Encinitas composer Jack Tempchin plays two Bay Area dates this week, celebrating two events: the 45th anniversary of “Peaceful Easy Feeling,” the ballad he offered to his late friend Glenn Frey, who flew it to fame with The Eagles, and the release of “Peaceful Easy Feeling: The Songs of Jack Tempchin.” The album is a collection of his own versions of ensuing Frey collaborations, from “Already Gone” to “You Belong to the City,” which continued until the rocker’s untimely death in 2016.
Along the way, Tempchin has amassed as many surreal showbiz anecdotes as he has hits.
When the songwriter first met him in the early 1970s, Frey was in the Los Angeles duo Longbranch Pennywhistle with J.D. Souther, and Tempchin began housing them whenever they toured San Diego at his rambling estate, which doubled as a candle-making facility.
“I definitely was a chandler,” Tempchin says. “It started when I filled that huge house with all my friends. My brother moved in, and somebody had taught us how to make sand candles, and eventually we got some machinery, and in one year we made over 1,000 candles and sold them all at the Del Mar county fair.”
Back then, Tempchin spent his days strolling through San Diego with his $13, pawn-shop-purchased Stella guitar, writing songs as he went; he finished scribbling “Peaceful Easy Feeling” at a local Der Wienerschnitzel.
“I sat at one of their stone tables, waiting for my order, and wrote the last verse,” he says. “Then some 40 years later, they had a Peaceful Easy Feeling Day in San Diego, and they gave me a plaque, and they put a plaque in the stone table. And to commemorate the event, Der Wienerschnitzel presented me with a solid gold wiener.”
Tempchin is still stunned that Frey pounced on the track for his Eagles debut disc.
“But Glenn was a stand-up guy, and if he said he was going to do something, he did it,” he says. “And when The Eagles broke up for awhile in 1980, Glenn asked if I wanted to write, so we wrote almost everything on his solo albums for 14 years. He was the funniest guy I ever knew — basically we just laughed together the whole time.”
Wisely, Tempchin — who saved all his royalty money because he never got into cocaine, he says — trademarked the song title, and now markets his own Peaceful Easy Feeling wine.
He’s also sitting on a treasure trove of unrecorded work with Frey, like the prescient “Privacy,” included on his latest album. “And if I don’t do a version of them, they’ll just be gone forever,” he says. “So I’m definitely planning a second volume.”
IF YOU GO
Where: Lighthouse Church, 1337 Sutter St., S.F.
When: 7 p.m. April 7
Contact: (415) 440-4464, www.brownpapertickets.com
Note: Temchin also appears at 8 p.m. April 8 at the Back Room, 1984 Bonita Ave., Berkeley; visit wwww.backroommusic.com.
EaglesGlenn FreyJack TempchinPeaceful Easy FeelingPeaceful Easy Feeling: The Songs of Jack TempchinPop Music