UPDATE: this is NOT a slam against the Eagles or any band members! I have posted many stories about the group, and I am a longtime fan…I thought this was an interesting perspective – and one that was covered EXTENSIVELY in the “history of” documentary – with both Don Henley and Glenn Frey offering very candid opinions of Don Felder…that said, please do not take this as a critical view of the band, it’s just a story about one former band member’s memories of his time in the group….thanks!
Imagine being a member of one of music’s most popular groups….and co-writing their most iconic hit…and then being fired!
Welcome To “Heaven And Hell!”
It was a life that was raucous, and rancid!
Heaven and Hell: My Life in the Eagles (1974-2001) by Don Felder, with contributions by Wendy Holden – published in 2008
“Heaven and Hell” is a terrific insider’s look at life inside the eagles – how they became superstars, broke up, re-formed for their “Hell Freezes Over” tour – and how Don Felder was ultimately forced out of the band…
Don Felder Joins The Eagles…
Don “Fingers” Felder was invited to join the platinum-selling Eagles in 1974…and he had no idea what sort of rock-and-roll heaven and show-business hell he was about to enter — or, according to the book’s press release, how hard it would become to tell one from the other.
Folder joined The Eagles just as the band was busy firing their Producer during the “On The Border” recording sessions…
Felder stepped into a volatile time for the band…here is a close-up look at the creation of that album:
Felder’s timing was perfect, as the band had their first #1 single from that album, “Best Of My Love”…
Here’s how Amazon describes “Heaven and Hell”:
“Felder shares this remarkable journey with a firsthand look at his tempestuous years with the Eagles. Even as he, Don Henley, Glenn Frey, Randy Meisner, Bernie Leadon, and, later, Joe Walsh and Timothy B. Schmit became America’s most popular and successful rock band, selling tens of millions of records, Felder reveals that greed, jealousy, and creative differences constantly threatened to tear the Eagles apart.”
The press release for the book highlights some of the raucous stories Felder shares about his time in the band:
“From one sold-out arena to the next, some members of the Eagles blazed a trail of sex, drugs, and rock-and-roll that became as legendary as their music. Felder explains how the famous E3 (third encore) parties, which began as spontaneous, raucous backstage binges, evolved into highly organized orgies, with roadies recruiting gorgeous women from the audience to be chauffeured to lavish hotel suites, where nothing was off limits.”
Felder’s Iconic Hit!
Felder also offers a rare glimpse into the creative melting pot that produced such great Eagles hits as “Life in the Fast Lane,” “One Of These Nights”, “Victim of Love,” and the song he is credited with the iconic intro for, “Hotel California.” It is probably the band’s most memorable song, which began as a simple Felder guitar lick, which then took shape through a fascinating process of free association and collaboration, yet, says Felder, even these exciting moments led to friction and bickering.
This is a terrific memoir, told by someone who was an intregal part of the band for more than 25 years – until he was summarily fired…a sad end for this talented guitarist…
Felder was devastated by the events that led to his dismissal, and the book spares no one, including himself, as he describes the painful breakup…
The Final EAGLES Lineup
This is the final lineup for the band, and they toured extensively for years before Glenn Frey died unexpectedly – now, Don Henley has said publicly that the band will never perform again.
That makes “Long Road Out Of Eden” their swan song…here is my look at the album, with some great videos:
Don Felder appears briefly in the great documentary that was released about the band – and he discusses the turmoil that led to his dismissal:
This fantastic four hour documentary is full of great interviews and vintage material from the band – and Felder’s interview is heart-breaking – here is a look at this classic docu:
Let me know if you read “Heaven And Hell” and what you thought!