Glenn Frey dead: How The Eagles' hit 'Take it Easy became one of history's most famous songs

Winslow, Arizona, has been living off its fame ever since

Andrew Buncombe
New York
Tuesday 19 January 2016 01:32

It was a song co-written by Glenn Frey and Jackson Browne and contained something of an unlikely geographical reference.

“Well, I’m a standing on a corner in Winslow, Arizona and such a fine sight to see,” Frey sang in The Eagles 1972 tune Take it Easy.

“It's a girl, my Lord, in a flatbed Ford slowing down to take a look at me.”

The statue in Winslow, Arizona, the town name-checked in 'Take it Easy'

The song was the band’s first single, taken from its first album, and would reach #12 in the Billboard charts.

Yet it go on to become of The Eagles most celebrated numbers, and would also help provide an obscure town in the north of Arizona with a celebrity that has lasted down the years.

Last year, it was reported that such has been the fame of that song, and that line, that more than 100,000 people every year visited the former rail hub to place themselves in the setting created by The Eagles.

Glenn Frey, Randy Meisner, Bernie Leadon playing live in 1972

Winslow, a town of 10,000, fell on hard times after WWII when train travel declined. It grew ahead as a stopping off point on Route 66, but the building of a by-pass in 1979 again drained the town of visitors.

About 15 years ago, the authorities in Winslow decided to try and cash in on their footnote in musical history and erected a statue to commemorate the song.

On the junction of 2nd Street and Kinsley Street, they put up the statue of a man with long hair and a guitar. Someone painted a mural and the town named the spot the Standin' on the Corner Park.

Don Henley (l) and Frey in 2014, co-wrote many of the bands best-known songs

“People were stopping and taking pictures on corners in Winslow anyway. So they were quite brilliant to realise that they should capitalise on this interest,” local historian Ann-Mary Lutzick, director of the town’s Old Trail Museum, told the Los Angeles Times.

Neither Browne or Frey had been to Winslow when they wrote the song. And the experience of seeing a young woman in a truck had its roots in the nearby town East Flagstaff, but Winslow fitted better into the lyrics.

“It was always Winslow,” Browne said, when the Standin' on the Corner Park opened. “But the image of that girl driving a truck was an image that came from the east.”

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