WATCH: The Secret History of Travis Tritt + the Eagles
Before Travis Tritt stepped in, the Eagles were hurling obscenities and threats at each other onstage and promising their breakup was final. Ten years and a few games of pool later, they were talking about their future.
This episode of the Secret History of Country Music focuses on how Tritt helped bring Glenn Frey, Don Henley and company back together for a music video, and how that video turned into an MTV special, and then an album and then another 20-plus years of music and harmony. Okay ... it was as harmonious as the Eagles were going to get.
The rockers' manager had the idea for an album called Common Thread: The Songs of the Eagles. Tritt, Vince Gill, Clint Black and Alan Jackson were just four of 13 country artists to cover one of those old rock songs, but the focus track was "Take It Easy," a minor country radio hit with big implications. Watch the full video below for the story:
The TL;DR version is Tritt said he would only do a music video if the Eagles joined him, thinking it would never happen. He was reaching, but the band's manager made it happen. It all went so well that differences were set aside for the Hell Freezes Over special and album, and from there the group toured together until Frey's death in 2016.
Of course, Gill joined the band after Frey died, and he continues to work with them to this day. But it was a wisecrack from a young Georgia Southern rocker that put events in motion to get us to 2021, where the band is still performing as one. Long gone is the animosity that came with four-letter words and threats of a beat down -- that story is best told by our friends at Ultimate Classic Rock.