Jack Tempchin with some help

By: Old Hickory Trojan

Jack Tempchin wrote the song during a period in which he was performing at folk coffee shops around his hometown of San Diego.[4] A friend had created a poster to advertise his performances, which included fake quotes from famous individuals attesting to Tempchin's talent, which landed in the hands of a shop owner in nearby El Centro. Tempchin slept on the floor of the club the night of his show, and wrote an early version of "Peaceful Easy Feeling" on the back of the poster.[4] Back in San Diego, Tempchin was rooming in a communal-type home with other musicians when inspiration for completing the song hit.

We'd sit in front of the picture window and watch the beautiful girls on the bus stop bench and fall in love with them until their bus came. We talked in those days about how love never seems to show up until you stop looking for it. But, as young guys, we were unable to stop looking for love even for one day.[4]

During a following trip to Old Town San Diego State Historic Park, Tempchin saw a girl with "turquoise earrings against her dark skin," which he incorporated into the song. "I guess I was trying to distill the beauty of every girl I saw into words on paper and then into a song," he later stated.[4] He later completed the song's third verse in the parking lot of the Der Wienerschnitzel fast food establishment in San Diego.[4]

Some time later, Tempchin had moved to Los Angeles and was attempting to break into the music industry alongside Jackson BrowneGlenn Frey, and J.D. Souther.[4] Frey heard Tempchin's "Peaceful Easy Feeling" and asked if he could develop it further, adding that his new band, the Eagles, had only just formed eight days prior. He presented Tempchin with a cassette demo on the track the next day, who later remarked, "It was so good I couldn’t believe it."[4]

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