Friday, April 18, 2014

"The One You Love": Glenn Frey And The Birth Of Fireplace Rock

While Don Henley, bless his smarmy soul, seemed to view his solo career as an opportunity to establish himself as a leading proponent of Lecture Rock, Glenn Frey decided to head in a noticeably different direction. Perhaps taking the slow, Quiet Storm groove of "I Can't Tell You Why" as a starting point, "The One You Love" (which peaked at #15 pop and #2 Adult Contemporary) instantly catapulted Frey into the front ranks of early '80s Fireplace Rockers. Also, I'm partially convinced that Frey was inspired to write the song after accidentally putting Nicolette Larson's "Lotta Love" on the record player at half speed. Of course, no Fireplace Rock song is complete without that essential Fireplace Rock instrument, the saxophone.

As the video demonstrates, Frey was clearly aware of what his audience came to hear, given that the very first thing we see is a lone saxophone player, spotlit on an empty stage. Is Glenn Frey even around? Gradually the camera pulls back to reveal that - surprise - Frey's been there all along, playing his Fender Rhodes keyboard and swaying to the jam! Of course, the sight of Glenn Frey and his helmet hair isn't exactly the sexiest image, which is when we cut to the sultry female in black lingerie lounging on red sheets (around 0:58). Whoa, hold on a second, let me put the kids to bed here. She's on the phone and looks like she's having a good time, but there's a twist once again, as the camera pulls back to reveal ... Glenn Frey standing in the corner! He's everywhere! Also, it's some disturbing room with a floor straight from the Holodeck and a window with a creepy Martian sunset in the ... I think it's a sky?

Now Glenn's back at the keyboard, and the voluptuous girl is dancing with ... another man? That skank. Or maybe Glenn is in two places at once? Maybe she's not such a skank after all. But wait, it gets better/worse, because Glenn and the girl suddenly find themselves in a Thomas Kincaid painting, slow dancing on a dazzling cloud (at 2:11). The camera cuts away and ... wait, she's dancing with that other man! Wait, now she's dancing with Glenn again. For the love of God, who is dancing with whom??

Suddenly the dancing's over, as the girl and her tuxedo'ed lover start making out in a convertible ... in the snow? Don't they have a cabin somewhere at least? I mean, they better not leave the headlights on, or the car's gonna run out of batteries. But the camera is panning back, panning back, and you just know Glenn has got to be around somewhere, getting his jollies off, watching this sordid scene. Yes, there he is, huddled around ... a trashcan fire? Damn. That girl has really fucked him up. She's turned Glenn Frey into a hobo. (Also: if it's so cold, how come I don't see any condensation coming out of his mouth?)

But save your concern for Glenn's health, because in the last shot, all is ultimately revealed. Perhaps there was no dazzling cloud. Perhaps there was no trashcan fire. It was all ... just a dream! A sweet, sweet Fireplace Rock dream. In the end, it was just a saxophone within a saxophone.

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