Eagle Glenn Frey has one hope for Election Day: that people wake up and see through the facade of the "bumbling governor from Texas."
"It's that Jerry Springer-WWF element we have in our world," Frey said about George W. Bush's inexplicable lead in some polls. "He reminds me of a comedian. He's on a 90-minute show, but he's only got 15 minutes worth of material," said Frey, who recently did an Al Gore benefit concert with former partner Don Henley. "So he keeps going back and hammering away at it. God, it's almost like a song they keep playing on the radio that you didn't like the first time you heard it, but now it's a big hit and they play it over and over again and you can't get it out of your mind."
He laughs about it, but is dead serious about the race.
"I hope people can see through the happy talk and facade that the Republican campaign is putting up. I don't know how [the middle class] can forget 12 years of Reaganomics. It turned the middle class into a nation of renters. And I fear for the environment if there's a couple of big oilmen running the country.
"I guess the one thing I do find interesting … is how much more this election weighs on our minds than any of the previous six presidential elections. I don't know if it's because we have families now, or if we were still too focused on our careers and other stuff," says Frey. "But there's a lot at stake in this election, including the appointment of Supreme Court justices for life. They're going to be making decisions on abortion and patients' rights and privacy and God only knows what else. Again, who do you want appointing Supreme Court justices? George W., the bumbling governor from Texas who has about 15 minutes worth of shtick?"
Frey was speaking on the eve of the election, just days before the release of the new Eagles box set, which will set a new precedent in music marketing. All the unreleased songs from the box set, due out Nov. 14, will be made available for free online, so fans who already have all the Eagles' music won't have to shell out to get the new tracks. The set has a full CD of the Eagles' "Millennium" concert from the Staples Center in Los Angeles last New Year's Eve, while the other three discs are previously released Eagles material.
"When talk about putting out a box set got serious, the first thing the record company wants to know is, 'Do you have any old tracks?' And we really do not," Frey said. "We tossed things aside before they were finished if we felt they didn't hold enough promise, so there aren't really any finished old Eagles tracks."
But for the Millennium concert, the band had pulled out little-played songs such as "Ol' 55," "Those Shoes," "Please Come Home for Christmas," and "Funky New Year."
"And it just so happened that we had one heck of a good night on New Year's Eve," says Frey. "We had fun at that show and it shows."
The band made the decision to offer the tracks for free rather than force fans to shell out for the entire box just to get those songs. "It's always good to have a friendly relationship with your audience. Hopefully it'll keep us in good stead with our fans. People don't want to spend money to buy an entire box set to get the live tracks. I can understand that, so it's nice to have the opportunity to get these songs without buying the box."
Eight sites will carry the downloads, including Amazon, CDNow.com, BarnesandNoble.com, Twec.com, Borders.com, Checkout.com, and TowerRecords.com.