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ONE OF THESE FIGHTS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
on 1 December 2011
Here's a great brain teaser. Who is responsible for the biggest selling album of all-time in America? Michael Jackson? AC/DC? Pink Floyd? No, none of the above, (but I reckon they're all close), that accolade goes to The Eagles.
To celebrate their 40th Anniversary, writer and one time Senior Editor of Rolling Stone Magazine Ben Fong-Torres brings us The Eagles - Taking It To the Limit. In those 40 years they recorded seven albums, changed line-ups several times, had numerous fights with each other, and toured the world too many times.
Their fascinating story starts in L.A. in the 60s at the now famous Troubadour Club where numerous wannabe musicians showed up to try and make it in the big time, including Neil Young, Graham Nash, Janis Joplin and Joni Mitchell to name but four.
It was Linda Ronstadt's' band that would form the nucleus of the Eagles when on one occasion her backing band consisted of Don Henley, Glenn Frey, Bernie Leadon and Randy Meisner.
The Beatles arrival in American convinced Frey & Henley where their future lay, and with a little help from their friends, namely Kenny Rogers and Jackson Browne, they took flight. Browne would be pivotal in their success, writing Take It Easy with Frey.
Torres tells us about the recording of their debut album in London and why they stopped giving media interviews due to a media backlash following comments by Frey at a concert in New York. It really was a case of East v West in America during that time.
The decision to change producers paid off also. Original producer Johns wanted more Country, while The Eagles wanted more rock, so they went for Bill Szymczyk and continued to tour the world. Between albums Henley dated several women including Stevie Nicks, who'd just broken up with Buckingham.
The one thing evident throughout this book is that these guys just didn't get on. Frey & Henley (the Lennon & McCartney of The Eagles) put songs on albums just as a gesture to other band mates, and they even argued during rehearsals.
They refused to turn up for the Grammy's unless they were told in advance if they'd won. They didn't turn up, and they won. There was so many things going on that it's surprising that they even stayed together long enough to record one album, let alone seven.
As Frey puts it "we went on the road, got crazy, got drunk, got high, had girls, played music and made money". It also didn't help that Leadon's girlfriend Patti Davis (daughter of Ronald Reagan) was on the road with them which meant federal agents everywhere.
Torres covers everything from their career in here. The infamous softball match that he was a part of between The Eagles v Rolling Stone Magazine, the plane crash involving Henley, and why the Eagles agreed to record live album if their record Company chairman could answer one sporting question correctly.
There's also the break-up and the reunion tours. As one ex-member puts it "they broke up because Glenn & Don realised they could both make great solo albums".
They were great business men, and have reaped the benefits of the successful reunion of Hell freezing over, and Long Road Out Of Eden and they still haven't officially called it a day. As Frey says "we're trying to spread this out and make it last a little bit longer". It's obvious he doesn't want this to stop, and hopefully it won't.
There are some fascinating rare photos throughout the book, including one with all seven Eagles members which I haven't seen before which also adds to the brilliance of this book. Torres may have written the book, but like all ex-members of the Eagles know, Glenn always has the final word and he does in this book also. "We didn't set out to be a band for all times. We set out to be a band for our times. And sometimes if you're good enough to be a band for your time, you become a band for all time". Superb read and fascinating story.