Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Why The Dude hates The Eagles

As I was watching the section on "Country Rock", I was reminded of a line from The Big Lebowski, by Joel & Ethan Coen. 

There's a scene where the protagonist (The Dude) was being driven home from
Malibu by a taxi. He had a horrible day, his head was hurting from a mishap with a police captain, and the driver had "Take it Easy" by the Eagles playing on the radio. 

The Dude requested that the driver change the station because "I hate the f...king Eagles, man."  The driver gets pissed off and throws The Dude out of his cab. 

When I first saw the movie, I did not understand what aversion The Dude had to The Eagles. To my generation (I was born in 1979), The Eagles are a classic, and Hotel California is canonized as one of the great rock staples of all time.  So what could The Dude possibly hate about them so much?

In the section on Country Rock, a few hints are dropped. The term "corporate rock" was mentioned. While Henley, Frey, Walsh, Felder, and co were all talented in their own right, The Dude saw the conglomeration known as The Eagles as an ersatz country band engineered in a studio and too polished to be authentic. 

As we see throughout the movie, The Dude is a huge Creedence fan. CCR may have been from California, and Fogerty admits he has only visited the Mississippi Delta once in his life; but they still exemplify to The Dude the real thing. To him, The Eagles were a cheap imitation of what CCR represented, and he hated them. 

To use an analogy, this is similar to how as a teenager I could never get my father to appreciate Guns N Roses, Nirvana, Green Day, Stone Temple Pilots, or Soundgarden. And my current students can't get me to appreciate One Direction, Nicki Minaj, Katy Perry, etc. 

Any thoughts!