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Heaven and Hell: My Life in the Eagles (1974-2001) by Felder, Don published by Wiley (2008) Hardcover Hardcover – 0100


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Product details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Wiley (0100)
  • ASIN: B00ES26LFE
  • Product Dimensions: 24.8 x 16.6 x 3.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (67 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,098,082 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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31 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Monsieur le B on 17 Feb 2008
Format: Hardcover
I guess you have to be interested in the Eagles and their contemporaries to fully appreciate this book. Fortunately I am and it's one of the best books I have ever read. I have read two previous unauthorised biographies of the Eagles and they are pretty good reads. However, this is the first autobiography of an Eagle, ex-Eagle in fact, who spent 27 years with the band before being fired over the telephone. Don Felder joined the band at a time when they were struggling to live up to their early success and he gave them a rockier edge, wrote the music to Hotel California, and helped deliver them into the stratosphere. I find it fascinating how that these musical icons almost stumbled into fame and fortune and, in the case of Don Felder was 27 before getting a truly steady job - lead guitarist with the Eagles.

This book cleverly weaves his frank account of his private life into his inside story of a band which seemed to be constantly in torment despite its phenomenal success. His account appears balanced, and far from being purely self-serving. He describes both facts and emotions very lucidly and really makes you feel you were a fly on the wall. There are no other autobiographies telling an alternative version and this does tie in closely with other accounts of the band that I have read. It kind of also ties up with my perception of the individuals when I have seen them on stage or being interviewed. In the absence of anything else, therefore, I choose to believe it.

Despite falling into the inevitable traps laid by his rock n roll lifestyle and the guilt his has felt as a result, I suspect Don Felder probably has one of the clearest consciences of anyone associated with the band. I end up really wishing him all good fortune for the future.
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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful By artist-cat on 29 Feb 2008
Format: Hardcover
Most of the other reviewers have said it already - the book is a must read for Eagles fans and I found it very compelling!!! It doesn't matter whether you're a Felder fan or not (I am because of the music he wrote) just read it. He doesn't promise objectivity (but nor should he - since autobiographies are personal stories). Yes, he dishes the dirt on Henley and Frey and all it does is cement what others have said about them anyway (but from a very reliable source I'd say). So as far as I can see there's no inconsistancy there compared to other books - like Randy Miesner's veiws expressed in Mark Shapiro's book. The tone is neither bitter or condescending and he does acknowledge how incredibly lucky his life is given he started out dirt poor.
His account of Joe Walsh (much as I adore Joe's talent) is not surprising and seemingly accurate given my brief experience with Joe. I met Joe some 20 years ago when he was still an alkie and playing solo, teaching music, etc. Nice guy, humble, very talented and whitty - but not the sort who would stand up for himself least of all for Felder. I have not met Felder, but the persona he projects seems to tie in with the writing in the book; low key, humble and balanced. Not surprisingly why he and Joe got on so well (and presumably still do now the litigation is all over).
In some ways the non-Eagles stuff was more interesting. The account of his freindships with Stephen Stills, Duane Allman, Bernie Leadon and Graham Nash, to name a few - all of who have increased respect from me since reading the book (not that they didn't anyway) as fantastically talented muscians but also decent people.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A reasonable amount has been written about the Eagles, but never before by one of the band's members, so this book rightly carries some weight.

Don Felder tells the story from his time with the Eagles from his own point of veiw, doesn't promise objectivity and nor should he. What you get is an account of full frankness and honesty about life in the Eagles, which as the man himself states, is essentially about a group of guys most of whom fundamantally did not get along. A major theme in the book is how Felder feels under appreciated for his contribution to the band...the 'edge' his guitar playing brought (really elevated them above country rock and gave them another dimension) and his suffering as as result of the greed and ego-mania/self-importance of Henley and Frey (and both are notorious for both) and the somewhat cold hearted manner of ejection from the band. He is generally aggrieved at the reduction of his status (along with the others) in what was supposed to a strictly equal-share arrangement to that of minority players - if that happened to anyone in normal life, they'd be outrage. Why shouldn't he be upset about it? His problems seemed to start when he decided to open his mouth.

Whats uplifting is the positive way he now looks back on what happened to him and despite all of this, you are left with the feeling that although disappointed with the integrity of Frey and Felder (and Schmidt & Walsh also don't escape comment), he genuinely bears them no malice at all and in hindsight is relieved its all over. Mind you, if I look as healthy as he does when I finally reach 60, I would be, too!!!! (there's a point there, Glenn & Don...
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