The Eagles decided to celebrate the millennium by playing a show at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. This was an incredibly big deal and the media went nuts. Prior to this show, the band played two warm-up shows at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. We attended all three shows and while the one at Staples was very cool, the energy of the Vegas shows couldn't be beat. This is our collection of everything we have regarding that very special time.
With less than a month to go before the shows, there were still tickets left to sell. What better ways to fill the seats than to make a televised appearance, sponsor a contest/exclusive offer with a major internet force and give interviews to a major paper? That's just what they did!
The band appeared as co-hosts on CNN's showbiz today. Portions of that performance and the preceding press conference were used to promote a contest on mp3.com. (Mp3's were an emerging file format)
When the Eagles were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998, we were very privileged to be allowed to attend the ceremony and festivities leading up to it. This is our collection of "artifacts" from that evening.
When the Eagles played Tiger Jam I in June of 1998, it was a pretty big deal. The band hadn't played together since the end of the Hell Freezes Over Tour (except for at the Hall of Fame induction) and there was some uncertainty that they would ever play together or tour again. That's why we jumped at the chance. What follows is our A-Z report that originally appeared in our fanzine, The Wasted Times as well as the few photos that we managed to take (with film, no less!) before the ushers made Lisa check her camera.
A is for Amphitheater. The Universal one in Los Angeles, that is. The site of the only Eagles show this year (not counting the Hall of Fame). You know, the show they all said would never happen. The reunion that wasn’t supposed to be. Well it was. And it was spectacular.
B is for Babyface. To be honest, we hadn’t really thought much about Babyface before this show. All we knew that he was a talented producer who had won numerous Grammy’s and that Oprah hung the moon on him. Babyface remarked that he never thought he would be opening for the Eagles. His set consisted of him, some attractive jewelry and a chorus of talented individuals. The crowd quite enjoyed "Change the World" and got a preview of the hit that is burning up the charts now—Bruce Springsteen’s "Fire". We will admit that we took a bit of a break during Babyface’s set (see R is for restroom, below).
C is for Construction. As we were sitting waiting for the show to start, the two guys behind us began to talk about Timothy B. Schmit. Apparently, one of them worked for a construction crew and a few years ago had been working on a house. At one point, he noticed someone leaning up against a fence watching everyone work. The guy, who was the foreman, told the onlooker to get back to work and told him where to haul a heap of lumber. The onlooker smiled and replied, "I’m sorry, but I’m the owner of the house." Yup, it was Timothy and the renovations were being done on his house.
D is for Don Felder’s beard. It was missing, but the smile on his face as he stormed through numbers and sang backing vocals was huge indeed.
E is for Eagles ‘Nuf said.
F is for Fans. It was great to meet up with Eagles fans before the show. We wish we had more time to hang out. At the Hard Rock, we ran into Rob, Sarah, Chris, Jill and her sister, Alex and Susan. We also got to hang out with Erin and meet Sandy who stopped to say "hi" at the show. We’re sorry we missed Sayuri and Ginger.
G is for Golf. Because of Tiger Wood’s involvement, the event had a sort of Golfy theme to it. There were famous golfers in attendance. Guests to the post show party received golf balls emblazoned with the Tiger Woods foundation logo and they showed a golf video. To introduce Tiger to the audience, they showed a greatest hits video of all Tiger’s best moments set to the beat of "The Heat is On". It was rather exhilarating and the crowd loved it.
H is for Hootie and the Blowfish What’s the most frequent complaint about this South Carolina group? You’ve heard one of their songs…you’ve heard them all, right? Well, that may be the case when popping in a CD, but live, these guys cooked. We’ll be the first to admit that we don’t know the names to all of their songs, but they were all recognizable (except for the new tunes they previewed). "Let Her Cry", "Hold My Hand" and the other big ones were all there. We’ll also admit shamefully that they only band member whose name we know is Darius Rucker. He seemed to be in awe sharing the bill with Babyface and the Eagles. At one point he shouted with glee, "I just touched Don Henley’s drums!!!!" He also confessed that when the band was first starting out, they played "Take it Easy" all the time, but that they wouldn’t be doing it that night because he had a feeling that they would, "…get their asses kicked" if they did. The highlight of the set was a rousing rendition of "Love the One You’re With" combined with an amazing version of Schoolhouse Rock’s "Three is the Magic Number". Wow!
I is for Irving Azoff. We didn’t see him, but he was there. He was thanked quite a bit and apparently bid on everything at the auction (see P for Party below).
J is for John Elway. The Bronco’s quarterback was in attendance. Glenn publicly apologized to him for picking the Packers to win the last Superbowl on a national sport show. John didn’t seem to mind. He so energetically enjoyed the show, which it was reported that he thwacked some of the people near him in the back of their heads as he gyrated to the beat.
K is for Kids. That was the theme for the night. Both Tiger and Glenn emphasized that what was being done that night was because kids are important. Glenn took this to heart and brought his own kids to the event. Taylor and Deacon enjoyed the show, especially when Glenn said hi to Taylor. "Hey Cha-Cha" he yelled. How cute is that?
L is for Leno. Walking into the event, we noticed Jay Leno outside his studio, taping something for his show. We were quite excited. The first famous person we had seen in L.A. This turned into a treat, though. Jay came out to do a bit of schtick between the Hootie and Babyface sets. Jay talked about O.J., mudslides and Monica Lewinsky. He had to keep stretching his act for time, though, because Babyface and his entourage were having a group prayer before coming out.
M is for Master of Ceremonies. That was Glenn. Wearing a suit and tie, Glenn was the first person to take the stage. He introduced Hootie and the Blowfish and thanked everyone responsible for the event. He had quite a long list and had to come out a second time to thank those he had forgotten. He was in great spirits and we can think of nobody who could have done a better job.
N is for New Times. A local L.A. freebie entertainment newspaper, The New Times, wasn’t exactly hyped about the event. They called Glenn a no-talent and said that he was the "scariest, most Frankensteinish looking member of the Eagles." We’re wondering what other members of the band are Frankensteinish looking. Mean, mean paper.
O is for Ovation. When Don Henley finally took the stage the crowd went wild. In fact this was the loudest and longest we’ve heard a crowd hoot and holler. Rob Markowitz suggested that the response was due to the fact that the crowd didn’t quite believe that they were going to indeed see the Eagles. Don had a great big grin on his face and seemed touched by the audience’s reaction.
P is for Party. We didn’t have tickets for the after-show party and auction, but a few folks who were there clued us in as to what went on in the Mexican restaurant on the Universal City Walk. Glenn was in great "spirits". When Glenn walked in, he spotted a man wearing a checked jacket. Glenn walked over to inspect the coat and said, "Don’t worry, they can get that out at the cleaners!" Don and Joe weren't there and Tim and Felder only stayed briefly. The highlight of the evening was the celebrity auction with Glenn "assisting" the auctioneer. Glenn apparently didn’t think the crowd was bidding high enough on some of the items on the block. He got very worked up trying to get people to bid. Wife Cindy rubbed his shoulders and told him to calm down. Glenn did have the mythical "Irving" start most of the bids. "Irving starts the bidding at $5000", he would say. "He’s got the money, he won’t mind." One of the big items up for auction was a trip to play golf with Tiger and Glenn at some golf course in Florida. A very lucky(?) woman bid $95,000 for that. All in all, the event seemed like a blast and made great money for kids.
Q is for Question. What the hell was that thing on TBS’s chin?
R is for Restroom. Yes, we admit it. We visited the restroom during the Babyface set and we "learned" quite a bit. Apparently, according to some of the women here, it was cool to see the Eagles play because they all hated each other. The last time they had played together they had all beaten each other up. One ended up in the hospital. We didn’t bother to correct them. We just silently laughed and thought about the huge myth of Eagle hating that goes on out there. Glenn set the record straight, though, by once again telling the assembled crowd that the band had always supported each other in their charitable works and that there was no discord between them. You go Glenn!
S is for Set List. Joe and Glenn came out first. Glenn had changed out of his suit jacket into a festive print shirt. Joe wore a purple jacket and jeans. They played the following: Walk Away, Peaceful Easy Feeling, You Belong to the City, In the City, Smuggler's Blues, Ordinary Average Guy. At this point, Glenn introduced one of his favorite guitar players, Don Felder. Felder appeared, clean-shaven and wearing a flannel shirt most Eagles fans are familiar with. They played an energetic version of Funk #49. Then Glenn introduced Timothy. He stated that Timothy was coming out because he loved playing on the next number that turned out to be The Heat Is On. Then Henley came out. He was wearing black jeans and a white dress shirt and not looking dead tired like we expected him to. We’ve already told you about the ovation he got. The EAGLES then launched into Hotel California, Victim of Love, I Can't Tell You Why, Life's Been Good, Heartache Tonight, Life in the Fast Lane and encores Rocky Mountain Way and Take it Easy. They were supposed to end with Desperado but ran out of time. While it wasn’t a complete show, it wasn’t the 3 or 4 songs we had expected either.
T is for The Tiger Woods Foundation. This was the charity getting all the money and it seemed like a worthy cause. The concert and auction raised over $500,000. While the video they showed at the event led one to believe that the charity taught kids to play golf, we had learned from Tiger’s appearance on Oprah that what the foundation does is open doors for Inner City kids and allow them to dream and do things they wouldn’t ordinarily do, much like Glenn’s pet charity, A Grassroots Aspen Experience. Playing golf is only part of it with Tiger doing golf clinics all over the country.
U is for Universal Citywalk. What a great place to sit and watch the world walk by! Before the show, we noticed quite a few people in Eagles t-shirts milling about. Awesome!
V is for VH1. VH1 President and FOD (Friend of Don) John Sykes was in attendance at the show.
W is for Walsh. Joe was Joe. Before launching into Funk 49’ Glenn repeated Joe’s time tested joke that if he had known he was going to have to play all these songs for the rest of his life, he would have written something different.
X is for X-Ray. Gee, if Universal had x-ray machines we would never have gotten a camera in.
Y is for Yelling. At one point there was almost a fight near us because some people wouldn’t sit down when the Eagles came out. We don’t think we’ve ever heard the "F" word used quite so much. Oh wait….we’re middle school teachers. Never mind.
Z is for Zen. Everything clicked. There was something good going on up on stage. There were laughs and smiles and kind words. In introducing Henley, Glenn said, "He’s our poet laureate, he’s the rock of the band." Not words said about someone you hate. Glenn also praised Henley’s philanthropic work by telling us that Henley does stuff that you never hear about, like donating books to schools in North Dakota. We think the band is comfortable where they are. They are happy and that showed at Tiger Jam.
At the end of April, 2001, Don Henley returned to his hometown of Linden, TX to serve as the grand marshal of the Wildflower Trails Parade. We got the chance to attend this event. Don road a float that was designed to look like a fishing boat. The parade went around the square and then Don sat on a dias to officiate as grand marshall. Local youth groups danced and sang. Then, Don signed autographs for all who wanted one despite the extreme heat. We talked briefly with him. He asked us how we had gotten to Linden (we drove) and how long it took. He also mentioned that we could sell the autographs to "recoup our expenses". We haven't sold the autographs. Much too cool. There is also a short video commemorating the event. Additional information is on Paul and Dottie Ridenour's Home Page.