Eagles Song ‘Life in the Fast Lane’ Inspired by True Story of Cocaine and a Fast Corvette


Eagles Song 'Life in the Fast Lane' inspired by True Story of Cocaine and a Fast Corvette

If it hadn’t been for a Corvette, we might not be blasting “Life in the Fast Lane” out of our mid-engine Stingray speakers some 45 years later.

That’s the word from Far Out Magazine in a story explaining the source for one of the Eagles’ greatest songs ever. (A cool story for sure, but they messed up who actually was in the Corvette!)

Considering that members of the Eagles crew were known as some of the biggest party animals ever, we’re not surprised to find out that drugs – or at least a ride with a drug dealer – helped spawn the 1976 hit off their mega-hit “Hotel California” album.

In the 2013 documentary The History of the Eagles, Glenn Frey explains: “I was riding shotgun in a Corvette with a drug dealer on the way to a poker game. The next thing I know, we’re doing 90. Holding! [cocaine] Big time! I say, ‘Hey man!’ He grins and goes, ‘Life in the fast lane!’ I thought, ‘Now there’s a song title.'”

The band would go on to build the song around a catchy riff that lead guitarist Joe Walsh had just been using to warm up.

Frey explained the meaning of the song: “‘Life In The Fast Lane’ kind of expressed the stereotyped LA ‘run around in your Porsche’ 24-hour boogie mode that unfortunately is too true for a lot of people.

“It wasn’t really a statement about the guys in the band,” he continued, “or about anybody in particular – just it’s kind of disturbing to see the extremes that the bourgeois jet set will involve themselves in. For instance, disco almost turned into a lifestyle, and it’s such a non-meaningful thing on which to base one’s life.”

Walsh chimed in with his thoughts on the song’s philosophy: “Yeah, that’s probably true, and I think it was healthy, though, that we realized that running around and parties and fast cars are really not the answer – it’s kind of a shallow way to approach why we’re on this planet, and it probably came as a band consciousness.”

Here is more on this story from Ultimate Classic Rock:


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  1. I would guess that there are hardly any malaise era Corvettes that haven’t had some quantity of cocaine in their cockpits at some point in time.

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