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Monday 22 Jul 2024

Tricia Kelly
dr george pollard

Grub Street Interview Grub Street Interview Grub Street Interview

Coincidence is a part of life. “Out of nowhere,” says Jennifer, “John Jones popped into my mind, the other day. I hardly knew him. Yet, there he was, in the forefront of my mind, for a moment or three. I learned he died yesterday. How weird is that?”

Coincidences come in many forms. A fellow, whom you see around but don’t know, shows up at a meeting. He supports your concerns and solutions; you become friends. A few years later, he drops your name and you’re hired for your dream job.

Sorting through the clutter in a desk drawer, you happen on a photograph of a high school friend that you haven’t seen or heard from for years. An hour later, your phone rings, it’s your high school friend. “I thought I should call,” she says, “to catch up.”

Less dramatic coincidences happen all the time. Eyeing the shelves of a pharmacy, you notice a package of zinc-based salve. You don’t need it, but you buy it anyway. Next day, you seriously cut a finger while slicing watermelon for frying; the salve comes in handy.

You may think coincidences provide the rewards of life. Then, driving to work, through busy traffic, you realise you left your licence at home. The next sound you hear is a police siren.

At any moment, coincidences make life seem uncertain. Joe Walsh, of the “Eagles,” says “you live your life, it seems full of chaos and random events; [something] happens and it’s overwhelming. You say, ‘What is going on?’ Later, you look back [at your life]; it’s a finely crafted novel.”

Looking back, from any point in life, coincidences form a neat package. “What makes life mysterious,” says Deepak Chopra, MD, “is that destiny seems hidden …. Only at the end of our lives [are we able] to look back and see the path we followed.”

Day to day, life rarely seems a finely crafted novel or is the path followed even recognised. Coincidences are jolts. Readiness is near impossible, yet we must try to prepare for such events, says Chopra, else a key opening may be lost.

For Chopra, all coincidences hold meaning. Each one is a chance to grasp our full potential; if we’re ready, these chances won’t pass us by. Mantras, he suggests, are a way to learn how benefit from coincidences; so, too, meditation.  

Carl Jung said a unifying agent lies beneath events that seem random and unrelated. Jung, as does Chopra, after him, relies on Eastern beliefs for his conclusion. It’s a matter of belief versus science.

Science takes coincidences as random events. Dismissed as the result of chance or chaos, coincidences lack predictability and thus are futile to fret or study. If such events hold meaning, it’s unintended and a result of wild speculation.

Spirituality views coincidences as loaded with meaning. Such events are part of a plan. A coincidence isn’t predictable, but you can be ready, when it happens, to make it work for you.

Jung called coincidences synchronic events. Chopra, playing with the term used by Jung, calls his approach to these life chances, synchrodestiny. Tricia Kelly, in her new book, “Her Love Story: synchronicities, spirituality and Mr Henley,” uses a term cross pollenated from Jung and Chopra.

“Synchronicities,” says Kelly, “are events that appear meaningfully related, but do not seem to be causally connected.” These events, according to Jungian psychoanalytic theory, are evidence of a connection between the mind and material objects; between or among people, too, at a deep level.

Kelly uses an exemplar to make her case. Most writers, such as Chopra, use strings of examples, which are simple. An exemplar offers a fuller picture, which can lead to greater insight.

For Kelly, her love story involves Don Henley. He’s the lyricist, composer, vocalist and drummer for the “Eagles. Glenn Frey was the soul of the “Eagles.” Manager, Irving Azoff, is the mind. Henley is the heart.

GrubStreet (GS) What turns you on?

Tricia Kelly (TK) Joy turns me on.

GS What turns you off?

TK hatred

Before Henley, Kelly met Rod Stewart, the singer. This friendship involved a series of coincidences. Perhaps it was an introduction or a way to prepare for the synchronicity of her and Don Henley.

Kelly was a server at The Cauldron, a tiny restaurant in the King’s Cross area of Sydney, Australia. “It was an old sandstone house, converted into a restaurant,” says Kelly. Four rooms, on the main floor, comprised the dining areas.

“Sunday nights were slow,” she says. “This particular Sunday night, I was the only server.” A Cauldron regular called to book a dining room. “It was ‘Rod Stewart and the Faces’; the band was on a tour of Australia and had played Sydney that night.”

Serving a dozen rowdy musicians was hectic. “The tip was wonderful, though,” says Kelly. There were compensations.

“On his way out, Stewart asked the owner for my name. He said the service had been great. He wanted to take me for a drink, as a reward.”

The owner gave Kelly the rest of the night off. She went home to change, agreeing to meet Stewart at a local disco. “When I arrived, there was a line up,” says Kelly. “I didn’t think I would get in.”

Then, a member of the Stewart team saw Kelly, in line. “Let her in,” he said. “That’s Rod’s girl.”

Had Stewart sent this fellow to look for Kelly? Was he merely trolling? Was his presence intentional, dumb luck or synchronicity?

After the disco closed, Kelly gave Stewart an impromptu tour of Sydney at night. Dropping him off at his hotel, she gave him her phone number, never expecting him to call. The next morning he called and they went to Bondi Beach for the day.

Stewart insisted Kelly come to his show, that night. She met him at his hotel and helped pick his costume for the show. A chauffeur drove them to and from the concert hall in a limousine. Back at the hotel, she said good night and went home.

Stewart called Kelly a week later, when he returned to Sydney for another show. “Come to the show,” he said. She agreed, but wanted a front row ticket, not a backstage pass, for a different view of him.

After the show, with no backstage pass, she pushed her way to the roped off and guarded area. A roadie saw her and told the guard to let her pass. “That’s Rod’s girl,” he said, again.

GS What’s your favourite piece of clothing?

TK Jeans are my favourite clothing.

Years later, after Kelly moved to Los Angeles, she joined a friend and her child at a soccer pitch. There were several games going on, at the same time. Kelly noticed someone familiar, playing in one of the games.

When that game took a break, she went and sat beside the fellow she recognised. He ignored her. As he got up to return to the game, she said something about his up-coming tour of Australia.

At that moment, Stewart recognised Kelly. Astonished, given time and mileage, he was happy to see her. She joined Stewart and his soccer buddies at a pub, after the game.

This meeting seems mostly good fortune. Meaning might come in retrospect. Synchronicity seems lacking.

GS What’s your favourite phrase or word?

TK Inspiration is my favourite word.

GS What is your least favourite word?

TK Discrimination is my least favourite words.

“In the middle 1970s, all those years ago, Sydney was a small town, with small-minded residents,” says Kelly. “I hated the hearsay that exploded around my meeting Rod Stewart. This is one reason I kept Don Henley under wraps for so long.”

“I was in the right place, at the right time, to meet Don Henley,” says Kelly. She ran into a friend, Barry Marshall, at the Sydney airport. He was promoting the “Eagles” and invited her to see the show.

That was 1976. “I knew little of the ‘Eagles,’” says Kelly. She had been travelling, working as a model, while the band rose to prominence. “I knew their songs, from the radio, but that was it.”

“I loved going to concerts,” says Kelly, “especially if I had a pass for backstage.” This time she was free to move around backstage. “Barry [Marshall] was busy, busy; I sat on a step, a few feet above the backstage crowd, and watched.”

She saw a man. She didn’t know who he was or why he was backstage at an “Eagles” concert. “There were several women talking or trying to talk with him. “I assumed he was part of the band,” she says.

“This man kept looking at me,” says Kelly. This meant over and beyond the heads of the women around him. “His energy was aimed at me. My body absorbed his stare; his energy.

“I blushed,” says Kelly. “I kept blanking out, looking at the wall, thinking, ‘Oh, this guy is staring at me.’ I would turn away, then back, and he was still staring at me.”

Soon enough, his attention was all on Kelly. The women surrounding him turned to see what was distracting him. They were not happy when they saw Kelly.

To be fair, Kelly likely had some advantage on the women competing for the attention of Don Henley. She was an experienced model. That she carried herself well, presented well, is certain. She was noticeable.

“Henley walked over to the bottom of steps, where I sat,” says Kelly. He nodded her to follow him. “He had the energy of a southern gentleman about him; he still does. Who could refuse him?

“I followed him into a small room,” says Kelly. “He was and is so charismatic. There was only the two of us.”

They talked. Henley asked Kelly if she’d like to meet him after the show. “I shrugged my shoulders. ‘I guess I would, as I came to the show in a limousine, with Barry [Marshall].’”

As the last song played, a roadie approached Kelly. “As soon as this song finishes, go outside and get in limousine number three,” he said. She did.

“Shortly, Henley flies out the back door of the theatre; sweaty, a towel around his neck. We drove off.” That was how Kelly began spending time with Don Henley.

A world-class model, in a busy airport, bumps into a friend that invites her to a show he’s promoting. She goes to the show. Alone, backstage, she catches the attention of Don Henley.

Is it synchronicity? Is it fate? Is it life?

GS What’s your favourite ice cream?

TK Vanilla is my favourite flavour of ice cream.

“Being around someone, such as Henley,” says Kelly, “makes one impulsive. He’s so much in the moment and it’s hard to resist. He captivated me. I became physically and emotionally wrapped in his embracing energy. I went with the flow that evening.”

Henley had to shower and changed. She waited for him, in the bar of his hotel. “I wasn’t going to his room,” says Kelly.

“This, of course, was me erecting my own fences. In my own girly way, I was protecting myself.” She did go to his room that night.

They were both hungry. All the restaurants in Sydney had shut for the night.

“Room service was the only choice,” she says.

“It was part of us being one on one,” says Kelly. “One on one became normal. He wasn’t treating me as a groupie, say, or as a band-aide, but as a friend and a lover.

“There was a feeling, between Henley and I, which was deeper, more meaningful” than given a backstage Annie. “As I mention, in my book,” says Kelly, “the cement set when he started spoon-feeding me Vanilla ice cream. He was a great deal of fun, at that point.”

There were moments, says Kelly, when Henley could be heavy. His personality could become gruelling. She didn’t see any of that until much later.

“He charmed me that first night,” says Kelly. “It was bliss. Common thinking, on this topic, is wrong. Bliss doesn’t mean forever, only for now.

“I’m out of the box, with what or where my emotions take me. I don’t believe anyone crosses my path without a reason. I believe in synchronicity.”

In the morning, Kelly had to leave early. She had borrowed a car and had to get it back in time for her friend to go to work. She tried not to wake Henley, as she crept out of the hotel room.

“He woke up, as I was leaving,” says Kelly. “He said take the key and come back." I did and I did.

“While I was gone, I checked an album cover to learn his name. I made love to a man with no name. We were never introduced; he asked my name and I felt I couldn’t ask him name, given his fame.”

After talking, with him, before the show, for twenty minutes, Kelly thought, what vitality. “I knew he was a member of a world famous band, the “Eagles,” but I didn’t know enough, of the band, to even be a fan.” Simply, his vitality blinded her.

“Later, in the morning, we drove around Sydney,” she says, “as I had with Rod Stewart. With Henley, honestly, I was trying to hide him. I didn’t want to be seen with him. I didn’t want the stigma that would go with being seen with Don Henley, in Sydney.

She took Henley to a dumpy restaurant.” He was used to five-star restaurants,” says Kelly. “I took him to two tables and three chairs.

“I was trying to avoid my friends." Yet, she took Henley to her playground area, where everybody knows everybody. Was it analogous to the theif wanting to be caught?

Was she gambling, subconsciously, betting synchronicity would protect her? If synchronicity intended someone to see her and Henley, it would happen, no matter what steps Kelly took. If she lost her bet, she’d live with the stigma.

GS What sound or noise do you love?

TK I love to hear birds chirping.

GS What’s your favourite curse word?

TK The f-bomb is my favourite cuss word.

Kelly saw Henley, again, on that Australian tour. He asked her to fly to Melbourne for the “Eagles” show. She booked a coach seat and flew back to Sydney with the band.

Michael Douglas and Jack Nicholson were in Melbourne to promote “One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest.” Both came to the “Eagles” show. Nicholson watched Kelly standing in a corner.

Nicholson asked her, “Do you want a beer.” When she said yes, he tossed to her. She fumbled it, but opened the can, anyway, spraying everybody in proximity to her.

Synchronicity can lead to embarrassment. Seems it’s not always positive. Maybe it was a nervous mistake?

“All through diner,” says Kelly, “Nicholson kept playing footsy with me. I am sure Henley knew, but didn’t say anything. He, Henley, found us a plate of food, with two forks, and we ate.”

That night, everybody hung around the pool. Henley was not in a good mood. He saw a bad review, of a recent show. The reviewer had seriously shot-down his drumming. This was worse than dumping on his lyrics or composing.

“Henley is especially sensitive about his drumming,” says Kelly. Singing is not easy, on its own, especially the often complex harmonies of the “Eagles”; nor is only drumming. Singing and drumming is more than doubly difficult.

“He has both hands and his feet to control, when drumming,” says Kelly. “Plus, he must sing.” This calls for much coordination and concentration. He’s good, very good, at both.

She could understand why the review upset him so much. The reviewer could likely neither drum nor sing. Yet, probably he, harshly attacked Henley, on both counts.

The next day, Henley seemed more needy than usual. He wanted Kelly by his side, all day. On the return flight to Sydney, from Melbourne, Henley even bumped Glenn Frey from First Class to her coach seat, to ensure Kelly stayed close by him.

Henley gave Kelly the phone number of his manager, Irving Azoff, and his address. He told her to call him, at that number, if she came to Los Angeles. She did.

When she set out for Los Angeles, her flight had a two-day layover in Honolulu. She had no hotel reservation or much money. Fortunately, she befriended a fellow, Charlie, on the flight from Sydney. He allowed Kelly share his hotel room and fed her; no strings attached.

In Los Angeles, the same fellow found Kelly an almost inexpensive hotel, off Rodeo Drive. She could almost afford it. She ventured onto Sunset Boulevard for food and, eventually, distractions.

Several coincidences occurred, during his adventures. In clubs, she met people. She ran into friends, from Australia, that she intended to look up.

GS What occupation would you not like to try?

TK I would not care to be a judge.

In 1976, the “Eagles” were touring, constantly; a pop band, in its prime, must keep moving to earn. Kelly wasn’t sure if Henley was in town. She did call the number he had given her.

Synchronicity, again, worked for Kelly. She talked her way past a cynical receptionist, used to fans calling to talk with stars. “[Henley] told me to call him, at this number, the moment I arrived in LA,” Kelly said.

“I think,” Kelly says, “Henley had arranged, with Azoff, for my call to be taken. The receptionist had only to confirm I was I." Kelly said she was in LA for 24 hours. “Please make sure he gets this message.”

Henley returned her call that afternoon. “I can see you, in the office, tomorrow, but only for ten minutes,” he said. “We’re leaving for a tour.”

“I had told my girlfriend, in Australia, I only needed ten minutes, with him, to know if there was something between us. This is the synchronicity of what you put out to the universe, it does take form.

“In retrospect, I should have said I needed is an hour. An hour, with Henley would have taken place. I had my ten minutes, with him, in his office; it was electric.

“He had that same sensuousness. Thrusting me to his body; his postures, his stance, the way he moved. The energy, the vitality, was riveting.

“He held me at arm’s length. ‘Good to see you, again. Where are you going?’ I told him Aspen.” Henley said, “I might go skiing. I might go there, too. I don’t know.”

“Call a barman I know, in Aspen,” said Henley. He gave her the number saying, "He’ll know if I’m in town.”

How quaint is that. “Call a barman. He’ll know if I’m in town.” Is that synchronicity or merely belittling?

“This how information got around before the internet,” says Kelly; “words, facial expression, sound of the voice and so forth were noticeable, adding to my understanding of what he said, the way he postured. I left on Cloud Nine. It was worth flying half-way around the world; much fell into place around that kind of energy.”

GS In what city could you lose yourself for hours to explore?

TK Paris, that’s an easy one.

Kelly went skiing in Aspen. “Ten minutes after arriving in Aspen,” she says, “my closest girlfriend, whom I had intended to meet up with in Bali, eighteen months earlier, walked in the restaurant where I was eating. It was more synchronicity.”

After two days in Aspen, Kelly returned to Los Angeles, unsure she could get by on what little money she had left. She called Charlie, the fellow she met on the flight from Sydney. He picked her up at LAX, the airport, full of good news.

His friend, Greg, was out of two for three weeks. He was okay with Kelly using his home, while he was away. She’d have to share with another woman, Maureen, though.

The house, free for three weeks, was a huge Spanish mansion, sitting on the edge of Beverly Glen Canyon. Another synchronisation happened. More would arrive shortly.

In these pre-smart phone days, she would now have a telephone, a land line. She could call Henley. He could call his back. Contact was now much easier.

At the time, Kelly didn’t know her temporary home overlooked, across the Canyon, the home of Don Henley. His home was on one side of Beverly Glen Canyon. Kelly was staying on the other side.

One day, Kelly and her housemate, Maureen, went for a walk along Mulholland Drive. Stopping for a rest, they sat on a closed gate protecting entry to the property behind. They didn’t know, but the gate guarded the entrance to the home of Don Henley.

Is it synchronicity? Is it dumb luck? Is it life?

“Maureen and I had thought of going into the gate property. We thought there might be horses housed there. We both loved riding.”

Kelly continued to contact Henley. He was often busy, touring or just not available. She wondered if there was another woman or other women in his life.

Shortly after Valentine’s Day, 1977, Henley called. They should get together at the home of his manager. Kelly drove to meet Henley.

She and Henley sat in the Jacuzzi, under the moonlight. He offered her a pill, a Quaalude. “He downed his [Quaalude], quickly,” says Kelly. “I pretended to take mine, secreting it away. Now, the evening was about me faking it.

“The water was soothing,” she says. “Our night of passion was real to me. I wondered how Henley felt.” Given the Quaalude he took could he have felt, period.

As she left, the next morning, she placed the pill on the night table, beside the bed. Henley stared at her, with “pissed off eyes,” Kelly says. “He realised he had been tricked.”

GS What is something about you that would surprise readers?

TK I’m a child at heart; playful.

Three weeks later, on 9 March 1977, Henley called Kelly. She remembers the date, well, as it’s the birthday of her mother, her daughter and a great niece. This time Henley would pick her up.

They drove, in silence, along Mulholland Drive, turning into a property with a white corral gate, which was open. Henley said, “Those damn workers never close my gate,” as he got out of the car to shut the gate.” It was the same gate where Kelly and her friend, Maureen, had rested during their walk.

Now, Kelly realised she had spent three weeks looking across Beverly Glen Canyon at the home of Don Henley. “This was too much to handle,” she says. “My body quivered. I nearly threw up. I was in shock.”

How did this happen, she wondered. “Am I a spiritual stalker?” Kelly saw the events, of her recent life, as coming together in a cosmic one that knew no time.

This meeting ended poorly the next morning. Kelly and Henley managed to make a mess, trying to prepare a breakfast smoothie. This is when Kelly realised there were two Don Henleys.

There was his persona, his powerful, inspiring stage presence. There was his personality; he was heavy in attitude, not light hearted as originally thought. “I was in love with his personality, the private him, not the persona,” says Kelly.

On the solemn drive to my home, Henley said the “Eagles” were back on touch, shortly. Kelly suggested she might hire on as his private masseuse. He said his manager hired such a person, already.

To compensate, he would dedicate a song to Kelly, during the show in New York City. The show was on 15 March, her birthday. The sentiment was good, but she’d rather be there, in person, to hear the dedication and song.

The next time Kelly saw Henley was at a charity softball game. It was the “Eagles” versus the staff of “Rolling Stone” magazine. Of such softball games, Glenn Frey, co-founder of the “Eagles,” said it kept band members from hitting each other.

This day, Henley came to fence to greet Kelly. “He was reserved, as if he might have a girlfriend in the audience. Yet, I sensed that on some deep level, I was synchronised with him” she says. “He told me to again call his manager and leave my contact information.”

A few days later, Maureen, with whom Kelly shared the Beverly Glen Canyon house, scheduled an at home appointment with a masseuse. From the moment the masseuse arrived, she was critical of Kelly. “Do we know each other,” she asked me.

“I said I couldn’t know her, as I’d just arrived from Australia and met few new people. Turned out we had the same first name, Patricia, shortened to Tricia. We shared the same astrological sign, too, Pisces, and same birthday, given that New Zealand was a day ahead.”

Is this more synchronicity? Is it a random event? Is it life?

Despite the mutual coolness, they continued to chat. “The masseuse told me she had just finished working a tour, with the ‘Eagles.’ She was private masseuse for Don Henley.

“I gulped at what she said,” says Kelly. Had Henley warned Kelly during the drive home that morning, a few weeks ago? Did Henley know Kelly and the masseuse shared a first name? Had he mention Kelly to his masseuse?

“His public world was huge,” says Kelly. “His private world was getting smaller. The abnormal events piled up.”

Sometime later, Kelly saw a black SUV parked in front of the open gate to the Henley property. She knew it was his car. On impulse, she wrote a poem, leaving it under his wiper blade and unsigned. “Those were the words that flowed through me a few nights before,” she says.

Weeks later, she passed the gate, to the Henley property. It was open. She decided to venture on to his property. She ran into Henley.

“Right away, he said, ‘Thanks for the poem. You’re a lousy speller.’ Kelly said, ‘I wasn’t travelling with a dictionary.’”

Then she remembered his mother was an English teacher. His comment made more sense. At least he didn’t say she couldn’t rhyme.

GS What occupation, other than author, would you like to try?

TK None, I’m happy as I am.

A phone call, from a woman pretending to work for Henley, but probably his girlfriend, set the end in motion for Kelly. “The Henley personality called me back, in anger,” she says. “I was now in the mix of his private life.”

Henley checked out, of her life, but couldn’t leave. Kelly ventured onto his property, again, but at a mistimed moment. He and a girlfriend were ostensibly having a spat.

Kelly continued meeting, with Henley, off and on. One night, as they slept, Mother Nature intervened, soiling the bed linen. Henley, on discovering the results of a natural event, ordered Kelly out of his home; never to speak with her again.

Kelly believes song lyrics, written by Henley, even if with others, offer a glimpse into his personality. She is right. His lyrics likely reflect his spirituality, the essence of his soul, if not more.

No writer is an island. The world or worlds consume the writer. What she or he writes reflects what is important in his or her worlds; the writing is intuitive.

For a writer, what she or he writes may reflect a dialogue with his or her worlds. A gay man may write a story of heterosexual love, with characters based on his gay friends; say, Truman Capote or Tennessee Williams. A jilted lover may take a few shots at his or her former lover in a hit song; say, “Into the Air Tonight,” by Phil Collins.

Expressing what is important, in the worlds of a writer, is learnable, but not teachable. For Henley, his mother was an English teacher. He majored in English at university. Before he wrote, he absorbed many tools of expression. As he began writing song lyrics, Henley was well aware of the appeal of duality, say, such as light and dark in the work of William Blake.

“Henley seems focused on protecting himself from women,” says Kelly. In “Witchy Woman,” which Henley wrote with Bernie Leadon, drugs lessen restraints, to a point where “she” sleeps in the bed of the devil, perhaps a latent reference to incest, which he tells “her” brother.

“Across time,” says Kelly, “women were more metaphysical, more spiritual than were men. Men felt threatened. Women were not allowed into the priesthood, as they were thought witches. When women challenged men, they were doing the work of the devil and burned at the stake.”

Ostensibly, Zelda Fitzgerald, wife and muse of American writer, F Scott Fitzgerald, inspired “Witchy Woman.” Henley said he was reading her biography when he wrote this lyric. “She drove herself to madness, with a silver spoon” may refer to her time in a mental institution.

The Fitzgeralds were famous alcoholics, in 1920s. “Spoon” may refer to a slotted spoon once used to dissolve a sugar cube into Absinthe. It’s a strong alcoholic drink, similar, in some ways, to Jägermeister, on an empty stomach. The spoon and drink were popular when Zelda was at her peak of popularity and at her wildest.

Alternatively, alcohol might simply be a way to control a woman. At least twice, Henley offered Kelly drugs. First, he asked her to take a Quaalude, which she faked swallowing. Second, he offered her cocaine at his Malibu home, which she declined.

“One of these Nights,” co-written by Henley and Glenn Frey, repeats the duality of women and evil. Although there’s no knowing who wrote what words, the lyric is revealing. “I’ve been searching for the daughter of the devil himself. I’ve been searching for an angel in white. I’ve been waiting for a woman who’s a little of both.”

Here, the duality is Victorian. In the latter eighteenth century, an ideal woman, at least among the middle and upper classes, was chaste in public and wanton in the bedroom. Whether such women existed is open to question. Still, the legend carries on.

“Lyin’ Eyes,” also co-written by Henley and Frey, is the story of younger women that marry older men, “with hands as cold as ice.” They marry for money and security, not love. In the evening, these women hang out with younger men and sometimes find themselves on “the cheatin’ side of town.”

Kelly finds this lyric sexist. “The women sold their souls for money,” she says. “How does he know? It’s a judgment.

“What if the younger woman enjoys the company of the older man? Who is Don Henley [or Glenn Frey] to say she sold her soul. You can hear the Henley headspace, well, in this lyric, says Kelly.

“This lyric may also suggest the women grew lazy,” says Kelly. “Take the easy way out; marry a rich old man that will leave a large estate. She can run to the other side of town for what’s in her heart.”

Making such a judgement means Henley must “now live with the vibrational energy of a liar,” says Kelly. A liar is always out of step, with everyone else. “He must accept some women and men prefer company with much younger or older people.”

GS What inspires you?

TK My daughter inspires me.

GS What is your favourite indulgence?

TK That’s easy, sleeping is my favourite indulgence.

Henley wrote “Dirty Laundry” after the “Eagles” stopped performing. During a 31 July 1980 concert, Glenn Frey decided he could no longer work with guitar player, Don Felder. The “Eagles” accepted no bookings until April 1994.

“The ‘Dirty Laundry’ lyric is another judgment by Henley,” says Kelly. “He thinks he’s a victim of others, not his own doing. He likes pointing the figure at someone else.

“He calls a woman reporter, in the lyric, a bubble-head bleached blonde.” She could have been an actor, he opines, but ended in television news, which is two judgements. “What if that’s what she wanted,” says Kelly.

“For Henley, it seems, no woman exists past her looks. In “Dirty Laundry,” he attacks not her work, but her looks.” He demeans the woman reporter for doing her job because he is the topic of her news story.

“He says the reporter tells of a plane crash, with a gleam in her eyes,” says Kelly. “If you sat down with her and asked, ‘Do you feel that way,’ I am sure she would say, certainly not. He assumes she is shallow.

“Yet, her persona does not come across that way. Henley reads it as if she is a bubble head blonde because he’s reading it as an opinion of what happened to him.” Again, a woman is on the tail end of anger.

“When a writer sees something from his or her own life,” says Kelly, “retribution is possible. The song writer can get his or her version of events into the larger world to compete with what he or she sees as unflattering. The song writer can promote a world view that is to her or his liking.”

This is what Henley has done. He didn’t like the coverage of his life. He created a competing view, which he shared with a wide public than could the reporter.

In “Where I am Now,” from his latest album, “Cass Country,” Henley sums up his life nicely, says Kelly. “I’ve done some foolish things. I’ve been downright stupid.”

“It’s wonderful that he can sing these words,” say Kelly. “I’ve been a sucker for a pretty face. Lord, I was polluted. When people say, would you go back? I’d say, no way, no way, because I like where I am now.”

“‘Cass County’ is a great album,” says Kelly. It’s his autobiography. “Finally, he admits his life may not always have been the way he wanted it.”

Henley says, in the lyric of “Where Am I Now, “I took it hard when I found out that life just isn’t fair. I used to have a belly ache and moan, but now I just don’t care. I’m making up my last victory lap and then I’ll take a bow, because I like where I am now.” Kelly says “this is Henley saying, ‘Yeah, I was stupid.’”

Maybe there is more reflection and less redemption, in this lyric. “When he wrote ‘Dirty Laundry,’ Henley didn’t see himself as being stupid.” He could blame someone else for his misdeeds; in 1980, he pleaded, “No Contest,” to a charge of contributing to the delinquency of a minor. “Why not lay it off on a newscaster, with a gleam in her eye.” He never thought, until recently, others have a right to choose, not only him.

When talking of lyrics from the “Eagles” and Don Henley, “Hotel California” always comes up. The song, co-authored by Don Felder, Glenn Frey and Henley, is an anthem. Henley claims to have written the lyric, in one night; it carries his imprint, but there’s no way to know the full or specific ideas from Frey and Felder.

Kelly thinks Henley may have written “Hotel California” at the height of his addiction. Henley says it’s a story of moving away from innocence. Co-writer, Glen Frey, said there are parts, of “Hotel California,” that belong only to the band; no one else would understand.

One line, “We are all just prisoners here, of our own device” may suggest willingly beginning to use drugs. “This could be heaven or this could be hell,” may suggest drug addiction. “They stab [the beast] with their steely knives,” may suggest a syringe. “They just can’t kill the beast,” may suggest there’s no escaping the addiction.

“Hotel California” takes a shot at women, most probably Loree Rodkin; she had broken up with Henley shortly before he wrote this lyric. “There she stood in the doorway. She lit up a candle. She showed me the way.” Perhaps, a woman introduced Henley to drugs.

In the 1970s, it seems, most everybody in the music business had one addiction or another. “Many could afford rehabilitation,” says Kelly. “Henley and Joe Walsh cleaned up. Those that couldn’t afford pricy rehab were left to fester; left to suffer chemical addiction.

“The implied addiction,” Kelly says, “is not necessarily limited to drugs. It could be to women. Maybe Henley was involved, with a woman; it started out well, but, with time, it fell apart and he couldn’t get out.”

The inability to kill the beast may also refer to an involvement, with a woman, he wants to end, but can’t. “You can check out any time you like” may suggest disengagement, even cheating. “You can never leave” may suggest a partner may not agree to a break up.

“I didn’t realise all this when it was going on,” says Kelly. “I realised it more, as I matured, as I came to understand the big cosmic picture. I now know how it affects the repetitive stories song writers and singers tell.

“The worst thing anyone can do is to keep telling the same story. This was why I keep saying that many musicians don’t realise, when they write a song from a mental headspace of their anger and they are pissed off, the emotions reappear every time they sing the song.

“Twenty-five years, after writing the lyric, in anger, say, she or he continues to sing it. Each time the angry lyric is sung, the anger re-emerges; it stays in the vibrational flow. If the anger doesn’t re-emerge, the song may sound flat or strange to the listeners.

“The lines, in ‘Hotel California,’” says Kelly, “have a great deal of energy. When an energy dominates your life, it comes out with what you say, what you speak, what you write about, who you are.” Ideally, we mature and let go of the negative energy, the anger, and keep the positive.

“Henley seems to have flipped his own switch,” says Kelly. “‘Cass County,’ the latest album by Henley shows amazing growth. ‘To the Heart of the Matter,’ for example, is a beautiful lyric.”

In “To the Heart of the Matter,” Henley says he’s looking for forgiveness, even if the love is gone. “The more I know, the less I understand” may suggest maturity. So, too, do the lines, “Better put it all behind you. Life goes on. You keep carrin’ that anger, it’ll eat you inside.”

“The song is so honest. You can tell that he wrote it for someone,” says Kelly. Henley wasn’t simply trying to rhyme; his feeling is genuine, in this lyric.

“His lyric for ‘Younger Man,’ which is also on “Cass County,” also shows much growth,” says Kelly. “I knew the day I met you it was never gonna last. You’re an angel from the future. I’m a devil from the past.”

“Henley continues to use duality,” says Kelly. “Now, it’s less light and dark, good and evil, but younger and older. He sees this as he goes through the full cycle of life. Now, he can reflect back.”

GS What is something you like to collect?

TK I like to collect rosebushes.

Kelly tried song writing. “I hoped for success,” she says, “but mostly I wanted to capture the experience; share, as I could, with Henley. I did and it was good.”

She learned how emotional energy drove the music and the lyrics. “Many musicians hung around our home studio,” says Kelly. Andy Summers, of “The Police,” and Joe Leeway, of the “Thompson Twins,” for example. “They would create riffs.”

Kelly wrote lyrics for the riffs. She learned how the energy of the music dictated the emotion of the lyric. Other times, a lyric would come to her. “Music, to match the lyric, would flow, effortless,” she says.

Sometimes, music for the lyric would come to her. “I’d sing the lyric, way off key; one musician would go to the keyboard and the music, I had in my mind, would flow, naturally. There was never any judgement of my inability to sing, either.”

Kelly sees her lyric writing experience as identical to that of Don Henley, without the success. “I read how he wrote from the same place, the same headspace, as me. We both drove around Los Angeles or Malibu listening to tracks, trying to find words that matched.”

Not trained in any discipline, area or field, Tricia Kelly proudly says she is degree free. Her reasonably consistent analysis and understanding of synchronicity is the result of years of private study; extensive reading and close attention to what she reads. Although her interpretive comments are those of a layperson, Kelly offers many laudable and provocative insights.

For years, Kelly tried to make sense of her relations with Don Henley. The many coincidences haunted her. Then, she came across a quote, from Chimnese Davids, which began to explain, to clarify, what happened.

Here’s the life changing quote. “Are the twin souls destined to be together? Synchronicity is at work here to bring the two back together, again. How enhancing to find the same magical alchemy still at work, just as it was at the first meeting. Recognition of a deep rooted love; so entrenched and so accepted, it could only have forged in other lifetimes together and probably that is what love at first sight is, recognition of an ancient love.” Did Kelly and Henley go back lifetimes?

“I believe in reincarnation,” says Kelly. “I think we play different roles each time we return. Our soul doesn’t repeat the same journey.”

She believes we bring fragments of formers lives to our present life. “We reconnect,” she says, “with former friends or lovers. Past failures and successes may influence our present life.”

For Kelly, Henley, it seems, was a fragment, at least, from a former life. They touched and withdrew, hit and missed, temporarily linked by events or motivations from past lives. Kelly was certain. They equally found each other; reconnected.

Personality, the more private self, resonates more from the past than does the persona, the more public self. “I had to know his personality,” says Kelly. “I wasn’t concerned in his stage persona.”

Kelly implies different origins for persona and personality. Persona is the here and now; Don Henley, of the “Eagles.” Personality exists, perhaps with some slight changes, across lifetimes; the moody, difficult Don Henley.

“In my book, ‘Her Love Story,’ I considered the events,” says Kelly. “How we met. What we did. These are facts. There’s nothing fake here.”

Kelly couldn’t tell Henley what she inferred. “He would have thought I was nuts,” she says. “I bit my lip and remained silent.”

Echoing Deepak Chopra, Kelly says, “Synchronicities are a result of the [on-going] contact of the conscious and subconscious parts of the mind. Men and women need only tune in and take notice to benefit from this connection. This is a root of intelligence, which is often overlooked.”

Off the road, back in Los Angeles for a tour break, Henley might be available to talk with Kelly. “On a whim,” she says, “I called his home. I was put through to him.

Henley wasn’t welcoming. “I invaded his private space.” What conversation they had, that day, was all about Don Henley. He broke my heart,” she says, “but he didn’t shatter my dream.”

“That’s synchronicity,” says Kelly. “I landed exactly where I was supposed to land. It’s the spiritual vortex everybody owns.

“Synchronicity suggests my life is in escrow, waiting to happen,” says Kelly. “Everything I’ve ever dreamed is in escrow. If I’ve dreamed that I want something, it’s in escrow, always waiting for me to bring it out.”

The problem, she says, is in us. “We erect stop signs. We say, ‘I want it now,’ when it’s due much later.

“When I came to Los Angeles, I had only the address and phone number of Irving Azoff, manager of Don Henley and the ‘Eagles.’ I met a fellow, Charlie, on the plane to Los Angeles. By his good graces, I ended up living across Beverly Glen Canyon from Henley.

“It was meant to be, I believe. It was as if this fellow on the plane, Charlie, was holding up a cosmic flag and saying, ‘Here I am,” says Kelly. “Before he and I came to the planet, we decided we were going to meet each other and he would help me out.

“I was going to meet him, Charlie, in Hawaii,” says Kelly. “He would take me to a house, owned by his friend, Greg. There I had a phone; this was pre-search engines and smart phones. I didn’t know Henley lived across the Canyon. It’s bizarre, in some ways, that we have these predestined meetings and people on our path.

“I didn’t end up with Henley, obviously,” says Kelly. “He ended up in a different place and a different time. I couldn’t have been with him because our lifestyle was quite different.

“I was not into drugs. I was not the party girl he wanted, at that time, in his life. Yet, I could have saved him from all the trouble he ever went through to come out the other side.”

Kelly decides the compelling signs, given her experience with Don Henley, confirm we do create what we wish. “Her Love Story” is from that belief; her innocent journey of self-discovery. Kelly says that "our love and passions propel synchronizations faster than when we live in doubt, fear and the energy of hate.”

As is the Dalai Lama, Kelly is open to synchronicity. She lets it guide her. “Her Love Story” hints at topics rarely spoken of, the power of intent. How the thoughts we send out are our wishes. These thoughts take form in a positive or negative way.

GS What item must you have with you always?

TK I must always have a pen with me.

What to make of this story, so warmly told with much passion by Kelly? The facts confirm her honesty. The story is too much for some to believe; for others, it’s more than enough to show the power of synchronicity.

Preparing to write this interview essay, I began to look for coincidences in my life. There weren’t any. Then, less than an hour before I begin writing, I made seven green lights, in a row, on an often travelled path.

At most, I usually get two or four green lights, almost never one after the other. I wondered of the coincidence, of seven green lights in a row. Was a coincidence sent to set me up to write this interview essay?

Events fall into one of two sorts; unexplainable and explainable. The first sort is volatile and thus without meaning; someone sees the face of Elvis Presley in a potato chip, most don’t. Other events are foreseeable and thus full of meaning; step on the accelerator and your car moves forward or backward.

Coincidences are volatile events. The import of a volatile event is in the eye of the beholder. The import of foreseeable events is shareable.

Rick Singer is author of “Eastern Wisdom, Western Soul.” He says anyone that doesn’t see the implicit import of coincidences “simply lacks faith in the metaphysical.” Quantum physics, he says, in a wobbly interpretation, reveals the idea of the “oneness of everything.” Non-believers “are under the spell of confirmation bias,” says Singer.

Marshall Barnes, an expert on synchronicity, knows how to properly view it. He knows how it’s improperly hyped, too. Barnes researched synchronicity, directly.

Barnes analysed the “Celestine Prophecy,” a novel ostensibly focused on synchronicity. In the late 1990s, the “Celestine Prophecy,” drove efforts to explain the mysterious disappearance and death of Philip Taylor Kramer. He was an aerospace engineer and once the bass player for “Iron Butterfly.”

The study lead Barnes to decide synchronicity is a marketing term. It’s used to sell books or workshops. Perhaps, it’s New Age snake oil.

Barnes agrees, with mathematician, Rudy Rucker, that, given normal conditions, coincidences are part of a first class universe. That is, no big deal. Rucker says that if coincidences occur in an “important arrangement,” research might help discover meaning.

For Rucker, logic and research suggest synchronicity falls on a line of unexplainable events. An important arrangement is not likely, even though I got seven green lights in a row. Coincidences are thus difficult to study; it’s impossible to predict synchronicity and thus confirm any meaning attached to such events.

This debate recalls the early sixteenth century, when Galileo took on the Roman Catholic Church. Believers stand on one side; evidence seekers on the other. It is belief versus fact.

A belief calls for faith, not evidence, and, perhaps, some hope. Science calls for evidence and logic, but little faith. If you have a deadly illness, do you ask your family physician, a scientist, for a referral to a specialist? Do you seek out a healer that asks only for you to have faith in his or her ability to cure you? A sensible plan might include both.

Synchronicity is faith. Science is doubt. A world full of doubt may be hard to accept; some certainty is better than none.

Maybe synchronicity is more akin with spirituality, as Kelly suggests, early in our conversation. This is more consistent with science. Although there is no scientific basis for spirituality, there is a spiritual basis for science.

“When we recognize our place in an immensity of light years and in the passage of ages,” said Carl Sagan; “when we grasp the intricacy, beauty and subtlety of life. Then that soaring feeling, that sense of elation and humility combined, is surely spiritual. So are our emotions in the presence of great art or music or literature or acts of exemplary selfless courage, such as those of Mohandas Gandhi or Martin Luther King, Jr. The notion that science and spirituality are somehow mutually exclusive does a disservice to both.”

Sagan captures the place and weight of synchronicity, well. It is part of our spirituality. Doubters cannot deny synchronicity; it is part of the soul. 

“Her Love Story” is thus real. No one, locatable, says spirits can’t meet in the here and now, as did Tricia Kelly and Don Henley. Reincarnations may not be necessary.

GS Is there a mistake you made, when you began authoring, which you now regret.

TK I let my childhood handicap, dyslexia, and childhood memories get in the way of my writing; saying what I intend, not beating around the bush.


Marshall Barnes, for more information see  anyrd.com/profile/paranovation/bio/.
Deepak Chopra (2005) “Synchrodestiny: harnessing the infinite power of coincidence to create miracles,” published by Rider & Company.
Chimnese Davids (2012) “Muses of Wandering Passions,” Kindle edition, with Herman Lochner.
“History of the Eagles: the story of an American band” (2014), published by Universal Music Canada.
James Redfield (1993) “The Celestine Prophecy” published by Warner Books.
Rudy Rucker (1986) "The Fourth Dimension" published by Penguin.
Carl Sagan (1996) “The Demon-Haunted World: science as a candle in the dark,” published by Ballantine Books.

Click here to watch a video featuring Tricia Kelly
Click here to buy books by Tricia Kelly.
Click here for a list of all Grub Street Interviews.
Interview edited and condensed for publication.

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dr george pollard is a Sociometrician and Social Psychologist at Carleton University, in Ottawa, where he currently conducts research and seminars on "Media and Truth," Social Psychology of Pop Culture and Entertainment as well as umbrella repair.

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