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The Eagles by the numbers

Take It Easy if you're a math Desperado -- One of These Nights you'll Get Over It

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THE rock band the Eagles are a numerologist’s dream: seven No. 1 singles, six Grammy Awards, five American Music Awards and — with over 42 million copies of Their Greatest Hits (1971 - 1975) sold worldwide — the bestselling record of all time.

It doesn't end there. The group's 1976 smash Hotel California is ranked No. 37 in Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 100 greatest albums ever recorded. And the quintet -- formed in Los Angeles 42 years ago to back up country-rock chanteuse Linda Ronstadt -- checks in at No. 75 in Rolling Stone's rundown of the 100 Greatest Artists of All-Time (one spot in front of the Shirelles and one behind Hank Williams).

So when we were instructed to profile the Eagles ahead of their Monday, Sept. 16 concert at the MTS Centre -- the group's third appearance in Winnipeg in five years -- we decided to take a closer look at the band, by the numbers...

 

10

This just in: You can't hide your lyin' eyes.

According to a recent study, the average person blinks 10 times per minute -- a number that doubles when you're telling a fib.

"Results show that when the questions were being asked and the answers given, the blink rate in the liars went down," the report stated. "Afterwards, however, the blink rate of the liars increased rapidly in a sudden flurry of activity -- like a release of energy after the tension of lying."

So it looks like the Eagles were right all along. In 1975's Lyin' Eyes, Glenn Frey sings of a woman who "must go out for the evening to comfort an old friend who's feelin' down." Guess she must have blinked a few times on her way out the door, cause when she tells her beau that story, he knows "she is headed for the cheatin' side of town."

 

3,100

Distance in kilometres from Winnipeg to Winslow, Ariz.

The Eagles literally put Winslow (pop. 9,965) on the map in 1972. The band's debut single Take It Easy (co-written by Jackson Browne) contains the famous line "standing on a corner in Winslow, Arizona."

In 1999, Winslow city fathers commemorated that lyric when they opened Standing on the Corner Park. Yes, there's a flat-bed Ford permanently parked nearby.

 

1.5

Fluid ounces of tequila in a tequila sunrise.

"Take another shot of courage," the song goes. Tequila sunrises were already a popular cocktail in southern California when the Eagles recorded Tequila Sunrise for their second album, Desperado. In the liner notes of 2003's The Very Best Of, Don Henley says Frey, who came up with the tune's title, originally considered it too "clich©." "Look at it from a different point of view," Henley reportedly told Frey. "You've been drinking straight tequila all night and the sun is coming up."

 

895

Amount, in dollars, for a VIP ticket to the Eagles' Winnipeg show. For that tidy sum, guests are guaranteed a front-row ticket, gift bag and "hassle-free entrance to the venue." Here's some good news if you're running a tad short these days: for $3 you can catch Eagles tribute band On the Border ("five-part harmonies that... capture the feeling of hearing the Eagles themselves") at the Halifax County Fair in South Boston, Va. on Oct. 1.

Other Eagles impersonators currently taking it to the limit at a bar or casino near you include Hotel California, The Fast Lane, Desperado and the Illegal Eagles.

 

86

On average, the annual number of days below freezing in Hell, Mich.

For years, Henley told anybody who bothered to ask that the band, which broke up in 1980, would reunite "when hell freezes over." The group eventually got back together in 1994. Of course, the live recording of the resulting world tour -- one of the most lucrative in rock 'n' roll history -- was titled Hell Freezes Over.

 

149

Rate, in U.S. dollars, for a one-night stay at the Hotel California, located in Santa Monica, Calif.

The lyric "plenty of room at the Hotel California" isn't a misnomer. Last time we checked, nine of the locale's 26 units, including the "alcove suite," were available.

By the by, that isn't the Santa Monica landmark on the cover of the band's 1976 chart-topper. Hotel California actually features a shot of the century-old Beverly Hills Hotel, which was famous for being the on-again, off-again home of Howard Hughes for 30 years. Which might explain the line, "You can check out but you can never leave."

 

15

People who sing in the shower use, on average, 15 more litres of water than people who do not. During the 1970s, the Eagles warmed up for concerts by harmonizing on Seven Bridges Road in the shower area of their dressing room. That song, penned in 1969 by Steve Young, was the first single issued from the band's 1980 double-album release, Eagles Live.

 

1.1 million

Talk about life in the fast lane: the most expensive speeding ticket ever issued occurred in Switzerland in 2010, to the tune of $1.1 million. Driving laws in the European country dictate that fines are based on two chief factors: the rate of speed -- in that case 290 km/h -- and the income of the offender.

Here's guessing Joe Walsh, who co-wrote Life in the Fast Lane, has a lead foot. In his 1978 solo hit, Life's Been Good, the ex-James Gang member brags his Maserati "does 185," but that he lost his licence, so "now I don't drive."

 

1E49975

Plate number of the taxi in The Big Lebowski -- the one the Dude is riding in when the driver turns on the radio and the Eagles' Peaceful Easy Feeling begins to play.

Massaging his temples, the Dude asks the cabbie to change the station because "I've had a rough night and I hate the (bleeping) Eagles, man."

Bad call, Dude. The driver abruptly pulls over to the side of the road and tosses Jeff Bridges's character out of his backseat, telling him, "If you don't like my (bleeping) music get your own (bleeping) cab."

 

750,000

The Oxford English Dictionary is the world's most comprehensive dictionary with more than 750,000 entries. According to researchers associated with the tome, the most commonly-used word in the English language is "the."

Just so you know, there is no "the" in Eagles. Cut-up Steve Martin, a buddy of Henley's and Frey's since the early '70s, was the person who suggested the fledgling band dub itself "the Eagles." Frey liked the tag. But he insisted the group would only answer to "Eagles," minus the "the."

david.sanderson@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition September 14, 2013 D11

History

Updated on Saturday, September 14, 2013 at 9:30 AM CDT: adds missing text

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