The Story Of How Glenn Frey Helped Stephen Colbert Out With His First Dance

When one of the founding members of The Eagles, Glenn Frey, passed away this week, the world lost a great singer-songwriter who was revered throughout the music industry. Stephen Colbert took a moment during The Late Show to tell a story about how Frey and The Eagles shaped an important moment in his life. After Stephen tried to get his band to play a little snippet of the song “Desperado” to no avail (although we get a small glimpse into Colbert’s impressive singing voice), the host broke into the story of his eighth grade dance. Because of what happened, he explained, Colbert feels a link with the late musician.

He told the age-old story of a school dance in which the girls were on one side of the room and boys were on the other, sheepishly toying with the idea of dancing. Colbert didn’t dance with anyone all night until the DJ announced that “Desperado” was the last song that would be played that evening. A girl Colbert knew at the time then told him that she loved the song. Present day Stephen broke into an impersonation of his younger self and asked the girl, with a prepubescent voice, “Do you want to dance with me?” He recounted them spinning awkwardly on the dance floor in the standard hands-on-the-hips-and-shoulders formation of many first dances, saying that he “took a small, very small step toward manhood that day.” Why? Because it was the first time he’d ever put his arms around a girl.

Colbert then ended the segment with a simple note of thanks for the late Eagles member, saying, “Thank you, Glenn Frey.”