Meet Me at Midnight (The Sad Café) [April A2Z]

midnight moon clouds
Image credit to Lovethispic

Out in the shiny night
The rain was softly falling
The tracks that ran down the boulevard
Had all been washed away

Out of the silver light the past came softly calling
And I remember the times we spent
Inside the Sad Café

Welcome to my April A-Z! I’m exploring songs by the fabulous Eagles and today’s feature is “The Sad Café,” a 1979 track from their album The Long Run. The song was written by Don Henley, Glenn Frey (RIP), Joe Walsh, and J.D. Souther. It was about the famous Troubadour music club in Los Angeles, where all the musicians would gather at night. Henley is on lead vocals in this number, and David Sanborn played alto sax at the end.

Oh it seemed like a holy place
Protected by amazing grace
And we would sing right out loud
The things we could not say
We thought we could change this world
With words like “love” and “freedom”
We were part of the lonely crowd
Inside the Sad Café

The Troubadour is where Henley first met Frey, and they subsequently got together as part of Linda Ronstadt’s backing band along with Randy Meisner and Bernie Leadon. Isn’t it amazing that fate (or whatever) brought them all to the the same place at the same time?! Henley and Frey acknowledged their musical chemistry immediately ~ according to Frey, it was the first night of the first Ronstadt show when he and Henley decided to start a band (source The Eagles, An American Band by Andrew Vaughan).

Maybe the time has drawn the faces I recall
But things in this life change very slowly
If they ever change at all
There’s no use in asking why
It just turned out that way
So meet me at midnight baby
Inside the Sad Café

The Troubadour was opened by Doug Weston in West Hollywood, California in 1957 (there is a club in London with the same name). It began as a coffee shop and changed location early on to become a center for folk music and later rock and roll. It’s where Lenny Bruce was arrested for saying “schmuck” on the stage. Cheech & Chong and Steve Martin were discovered at the club, and Elton John performed his first first US show there (introduced by Neil Diamond). A virtual who’s who of the music biz has passed through the Troubadour, but like many other public venues, it suffered a huge loss of revenue during Covid. So far, the iconic nightclub has managed to survive.

E-trivia: Randy Meisner was born in Nebraska in 1946, and his family owned a farm. He became inspired toward a musical career when he was 10 years old and saw Elvis Presley perform on the Ed Sullivan Show. He played bass in his teens with a local band named The Dynamics. Meisner didn’t have much success in the music industry until 1971 when he became one of Linda Ronstadt’s backing musicians and met the other future Eagles members.

©️2022 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.

8 responses to “Meet Me at Midnight (The Sad Café) [April A2Z]

  1. The Troubador was opened by Doug Weston after he visited the London venue, which opened three years previously. Has he ever admitted to stealing its name?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Steve Earl and Bruce Hornsby are going to be at The Troubadour in August.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you for sharing all of this Eagles trivia.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Another one I haven’t heard… their harmonies just blow me away every time. I was also blown away by that sax at the end😉 A very nice way to end the song.
    Did The Eagles ever make a bad song? They’ve had some Meh songs, but no bad ones that I know of.💃🏼🎶

    Liked by 1 person