Fitzroy’s flight with Eagles

BY BRIAN BONITTO Associate Editor Auto and Entertainment bonittob@jamaicaobserver.com

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

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Edi Fitzroy was apprehensive when asked to cover the Eagles 1977 hit Hotel California.


"I had my reservations... First thing, mi nuh like sing ova people songs... I have written all my songs expect for the Heptones’s
Handle and Blade. And, secondly, when mi listen to Hotel California, it sound like some duppy thing. But my producers (Jacko Thelwell and Delroy Thompson) say is a big tune and that I should do it," recalls Fitzroy, 61.


He said the cover version was recorded in 1988 and eventually formed part of his repertoire.


"Whenever I performed it locally, the reception was great. A lot of people knew it, and always sing along," he said.


Founding Eagles member and co-writer of Hotel California, Glenn Frey, died of complications from rheumatoid arthritis, acute ulcerative colitis and pneumonia on Monday. He was 67.


Frey and the other original Eagles members comprising Don Henley, Bernie Leadon and Randy Meisner were formed in 1971 as the backup band for singer Linda Ronstadt.



Hotel California racked up numerous awards for the Eagles. Three months after its release, the track went certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America. It also won the Grammy Award for Record of the Year in 1978. Other hits include Lyin’ Eyes, Take It to The Limit, Take it Easy and Desparado.


Fitzroy recounts an occurrence while performing the song in Los Angeles.


"LA was the place, at the time. One night I was performing the song and the lights just gone... lock off... I was thinking it was a power cut and then me see everyone inna the audience wid a candle and singing. That was cool," he said.


"The Eagles’ drummer, Don Henley, came backstage after the concert and said: ‘Eddie, your voice comes crashing down... you’re awesome’," he continued.


He said Henley also told him that the song was not about evil, but the high life in California.


From Clarendon, Edi Fitzroy (given name Fitzroy Edwards) attended Chapelton All-Age and then Clarendon College.


His first recording was Miss Molly Colly in 1978. He enjoyed success in the 1980s with hits including
Princess Black and The Gun.


"I have a few overseas gigs but I’m working on a 15-song album for summer... Trevor Elliott will be producing it. It doesn’t have a name yet, but it’ll be about the struggles of the people."


















 

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