On the Border

Album: On the Border (1974)
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Songfacts®:

  • The title track for the Eagles' third album was written by Don Henley, Glenn Frey and Bernie Leadon, but it turned out to be completely different from what Henley had originally envisioned. He commented on the liner notes for The Very Best Of The Eagles compilation: "There was a clash of styles and influences in that song, and I'm not sure it ever became what it could have been, musically."
  • The lyrics were written at the height of the Watergate scandal and the impeachment of President Richard Nixon. They were penned about the concern there was about the American government overstepping the mark with regard to issues of privacy.
  • Listen carefully and at the very end of the recording you can hear a voice saying, "Say goodnight, Dick," which was a phrase made famous on the late 1960s show The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour. Henley explained: "We were addressing Nixon, because at that time it was pretty clear that he was on his way out, so that was our little kiss-off to Tricky Dick."
  • Wanna hear someone really upset by Nixon and the Watergate scandal? Stevie Wonder's "You Haven't Done Nothin'" was possibly the Motown legend's angriest ever song where he really lays into his president.
  • When the group sings together on the break of this song, they had The Temptations in mind. Glenn Frey says they had to get "completely liberated on gin and tonics" to pull it off. The alcohol assist made them sound like "white, stoned punks, drunk out of our minds," rather than earnest imitators of classic Soul.

Comments: 3

  • Charlie Leeder from Trenton, New Jersey Wrong again John from Ridgewood New Jersey! “Say good night Dick” was the Rowan and Martin take On the original George Burns and Gracie Allen show, where George would turn to Gracie and say: “say good night Gracie “and Gracie would say: “good night Gracie.” Rowan and Martin’s took that bit from the old Burns and Allen comedy routine. Of course you would have to be old enough to remember when the dead sea was just sick, like me, in order to remember this!
  • Alan from Forest Acres, ScYes, I would say that "Rowan and Martin's Laugh In" was the source of "Say Goodnight, Dick" which Dan (Rowan) always said to Dick (Martin) at the end of the show, and Dick would reply "Goodnight Dick" and the credits would roll. The show began as a one time deal in September, 1967, and response was so good that the show was brought back as a weekly program until sometime in 1973. It replaced "The Man from U.N.C.L.E." on Monday nights at 8pm on NBC. Even Richard Nixon had a cameo on the show saying the line "Sock it to me!" either right before or shortly after he began his first term as president.
  • John from Ridgewood, NjWrong Dick. "Say good night, Dick," was made famous in the late 1960s on "Rowan and Martin's Laugh-in." Dan Rowan would end each show by saying it to Dick Martin, who would respond, "Good night Dick."
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