By Pat Anson, Editor
Guitarist and singer Glenn Frey – a founding member of the Eagles – died today at the age of 67 from complications caused by rheumatoid arthritis, colitis and other illnesses all too familiar to many chronic pain sufferers. Frey died in New York City, where he was recovering from recent intestinal surgery.
Many of his fans had no idea Frey’s health problems were so serious – but they had been building.
“Glenn fought a courageous battle for the past several weeks but, sadly, succumbed to complications from Rheumatoid Arthritis, Acute Ulcerative Colitis and Pneumonia,” Frey’s family and former bandmates said in a statement in the Eagles’ website.
“Words can neither describe our sorrow, nor our love and respect for all that he has given to us, his family, the music community & millions of fans worldwide.”
Frey had been battling diverticulitis and other intestinal problems for several months.
In November, the Eagles postponed several concerts so Frey could have surgery. A statement released at the time said Frey "has had a recurrence of previous intestinal issues, which will require major surgery and a lengthy recovery period."
According to the Crohn’& Colitis Foundation of America, arthritis may affect as many as 25% of people with ulcerative colitis.
The Eagles' statement was accompanied by the lyrics from Frey's “It’s Your World," from the Long Road Out of Eden album:
It's your world now
My race is run
I'm moving on
Like the setting sun
No sad goodbyes
No tears allowed
You'll be alright
It's your world now
Frey formed the Eagles in 1971 with drummer Don Henley. The band went on to sell over 120 million albums worldwide. The Eagles broke up in 1980 and Frey had a very successful solo career, before reuniting with the Eagles in 1994.
"He was like a brother to me; we were family, and like most families, there was some dysfunction. But the bond we forged 45 years ago was never broken," singer Don Henley said in a statement reported by TMZ.
"We built something that has lasted longer than anyone could have dreamed. But Glenn was the one who started it all. It will be very strange going forward in a world without him in it. But I will be grateful, every day, that he was in my life. Rest in peace, my brother. You did what you set out to do, and then some."