Category: james dean

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James Dean (with his Rolleiflex) photographed by Roy Schatt in New York City, 1954.

On this day in music history: March 22, 1974 – “On The Border”, the third album by the Eagles is released. Produced by Bill Szymczyk and Glyn Johns, it is recorded at Olympic Studios in London and The Record Plant in Los Angeles, CA from October 1973 – January 1974. After the somewhat lukewarm response to their sophomore album “Desperado”, the Eagles start work on their third album with Glyn Johns. Looking to grow and evolve musically, Glenn Frey and Don Henley especially want to move beyond the country rock sound of the first two albums, adopting a harder rock edge. It’s a decision that meets with resistance from Johns, weary from having previously worked with bands like The Rolling Stones, The Who and Led Zeppelin, tells them point blank “you’ll never be that”. The band are also chafing at the amount of control that the producer exercises in the studio over their sound during recording and mixing. After six weeks in the studio, tensions boil over, and the Eagles fire Glyn Johns. Tossing out all but two songs from the initial sessions, the band return back home to Los Angeles to start again. Johns is replaced by producer and engineer Bill Szymczyk, best known for his work with B.B. King, The James Gang and Joe Walsh. Developing an instant rapport, the sessions go smoothly from there. While recording the track “A Good Day In Hell”, guitarist Bernie Leadon invites his friend Don Felder to play slide guitar on the song when he is unable to nail the part. Frey and Henley are impressed by Felder’s virtuosity, and ask him to become the bands second guitarist, making the Eagles a quintet. Once released, “On The Border” is well received by the public, helping them rebound from the initially tepid sales of “Desperado”. It spins off three singles including “Already Gone” (#32 Pop), “James Dean” (#77 Pop) and “Best Of My Love” (#1 Pop), the later becoming the Eagles biggest hit to date. Remastered and reissued on CD in 1999, the album is reissued as a 180 gram vinyl LP by Rhino Records in 2014, individually and as part of a box set of the bands first seven studio albums. “On The Border” peaks at number seventeen on the Top 200, and is certified 2x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.

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James Dean on location for the film “Giant” in Marfa, Texas in 1955.

James Dean (with his Rolleiflex) photographed by Roy Schatt in New York City, 1954.

James Dean with his Bolex camera on the set of “Giant” in Marfa, Texas in 1955. 

Elizabeth Taylor and James Dean photographed by Richard C. Miller

on the set of “Giant,” 1955.