Todd Bowie’s rock and roll fantasy

Madison College instructor traveled the world with musical legends


Provided to The Clarion

Todd Bowie tunes a guitar on stage before the start of an Eagles concert.

Bailey Ayres, Sports Editor

The students in Todd Bowie’s visual communications classes have to feel somewhat amazed when their instructor starts telling stories about his past.

When Bowie lists the people he’s worked with on tours, it starts to sound a bit like a who’s who of rock and roll history.

Madison College instructor Todd Bowie is shown with Joe Walsh, left, and Ringo Starr, right.
Provided to The Clarion
Madison College instructor Todd Bowie is shown with Joe Walsh, left, and Ringo Starr, right.

The fourth-year Madison College instructor has toured with the Eagles; Fleetwood Mac; Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young; Beck; and even Ringo Starr.

Talk about living a rock and roll fantasy.

Bowie credits much of what he’s been able to experience in music production to a connection he developed with Glen Frey, who founded the Eagles and passed away earlier this year.

Bowie has been a musician his entire life. He started touring in the early ‘80s with a band he started in New England.

“This is where I got my start and where I learned about touring, and about sound production,” he said.
Soon after, Bowie had a job offer in Los Angles at a studio called the “Three E.”

“Three E stood for the Third Encore, and the third encore was a code name for the Eagles after show parties,” Bowie said. “Come to find out that the studio was owned by a former Eagles employee. One of the members of the Eagles, Glen Frey … he used the studio quite often.”

This is where he met and began working in sound production for Frey and his solo band. Bowie ended up working with Frey for about 14 years.

“He was a very cool, nice guy,” Bowie recalls, sharing a memory from a golf outing.

“Glen being an avid golfer, we used to play a lot of celebrity golf outings,” Bowie said. “I remember one of the things we did in Palm Springs with Glen, was the early or mid ‘90s … I remember I met so many movie stars, I remember that day Glen introduced me to Jack Nicolson, Clint Eastwood, Kevin Costner and Tiger Woods, all these people in the same night.

“That for me was pretty amazing meeting those big celebrities and having been introduced by Glen.”

In addition, Bowie met the Clintons through his association with Frey during Bill Clinton’s re-election campaign. Frey supported Clinton and performed at his inauguration, where Bowie was helping back stage.
Bowie’s touring career started in 1989.

He worked with the Eagles, Glen Frey, Joe Walsh, Don Henley, Fleetwood Mac, Ringo Starr, Ray and Dave Davies (from the Kinks), Crosby Stills Nash and Young, Beck and the Flaming Lips.

“Joe Walsh was my primary employer in the Eagles,” Bowie said. “He was the person I worked for directly, although Glen brought me into that organization.”

Bowie was sort of a personal assistant to Walsh. Sometimes he would even have to clean out Walsh’s garage.

“There was a lot of cool stuff I got from Joe. I would come home and sort through it. There was an eight-foot desk lamp I got … I have that the desk lamp now in my basement, my wife hates, it but I like it,” Bowie laughed.

Bowie earned platinum record awards working with some of these acts.

“My album credits (are on some) pretty historic records that I am pretty proud of,” Bowie said. “It was cool to be associated with some of the tours I was on, because they are pretty historic tours.”

Guitars were given to him, as well. He saved guitar picks, set lists, and some songs that where written by hand.

Bowie retired from touring in 2006. After that he started running a studio in his home state of New Hampshire. Eventually, he partnered up a friend that he knew from the Eagles, who started an independent record company and studio, called Machine Records in Chicago and Lake Geneva.

“I was really lucky in my career to have worked with the people that I worked with. It all really comes to Glen Frey, because he was the one who really opened up the door for me,” Bowie said. “Without my association to the Eagles, I probably would not have gotten the call from Fleetwood Mac, Ringo or gotten with Beck if it were not for the Eagles … which leads back to Glen.”