I Can't Tell You Why
by Chief Alchemist a.k.a Wiley Chin - March 15, 2007 Posted: 12:27:40 AM EDT

I remember when I was about 15 years old, (1980 thereabout) I heard this really cool song called 'Hotel California' over the radio. Then I got to know the name of the band, The Eagles. And almost everytime there's a pesta at the padang organised by the Majlis Daerah Kulai, the mat-rocks, with a wooden plank stage built on top of neatly arranged oil-drums, will always play the song. None of them ever sounded like Don Henley (I didn't know his name then) but the guitar licks and the bass runs were a rush to listen to.

And then one fateful day, while I was walking the pasar malam in my neighborhood, a cassette pirate (they weren't called them that then, it was 'almost legal') was playing this really cool sounding music over his big black Sansui speakers. I thought the voice sounded somewhat familar. And when I picked up the casette, I saw that it was the new album of the The EAGLES. It was called 'THE LONG RUN' 

And on the album cover, I saw this really cool but intimidating photo of the group members in black and white. To recall what it was like, I googled up the photo with some difficulties. But what I have got now seemed split into 2 halves. I tried piecing it together as I'd remembered it but I can't.

Here was what I saw on the album cover that day some two decades ago. 

From L-R, Glenn Frey, Don Henley  & Joe Walsh 
From L-R, Timothy B. Schmit and Don Felder

I remember in 'The Long Run' album, Don Henley (think Hotel California) had a more dominant vocal presence over Glen Frey (think Tequila Sunrise), its previous lead singer. The album was intense and dark and its sound was slightly rough on the edges. Of all the songs, I most remembered a song called, 'I can't tell you why'. For those of you who have seen the 'Hell Freezes Over' concert on VCD/DVD, you must have seen Timothy B. Schmit (yeah, the guy with the long hair) singing this brooding, deeply introspective but immensely melodic number. 

Yesterday, while I was youtubing songs for my bored 5 years old son (he loves Bryan Adams' Summer of 69), I stumbled upon this 1979 MTV of the Eagles in the studio, recording this classic. (The encoding isn't perfect so the voice synch is slightly out).

They look young here. Check-out Henley and Frey's looks especially. Timothy looks almost the same, Fender has a beard and Walsh is well, quite different with moppy hair and Sgt Pepper moustach. 

This song is tagged to so many of my memories that watching them perform in this MTV along with seeing the clothes they wear is, well, painfully deliciously.

The other great song in the album was 'The Sad Cafe'. You can check it out later but for now, watch the MTV below. Enjoy!       

UGH!!! The pulled down the video right after I youtubed it into my blog. I guess we'll have to view to the 'reunion' version below.

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Wiley Chin
Chief Alchemist
XiMnet Malaysia Sdn. Bhd.

An alchemist of the Internet and marketing strategies, leading the charge to put our creative and software talents into serving companies who are out to slay the global giants. Also known as Chief of Caffeine Consumption and hallucinates between projects. Yes, that accounts for his “giant slaying” stuff.

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