This was the Eagles first hit. It got them on the map because it speaks to every American. Everyone knows this song. It’s all about using the road to relax. “Going for a drive” is a cathartic practice so unique to the American culture and we can all relate to wanting to get away and get rid of our stress. This is the ultimate cool guy song. He even says “I’ve seven women on my mind/Four that wanna own me,/Two that wanna stone me,/One says she’s a friend of mine.” He’s the elusive guy who wants to get away, representing a new wave of travelers on Route 66 illustrated in the Nat King Cole Song “Get Your Kicks on Route 66.” Eyerman and Lofgren says that since this song, “…the trip west had more the flavor of adventure than flight.” He’s the hipster described by 1950s “Beat” writers.
Perhaps the most interesting part of the song other than its contemporary interpretation of the road comes from the lines “Well, I’m standing on a corner/in Winslow, Arizona.” Route 66 passes right through that town. It’s a throwaway line. It was added later when Glenn Frey adapted the song from his friend Jackson Browne. Winslow, Arizona, milks this for all its worth by turning that corner into a tourist attraction. The town built a statue for the song and The Eagles in order to attract people to stop there on their drive. Can you get more Route 66 than that?