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Feb212013

Don Felder Comments on the Documentary

Here are two stories where Felder was asked about his participation in History of the Eagles

Don Felder Looks Back on the Eagles (Ultimate Classic Rock)

History of the Eagles isn't the Full Story (Billboard)

References (2)

References allow you to track sources for this article, as well as articles that were written in response to this article.
  • Response
    Don Felder Comments on the Documentary - Latest Eagles News - L&M's Eagles Fastlane
  • Response
    Don Felder Comments on the Documentary - Latest Eagles News - L&M's Eagles Fastlane

Reader Comments (101)

What's interesting to me is how much Frey and Henley emphasize their own creative contributions as more important, but when you actually look closely at who wrote the songs, then their creative output seems to recede. Jackson Browne wrote Take it Easy (with the exception of about 25 words in the second chorus) Jack Tempchin wrote Peaceful easy feeling and Already Gone; JD Souther contributed to Heartache tonight and Best of my love amongst others... and its already been thoroughly discussed that Felder wrote the music, not just the introduction, to Hotel CA (the chord progression, even bassline, and of course his part of the solo at the end). Henley and Frey need to step back and see that really its not creative output that makes them so "valued", its merely the fact that they sing and their voices are therefore associated with Eagles songs. Singers are vital, but only to a point.
In the Doc they come off as though they were the creative fire keeping the Eagles alight.....not quite. Their drive and ruthless ambition perhaps, but without their precious contributors, those two would still be in a backup band. Which is why most can sympathize with those people they marginalize. Plus Don Henley (in reference to Felder singing) that people shouldn't go outside their 'role' and just "do what they do best" Really Don? Then why not hire a less mediocre drummer? we might actually hear a fill worth a damn... Henley must be exempt from his own critiques...

Plus I wonder how clear they made it to Don Felder AT THE TIME they created Eagles Inc. that he was not to be an equal member or get equal share in their endeavors? I wonder if they in fact acted like bosom companions and that everything is in equal share......until it served them better to reneg. Henley and Frey come off as history revisionists, smug and satisfied with their millions upon millions. They seem like self serving and self satisfied punks who over value their band and their role within said band.

April 13, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterHunter

I found the comments by Frey particularly distasteful and arrogant. Seems to back up everything Felder has had to say about Eagles Inc. and the behaviour of President Frey and his VP Henley.

May 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterGrant

the only song worth listening is Hotel Calafornia, the rest of the eagles output, is just shitty country music!

May 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterNicogt

just saw the documentary; I think the band as a collective was magical and now it's just a concept; the magic left with Don Felder. Hotel California was sprung from his thoughts (Dutch saying?) When I first heard one of these nights the guitar solo was the thing that made me like the Eagles not the voice of Glenn Frey (wants to be a rock player but has a country voice). Very amaturistic to talk about the former members of the band like that. Glenn Frey showed us what he really is like; he changed from a musician into a businessman. Same goes for Don Henley. That is why their concerts are all safe with no spontanity; just another clean formula that worked for several years. The documentary is an eye opener. The new guitar player may be a great musician, but he cannot show it because he has to play Don Felder's lines exact from the record. Where's the fun in that. So to me the Eagles are not the Eagles without Don Felder, that is for sure.

May 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPaul

What a great documentary. I had a lot of misconceptions about the band, and I listen to the Eagles so much, I'm glad I got it all cleared up.
It's just too bad they couldn't have kept Felder on. There has got to be more to it then what we saw in the documentary.
Frey was pissed when Felder didn't think they should be doing a benefit show, like he was greedy. But look at the Eagles now? Constantly touring, high ticket prices, and they hardly change up the set list. But I think if they all had a billion dollars each, they still couldn't stay together. I think Felder just wanted to be one of the "gods", and they is barely enough room for 2, never mind 3.
As much as the concerts now are predictable, and are missing a certain energy without Felder, they are still great.
It's hard to take sides here, as celebrities are just people. We expect too much of them. Just take Don Henley for example, he raised tons of money for his charities, yet he wanted to make more then Felder, and continues to tour in the Eagles money making machine. Is he greedy or generous? I can't figure it out. He's human!!
I'll leave with this story. There was a "Hell Freezes Over" tour in Hartford that was cancelled. Four of us drove almost 2 hours to see the concert, without hearing it was cancelled because we were not local. We couldn't believe it.
We got our refund of course. But we also wrote to the Eagles management team, about the whole experience, and how bad we wanted to see the show. We said we would be willing to go anywhere within a few hours.
The band sent us 4 free tickets to the Philly show. Great seats, within the first half of the floor seats.
How many bands would do that?
We just all feel like parents do with their children. You just wish they would all be friends forever.

May 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMike T

GF comes across as the kid who says i'm gonna take my ball and go home or else.Just grow up and admit it is all about the money.We know what opions are like we all have them,it would be just more fun if Felder was there .

May 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCharles

have been a huge Eagles fan for 40 years and the documentary was an eye opener. I also read Felder's book..

It's tough to learn the truth sometimes. To summarize, my thoughts are
1) Frey and Henley were clearly the individuals most respo, sible for the success of the band.
2) Frey wanted a tougher sound to the band, so he dumped Leadon for Felder. He got pissed at Meisner for his stage fright and thus he was gone.. Then when Felder didn't want to be a sideman (he wanted it to be a band rather than the Henley-Frey show) he got canned
3) Schmit just wants whatever he can get out of the Eagles thing financially and Walsh has no desire to go back to solo (although he came out with a new album, he knows where his bread is buttered). Thus these two cut off their old friend Felder when Frey and Azoff (who has been ignored in the comments here, but is responsible for a lot of this) dumped him.
4) I am extremely tired of Henley's solo work and his constant liberal hectoring, from someone who tries to suck up every nickel he can regardless of how it impacts anyone , is ridiculous coming from a millionaire...
5) Frey is a huge blowhard whose solo work is well suited to the cutout bin. Henley is the real talent.
6) Although Felder can be a little dramatic he comes off as the better person here.

Summarizing......disappointing, but I had tuned out anyway after the ludicrous Long Road out of Eden (why don't they just paste Obama stickers on the CD; the whole idea of millionaires leasing personal jets and criticizing the rest of us for our lack of "green" awareness is unreal. I'll never buy any Eagles product again. I think that Henley and particularly Frey thought the documentary burned Felder and restated their case; but they come off as heartless, egomaniacal assholes, and I think most Eagles fans agree.

May 21, 2013 | Unregistered Commentersteve

I love the History of the Eagles dvd. I do miss Don Felder though, I think he is an amazing guitarist. Such soft fingers, his playing seems effortless. I was concerned on how thin he looked on the dvd. Is he alright? And how's Timothy doing? I hope they tour in the southeast, although my hubby says it's too expensive. We went to the Hell Freezes Over concert and loved it! Hope we're able to see them one last time! Also, how do you know the Eagle don't read this website?

May 23, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDebbie B.

Ohhh wowwww people! Some amusing comments on this thread. Interesting reading the responses and opinions from so many would-be Eagles "experts." Funny, I thought this was an Eagles fan site?? You sure wouldn't know it by all the negativity about their documentary. What's with all the hate? No one is holding a gun to your head making you watch the DVD or listening to their music.....are they? It almost sounds like someone is for many of you?? Also, their seems to be a real preoccupation with many-many of the respondents about how much money$$$ the Eagles make.....especially Frey and Henley. What's up with that people? Last time I heard we live in America.....a capitalistic society......so did I not get the memo about it changing?? Maybe its just the 47% that Mitt Romney was talking about that are replying to this comment section and talking so much about greed and ticket prices?? Do you scrutinize your boss at work and his salary or your wealthier than you neighbors and their bigger house and better cars the same way you rail on Frey and Henley and what their pulling down$$?? Why do you care so much how much money they make? What has that got to do with anything, really? Focus on the creativity and mass GLOBAL appeal the Eagles have. Let their voices and the songs speak for themselves. Their a huge global success and its for a reason. Their GOOD! Period! They have millions and millions of fans. Just enjoy their music and lighten up while you still can! This is a fan site.....be a fan or walk. No true fan really even cares about your negative reviews.....they mean nothing. Meantime, the Eagles are laughing all the way to the bank and could care less about their detractors. Their lead by two very smart guys who are smart enough to be business men about the business of music. I could care less about how much cash$$ they take in. I just love their unique music. I'm happy their still playing and I'm grateful they still want to perform and I'm amazed at how good they still sound given they are all in their mid 60's. They are rare talents and those are the things I focus on......not all the BS that many of you knuckle-heads dwell on. Get a job....get busy with your own life you haters and let the Eagles be the pros they are and do their thing.

And for those Frey/Henley haters and Felder groupies.....go on Youtube and give a listen to Felders Voice. The guy cannot sing....period. He had no business singing any Eagle songs and the band and management made sure he was not miscast into that role during his Eagles years. Second, If you love him so much then you should join the other 200-300 people that show-up to see his concerts on the casino circuit.....aka....he is a very small draw. So why would that be if he is such an amazing talent as many of you keep telling us, over and over and over again? People vote on talent with their wallets and their time. Why is he not filling large concert halls? Explain that to me? He is a very good guitarist but so are many others who play in successful bands. He was and is replaceable. They didn't get along with him and the two principles decided they wanted him gone. Its over. GET OVER IT!

May 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMPLS JEFF

Well. in response to the last comment, I think that's why people are so disappointed in Frey and Henley. Because they followed them for so long and it's now clear that the two "leaders" are kind of dickheads; and for some of us it isn't easy to be a follower of people that exhibit this kind of conduct. I doubt anyone is saying that Felder is a better singer than Henley or that there would have been an Eagles without Henley and Frey. But that doesn't relieve them of the responsibility for all of their actions after that.

May 26, 2013 | Unregistered Commentersteve

Here's my 2 cents.

Glenn Frey is power hungry and seems to have issues with anger. But, it's his band, he wanted to keep it together, and he wanted to be the frontman. As time went on, Henley emerged as the main talent within the band.

Regarding the documentary, I really don't think Don Henley comes across badly, he simply states the story as he knows it, without being too opinionated and critical of others. Frey does come across as an asshole, purely because of the way he treated fellow band members, which made him an asshole. Obviously, there were tensions between Henley and Frey that weren't highlighted in the doc. But for the sake of the band, they've learned to deal with that. People seem to forget that. Despite of their issues, they've found a formula to work together.

As for Don Felder. His book is written from a very bitter point of view. That book taught me two things. Felder wrote the music for hotel California. (You made your point fingers, you don't hear henley braggin' about writing the lyrics to the song!). He cheated on his faithful wife for years and then dumped her when she found something that made her happy.

I do however, have sympathy for Don Felder, he was treated poorly and seemed to genuinely want to be in the band for the right reasons. But he wasn't as crucial to the band as he thought he was. He was replaceable. Without Felder, the band continues. There is no way there could ever be an eagles without Henley or Frey. It's that simple. I dislike Frey as a person, but his contribution to the eagles can not be questioned. And without Henley, the eagles wouldn't have been half as successful as they were. In my view, they're entitled to earn more money than the others. They contribute more.

Long Road out of Eden was great by the way. Could have been better if they removed some of the guff, though (Glenn Frey songs).

Waiting in the weeds remains my all time favourite song.

June 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterChristopher

After reading Don Felder's book, I've decided to never (Never) see the Eagles in Concert again.....regardless of how much I love their music.

June 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSabine

I watched the Eagles history part 1 and 2 and was extremely disappointed. I was one of those fans who purchased the Long Road out of Eden. The album was a total let down, it lacked so much and poor old Joe just couldn't fill out those tracks with his talent. Yet I enjoyed his Analogue man album very much. What came across so strongly to me was the absolute green of both Henley and Fry, two men who reportedly couldn't stand each other back in the 90's and late 80's.
Don Felder was always going to be sacked because Henley and Fry were so greedy and I couldn't believe it to discover that Joe Walsh and Timothy B Smiht were happy to take less than there equal share of the Eagle profits. Joe thanks both Henley and Frey for helping him give up alcohol, but it was Don Felder and Assof that drove him to the cetre clinic.

The complete disrespect shown by both Henley and Fry against Glyn Johns was unacceptable, how dare they insult one of the all time great record producers and engineers. Mind you I have helped toward the upkeep of those two gentlemen, but not any more, better late than never. I hope that Joe gets back on the road in his own right, he can fill stadiums on his own, he dosen't need the Eagles, he never did. Joe must have a low sense of worth to allow Henley and Frey to make him take less as if he and others have had no imput to Eagle songs other than Henley and Frey. Life in the fast lane began life as a Joe Walsh practice riff. I wonder how they would sound as the Henley and Frey duo, because they seem to think that the band must follow their political direction, Felder was correct to seperate himself when the Eagles under orders from Henley and Frey were ordred to play, wow how powerful these two think they are. It can only occur because the others in the band allow those two to bully and cajole. As for the threats made by both Frey and Henley in the nasty remarks made against Don Felder, they should be ashamed of themselves. Their greed will one day catch up with them, I hope that Don Felder made millions when he sued Henley and Frey. As for Irving, strange man, what he wouldn't do for his 30 pieces of silver. Appointed by Geffen Records as their manager he has held on for dear life to the gravy wagon for far too long. I am a disappointed fan, I was never happy about the Stuart Smith appointment when Don Felder was sacked, his input was never spontainious and his contribution to to Long Road out of Eden showed no inventiveness or creativity. For me the Eagles are nothing more than there own tribute band!!! Certainly for me Henley and Frey need to consider retirement, if Joe ever wakes up he will discover he has no need of Henley and Frey, he for me is a far better song writer than those other two.

When a band goes on tour the profits of the tour are split, after everything is paid the band should then split the profits equally, any song writing royalties are usually paid to the song writers these are seperate from the tour profits. So not only did Frey and Henley want more money for touring than the other members, but they also wanted to claim all the song writing royalties as well. Irving meanwhile was nothing more than a gofor for Henley and Frey. He was supposed to be the manager not the gofor!!!!!Wasn't he???????

June 10, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterspencer4151

I take back my comment I've posted on June 8, 2013. I would love to see The Eagles in concert. I now realize that without Glenn and Henley we would not have (still do) enjoyed all those great songs they gave us. I am sure that they always know what is (was) best for the band. I will always be an Eagles fan!!!!!

June 10, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSabine

There has been a lot of criticism of Frey and Henley but we should remember when Don wrote his book he didn't ask all members to contribute.They,to their credit invited him to speak and it seems to me that people are loathe to give them an ounce of praise for that".Yeah' they come off like self centered individuals in the doc,but being honest is what we all wanted wasn't it?I'm gald they have invited Bernie back after all he is an original member something Felder and Walsh can't lay claim to.

June 11, 2013 | Unregistered Commentersharkayla0508

Frey really did come across like a prick during the documentary. I've been a fan of the eagles since their inception but never got into reading mags about rock bands and their ins and outs. This documentary I feel exposed Frey as a raging ego maniac asshole. Felder make the comment " your welcome, I think" as really a joke on himself because he knows nothing about politics and cared nothing about politics. Then this punk begins a crusade to get him out of the band I believe to have more money for himself. Before seeing this program I would have not said a cross word about Glenn Frey but after watching it I couldn't stand him. And Henley at the rock and roll hall of fame awards I thought was a bit of an ass also. What egos these guys have.

June 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJoe a

Money fucks people up! What a shame. ! liked all the guys as a kid, and now I'm like what the hell...... after that documentary I agree joe walsh is a great humanbeing, and Don Felder got fucked over, and honestly who knows what really was going on with Glenn, and Henly......I don't want to blame them 100%, I GUESS THATS LIFE. I wish they could reconcile.

July 5, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterdr.tb97

Frey is a complete douche bag ego blown fuck head. Henley is good cop to freys bad cop, but Henley is also a douche. Often referring to felder as mr felder came off so childish. That new guitarist is a studio pussy compared to don felder. I understand their points of why they didn't want to work with him, but just a touch of human empathy could have made all ok. Kb

July 5, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKevin brown

I've always liked, but not loved the Eagles.

Let's be honest, they are not Neil Young and never will be.

The documentary clearly shows that that Glenn & Don have been living in their own private little world
for way too long.

Without Don Felder's contribution of Hotel California, the Eagles are simply another really good seventies band.

Hotel California cemented their legacy and made them legendary, despite their insipid protestations that it was
simply a "chord progression".

They ought to get over themselves, grow up and apologize to Felder.

Without his contribution, the are only the Eagles, not THE EAGLES.

July 13, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJay

There are a lot of great and varying opinions here. As someone wise mentioned, there are 3 versions to every story, yours, mine, and the truth......so I'm sure that the truth is somewhere in the middle.

I am a fan of all 7 men who have made up the Eagles. I love the solo material from all. That being said, I believe that the very best line-up was the one that broke up in 1980, and resumed in 1994.......those 5 men, with no disrespect meant to Randy or Bernie.

I would never call Long Road Out Of Eden a "piece of crap", I think it is a great record, and worthy of having the name Eagles on it. However, the old saying that comes to mind for me is "The whole is greater than the sum of it's parts." Personally, I found that in almost every track, I was missing that Don Felder guitar part. It was almost like they just left a part out, instead of having Joe or Glenn play it. Long Road Out Of Eden was 80% of an awesome record, IMHO.

It is also disappointing to hear that Don Felder only hears from attorneys when attempting to communicate with the guys. I have to believe anything but that Joe and Timothy are afraid to respond. I can only hope that clearer heads can someday prevail, and that Hell can freeze over a second time, before God decides that it's too late.

July 18, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBackseatMauler

I have watched this documentary over and over, and also just read Felder's book. I was a fan of the Eagles back in the day--probably haven't listened to them since Hotel California and was just so sick of all the songs that have been played into the ground.

The first time I watched it, I thought, I hate the Eagles, ugh--I didn't even watch the second half, I didn't realize there was one.

Then, I watched it the second time and I thought, sniff sniff, I love the Eagles. Hearing all of those deep tracks brought me back to my youth and reminded me of how much I enjoyed their music.

The third time I watched it (yes, I am a loser) I said, jeez I thought Henley was the dick. Turns out it is Glenn Frey.

Based on the comments above, the concensus is overwhelming--but one thing that isn't pointed out is what is the ONE common denominator in discord with EVERYONE. Glyn Johns, Bernie, Randy, Felder--Glenn Frey.

Have you watched the Rock and Roll hall of fame induction ceremony where Bernie Leadon says thank you for indicting me (meant to be a joke) and doofus Glenn Frey corrects him. Can that guy ever just stfu????

I would also like to point out that although Mr. Frey and Mr. Henley seem to insist that they wrote all the songs, and Mr. Felder's contributions were just riffs--look at the credits on Hotel California (their landmark album). How many were written by them alone--I think 1.

As Don Henley said--they need to get over it--and over themselves. I would never pay a nickel to see these sheisters. It is shameful that Joe Walsh and TB Schmidt have been abused into submission, because they have seen the ax fall repeatedly and why would they want to give up a cash cow like the Eagles.

I borrowed their CD's from the library. Happy they haven't made a dime off me since I bought the original Hotel California LP. They don't deserve it.

July 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDonnachang

All I know is Felder or no Fielder I will be at the Los Angeles Forum in January! It's the Eagles

August 11, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterzenia

I saw and enjoyed the documentary. One thing that I appreciate about it is its overarching feeling of showing the good and the bad, the personality clashes, the bickering, etc. As a documentary, the folks who made it can be proud that they did it credibly despite the fact that it was sponsored by an interested party. That said, while I loved the music, there's a lot not to like in the story. Between Henley's bashing of right wing politicians and capitalism (this from a multi-millionaire who has benefitted greatly from the system he so detests) and Frey's bashing of his former bandmates, they're not warm and fuzzy guys. Did you notice how Henley called Don Felder, "Mr. Felder," a few times, sort of spitting his name out like he was an outsider? Cold stuff. Frey was equally harsh about Randy Meisner and Bernie Leadon.

I love Leadon and Felder and Meisner is a gentle soul who wound up in a band, as they say in the documentary, full of alpha males. But Frey and Henley were the core from start to now and while others made significant contributions (Felder really got slighted by the others when it came to his songwriting which was responsible for building the "Hotel California" riff), the truth is that the Frey/Henley relationship is the cornerstone. The more creative they are, the better the band is. Joe Walsh came in and added a lot. Timothy Schmit's transition into the group was seamless. But it was Henley and Frey that were the soul. Their talents and personalities, together or with other songwriting partners like Jackson Browne, J.D. Souther, Jack Tempchin, Steuart Smith and others built the band.

In every band, someone has to be the bad guy. Frey was the one who was always doing "what's best for the Eagles" as Joe Walsh said on a few occasions. Sometimes this means folks got their feelings, ego, pride, whatever, bruised and bashed. I think we all can agree that Frey is an epic jerk who reveled in being an asshole at times, but we can't question whether his leadership and Henley's insistence on perfection worked or not.

It's not about "like" or "dislike." Without Frey and Henley, Eagles would have had, I believe, a far less remarkable story.

August 12, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBrian

I laugh at the fan that says Frey and Henley turned Hotel California into a classic, even though he appreciates Felder and Walsh's intro and guitar playing? Felder wrote the guitar tabs and all the music to Hotel California. Henley and Frey had nothing to do with the music.

Henley adapted the meaningless lyrics. That song is garbage without Felder and Walsh. Why? Because Glenn Frey is incapable of playing either part of the dual lead. Rufus Wainright is probably the worst guitarist in the World and Frey would be #2.

BTW: Don Henley is a complete fucking twat.

September 28, 2013 | Unregistered Commentertwinesplitter

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