When Hell Freezes Over

The Eagles

The Eagles
The Eagles

The Eagles are one of the most commercially successful bands in U.S. history, penning such classic rock staples as “Hotel California” and “Take It Easy.”

But these days, The Eagles are equally well known for drawing The Dude’s ire in the Coen Brothers’ cult classic, The Big Lebowski.

The Eagles are equal parts rock band and running punch line, symbolizing for many all that was bland and watered down about ’70s-era pop rock.

And just why are The Eagles so divisive?

Nerd-master author and pop culture yogi Chuck Klosterman pontificates on this question in his 2014 book I Wear The Black Hat: Grappling with Villains (Real and Imagined).

The Eagles “are the most unpopular super-popular entity ever created by California, not counting Ronald Reagan,” Klosterman writes.

Let me take a moment here to clarify: I hate The Eagles. I’m certainly not the first person to feel this way. While commercially successful, the group has never been a critical darling.

“We’d been abused by the press,” Eagles drummer Don Henley said in the band’s 1998 biography To The Limit. Quality and popularity are not synonymous in the world of pop music.

I also feel it’s fair to hate The Eagles while conceding to the quality craftsmanship that makes many of their tunes totally ubiquitous — popularizing the easy-going, L.A.-style brand of country rock they’re known for (a sound many say the group stole from more worthy innovators like Gram Parsons and a coterie of other Laurel Canyon songwriters).

So why do I hate The Eagles?

Because they sound like the end of something, another example of a commercially accessible and successful band exploiting a sound many other artists toiled in obscurity to perfect. Maybe one day I’ll soften on The Eagles — when hell freezes over.

The History of The Eagles Tour touches down 8 pm Thursday, May 28, at Matthew Knight Arena; $49-$179. All ages.