Jackson Browne started drafting the lyrics of the song to include it in his first album, but he was struggling on how to finish it. He was living in an apartment located in the Echo Park section of Los Angeles and upstairs was Glenn Frey – they were living on the same building. Glenn needed new materials for his band the Eagles.
When Frey heard Browne working on new material, he approached Browne and complimented him by saying “it was great.” Browne though responded by saying he was having trouble completing the song, he played the song in front of Frey, and that’s all he had of it – an incomplete song. But when he got into the second verse, Frey came up with something that would become the key lyric:
“It’s a girl, my lord, in a flatbed Ford, slowing down to take a look at me.”
And that my friends how Browne turned over the song to Frey. The Eagles managed to finish it and able to record it as an Eagles track. It was their first song on their debut album and their very first single.
Frey knows how to give credit where credit is due — he said to everyone that Browne did most of the work on the song, and the unfinished version, he called it as a “package without the ribbon.”
Glenn Frey considered the song as one of their most important track because it was the song that introduced them to the world.
During an interview with Bob Costas, Frey talked about what the song represents:
“America’s first image of our band with the vistas of the Southwest and the beginnings of what became Country-Rock.”
The Eagles before recording it on the studio played this song live during four sets a night at a club in Aspen, Colorado.