some finger-flipping at the time -- paved the way for today's music industry business model. Let's stop and think about a couple of our favorite reasons for snarking on them:
-- They were pioneers in the age of outrageous arena ticket prices. Ten years ago, they were just money-grubbing bastards. Today, $100 is just another price point for arena shows, and hardly the most expensive.
-- They signed an exclusive deal with Wal-Mart for US sales of their 2007 album, Long Road Out of Eden for its first year of sales. Oooooh, Wal-Mart! The unholy big-box store! Today, everyone from AC/DC to Guns N' Roses and even the righteous Pearl Jam is in bed with the big boxes. Billboard actually revised its charts policy to accommodate Eden. While they used to deem albums with exclusive deals ineligible for inclusion on their charts, they changed the policy with Eden, which subsequently allowed The Eagles to bump Britney Spears' Blackout from the top spot on the Billboard 200.
-- As for their music? Well, let's just say that today's crop of alt-country up-and-comers owes more to to the "Take It Easy" and "Already Gone" that they soaked up from KZOK than they're likely to admit.
Now, go ahead and hate your heart out!
P.S. Tickets to The Eagles' May 13 show at KeyArena go on sale on March 1 via Ticketmaster. Unless, of course, you hold an American Express card. You can get your tickets as early as Feb. 22.