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Wednesday, October 23, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Spokane

Spokane doesn’t take it easy when it comes to the Eagles

UPDATED: Tue., Aug. 21, 2018, 7:32 p.m.

This combination photo shows cover images from the Eagles albums "Their Greatest Hits 1971-1975," left, and "Hotel California." (AP)
This combination photo shows cover images from the Eagles albums "Their Greatest Hits 1971-1975," left, and "Hotel California." (AP)

It’s sort of hard to believe now.

But I don’t recall confronting the idea that some people hate the Eagles until I first saw “The Big Lebowski” at a now-closed North Side theater in 1998. In that movie, the “Dude” character gets thrown out of a taxi cab after informing the driver that he can’t stand the Eagles, whose music the driver was playing.

Since then, I have come to realize that feelings about the Eagles divide Spokane more sharply than politics or opinions about bicyclists.

Some people in our midst hate the Eagles with a white-hot intensity. Sometimes they are in the same family with “Desperado” humming Eagles fans.

This all came up again recently when a collection of the band’s greatest hits became the best-selling album of all time. On cue, the haters came out of the woodwork with something other than a peaceful, easy feeling.

Now I suppose I should declare where I stand on all this. I used to like the Eagles, starting when I was still in high school shortly after Lewis and Clark set off from St. Louis.

I can remember being at a party at Ann Wick’s house and standing outside with Jim Wolvington. We were listening to “Take it Easy” on a radio.

Jim misheard the lyric “Won’t blow my cover” and thought it was “Won’t blow my rubber.” Or maybe I did.

When I left New England and transferred to a college in Arizona, my standard line was that I wanted my life to be more like an Eagles song. I’ve actually been to Winslow, Arizona. And I watched both installments of the two-part Showtime documentary on the band a few years ago.

I can remember being transfixed by the harmonizing on the long version of “Lyin’ Eyes.”

I can remember exactly where I was on a summertime date when “Witchy Woman” played on the car radio.

But I have never been to one of the band’s Spokane shows. And I’ve seen or read enough interviews with band members over the years to have arrived at a somewhat skeptical attitude about the enduring group.

Add to that the fact that the arrival of classic rock (and similar formats) on FM radio made the Eagles all but inescapable for decades, and you can see how some might believe they have overstayed their welcome.

Still, I like some of their songs. Sue me.

But what I’m curious about is why do some people loathe them? I have my theories, but I would like to hear from you.

I hope to name the King/Queen of Spokane Eagles Haters.

Is Spokane getting out of shape?

How long does it take your fitness level to start going backward once you stop getting daily exercise?

In my case, I’d say it’s about 5 minutes. How about you?

Naturally, I blame our air quality issues for not being able to ride my bike to work. Even when conditions improve a bit, it’s often still a problem for those of us in the “at-risk” respiratory group. I believe the official medical term for us is “wheezers.”

Age is a factor, too. No need to raise your hand if you are acutely aware that hard-won fitness gains can be fleeting for baby boomers.

Sure, there are indoor alternatives to exercising outdoors. But not all of the indoor choices work for those of us wedded to a particular outdoor activity.

This isn’t the first time I’ve written about the connection between exercise and the conditions outdoors in Spokane.

For instance, in a column that ran Jan. 3, 2009, I speculated that all the snow shoveling residents had been doing was bound to leave Spokane with a population possessing attractive, muscular arms.

I even suggested the expression “snowblower arms” would become a popular way to mock those who didn’t get the snow shoveling workouts that winter.

The more recent corollary to that, I suppose, might be “bad air body.”

Self-inflicted smoke

A couple of readers asked if I remember when companies that marketed grass seed used to burn fields east of Spokane 25 or 30 years ago. It was part of the harvesting process.

Yes, I do. Perhaps you do, too.

One year stands out. After the fields were torched, the wind picked up. A tsunami of smoke rolled over Spokane, all but gagging practically everyone in its path. It was nasty.

Ever seen pictures of those malevolent dust clouds that envelop desert cities such as Phoenix? Haboobs, they call them. In my memory, it was sort of like that.

Good times.

Contact the writer:

(509) 459-5470

pault@spokesman.com

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