Glenn Frey’s recent death brings to end an era of intriguing relationships, amazing collaboration and incredible rock and roll. As one of the founding members of The Eagles, Glenn Frey and Don Henley formed a song writing and performing team that created some of the most iconic music of our times.
Like many relationships, they had their challenges. Actually, they had serious struggles. When the band broke up and each went “solo” they continued to write, produce and perform great music. And of course, they eventually reunited and The Eagles performed as a united band until Glenn’s passing.
The real interesting part of the long and successful story is the fact that the relationship between Frey and Henley faced so many challenges. Fighting and disagreement were at the core of who they were and yet together, and with other artists, they produced lyrics for songs like Hotel California, Tequila Sunrise, Heartache Tonight and One of These Nights.
Relationships lead to collaboration and the collaborative process leads to results that are impossible to achieve alone. While both Frey and Henley had hit singles when they were “solo” the truth is that they both worked with writing partners and the term “solo” doesn’t really describe what was going on. Together Frey and Henley combined unique writing skills, Frey’s distinctive lead vocals and Henley’s harmonies to create and deliver iconic music.
Most people don’t stick it out during the hardship. They’re just gone. And, most relationships like Frey and Henley, Lennon and McCartney or Jobs and Wosniak are going to run into challenges, tough times, disagreements and the desire to “just move on.”
How do you discern when you stick it out or when you check out? It’s a tough call. It is always going to come down to first knowing yourself. You have to know what you believe, what you value and what you want to accomplish. You have to identify what your purpose is and how this relationship is part of achieving that purpose.
It is also important to understand that, while we can create amazing results alone, those results will not be the same as through a collaborative relationship with someone who adds to perspective and skill set. For someone to add to the conversation, they probably need to see things differently from you. When two people see things differently, then the challenges start to show up. It’s not always easy to walk with people who are different but when we do we can walk farther. To be most successful, we must be able to master certain aspects of building and protecting our relationships.
Lennon and McCartney struggled. Jobs and Wozniak had their struggles as well. It was no different for Frey and Henley. It didn’t mean they didn’t love each other, like each other and want success. They knew why they existed and what they were trying to achieve. They were trying to achieve excellence.
There is a struggle in collaboration that leads to excellence, but you must be willing to push through the struggle to get to that excellence. They saw that there was something special when they were together that wasn’t there when they were by themselves. They were able to see the potential in the collaboration and what they saw looked so great that they were willing to work through the challenges.
Ultimately, potential was the value that they shared. When together, the potential to be great was incredibly high. Both Frey and Henley saw that and they were willing to pay a price to achieve what they did together. There is always a price for success. Some times it is measured in money but usually it is measured in other ways such as time, forgoing ego, personal opportunities passed up. It might be measured in the struggle of figuring out how to make a relationship work, last and thrive.
It will always be easier to check out. Sticking it out may not give you that “peaceful easy feeling” every day, but over the long haul you will be able to “take it to the limit” and enjoy “life in the fast lane”!