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EAGLE SOAR

Country superstar Vince Gill has played to packed out audiences all over the globe and has sold more than 20 million albums in his career, but nothing could prepare him for the pressure of stepping into the shoes of the late Glenn Frey w it h the Eagles…

INTERVIEW VINCE GILL

© Jim White

When Vince Gill accepted the invitation to join the Eagles last year for two shows, he knew that he was stepping into a potential minefield. “Let’s face it, the Eagles without Glenn Frey was pretty unthinkable to the band’s fans”, he says.

“As a fan myself, I can understand that. But I never went into this thinking that I was ‘replacing’ Glenn, if that’s the right word – that would be impossible on every level. So I think once fans saw that, they gave me a chance.”

The two shows were such resounding successes (“they were beautiful, surreal and emotional”) that Don Henley, Joe Walsh and Timothy B Schmit decided to carry on with a full tour with a lineup that included, in addition to Gill, guitarist Steuart Smith and Frey’s own son, Deacon, on guitar and vocals.

“They wanted it to be great, and that’s something I could deal with”, says Gill.

That was right up my alley. Being a part of it for over a year now, I can say that I go about things a little differently than the other guys, but this is all about playing what’s necessary – and only that much. You’re playing songs that are iconic, and you’re playing in front of a lot of people that would scratch their heads if they weren’t as they remember them. To me, it’s quite important to see these songs get performed the way they do. I’m a little more of a free spirit when I play and sing, but this has been a really great learning experience for me to understand why they do what they do. The songs deserve it.”

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