In early August 1975, the Eagles arrived in the Windy City for a concert and took a series of photos on Lake Michigan. Oh, and Randy made a drastic change to his appearance.
Summer Of Stars, Washington Park,
August 9th, 1975
On August 9th, the band, along with Linda Ronstadt, played Washington Park racetrack in Chicago as part of the “Summer Of Stars” series of outdoor concerts. The racetrack was closed for summer racing and a stage was built in front of the grandstand, with the windows removed, so the performers could have more direct contact with the audience.1
The Eagles drew 20,000 fans, the largest crowd of the series. You can read the lone review of the show here, which is not really a review since it doesn’t mention the songs that were played or any other details from the show, and the author clearly has a bone to pick with the band.
The End Of An Era
The above photo does reveal one detail. Randy’s mustache, which had been a fixture on his face for most of 1975, was gone.
The mustache made one of its last public appearances only ten days earlier at the Mississippi River Festival on July 29th:
One can only speculate what prompted him to shave it off. Did he make a mistake shaving? Was food getting in it? Was it too hot in the summer? Who knows? But, Randy’s second mustache of the 1970s,2 which started out as a beard, was a thing of the past. He would forego facial hair for the next 20 years, except for a short-lived goatee in 1993.
Rolling Stone Cover Story
Journalist, Cameron Crowe, followed the Eagles for much of their 1975 tour. Crowe was gathering information for a cover story for Rolling Stone magazine. He brought along his best friend and roommate, Neal Preston, as photographer for the assignment.
Neal and I spent a lot of time on the road with the band, shooting candid shots of the members and planning the cover shoot with them. There were a few memorable group portraits that could have been used, particularly one taken outside their dressing room at the Day on the Green concert — it’s the band at their mugging best. Later, Frey had the idea to get out on a boat, put some oxygen into the mix and take some shots out at sea. Just the band, relaxed, eyes on the horizon, with a lot of blue sky.“Cameron Crowe Looks Back on His 1975 Eagles Cover Story,” Rolling Stone, August 17, 2015
The photo shoot aboard the boat on Lake Michigan took place while the band was in town for the Washington Park concert. In the Rolling Stone cover story (read it here), Crowe mistakenly refers to the venue as Chicago Stadium.3 The same night of the concert, the band won Best Song (“Best Of My Love”) and Best Group on the Rock Awards, which was televised nationally. Joe Walsh, not yet an Eagle, accepted the awards for the band.
The Eagles return from a record crowd at the Chicago Stadium [sic] to find their Holiday Inn’s front desk covered with phone messages, telegrams and flowers. With One of These Nights in its fifth week at the top of Billboard’s LP chart, the group has just won in Best Song (“Best of My Love”) and Best Group (over Led Zeppelin, Elton John and the Rolling Stones) categories of the nationally televised Rock Awards. On the phone upstairs with Glenn Frey is Joe Walsh, who accepted the awards for them and, in the process, kissed presenter Raquel Welch.“Eagles: Chips Off The Old Buffalo,” Rolling Stone, September 25, 1975
Neal Preston Photo Shoot
The following photos were taken the same day (on land) by Preston. Note that Randy is wearing the same flip-flops that Henley is wearing in the photos on the boat. He is also wearing his Criteria Recording Studios shirt, which would become a favorite.
1Chicago Tribune, June 1, 1975
2 Randy’s first mustache of the ’70s was visible in the cover photo on the Desperado album, which was taken by Henry Diltz in December 1972. This mustache lasted through the summer of 1973 and was gone by November when the band toured Europe.
3Crowe refers to two separate Chicago concerts in the Rolling Stone piece. The first are the Arie Crown Theater shows, which took place on May 10th-11th. The second is Chicago Stadium, which is really the Washington Park show. The band didn’t play Chicago Stadium until 1976.