7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Not a Hatchet Job,
This review is from: Heaven And Hell: My Life In The Eagles, 1974-2001 (Hardcover)
When I heard about this book I was expecting a real hatchet treatment of the Eagles but I found it to be in many ways more balanced and fair towards all of the members of the Eagles than the other Eagles biographies I've read.
Cutting to the chase, Felder was brought in to boost the band towards a more Rock-oriented sound and that is just what he did. Suddenly this likeable, but somewhat sleepy Country Rock band jumped to a higher state of energy and they began to attract a wider audience. If one listens to the Eagles there is a definite shift from the pre-Felder period to the Felder years.
Like every other book I've read about the Eagles there is coverage of the "Sex, Drugs and Rock 'n' Roll" lifestyle they lived and accounts of the extravagance that was indulged in by some band members. Felder does not, however, seem to land too hard on his bandmates and acknowledges his own flaws. Nothing in the book strikes me as vindictive or mean spirited, it's simply one man telling his story.
From his earliest days in the band Felder sensed that their on-stage harmonies did not extend to their backstage existence. The picture that comes through is one of turmoil and disagreement among men that colaborated in writing some of the most popular songs of their time. The Eagles were all talented individuals and it is inevitable that egos and tempers would make a showing. It seemed to have made rough sailing for Mr. Felder, leaving him increasingly caught between his work and his desire to care for his family. I get the sense that the breakup of the early '80s was not all that bad for Mr Felder, he pursued many interests during those 14 years and seemed to enjoy life. I'm certain however, that it left a creative void in his life; he was ready to jump right back in when the band reunited.
As the account proceeds from the 1994 reunion onward it becomes obvious that Felder felt more and more marginalized in his membership in the band. He found himself reduced to a support role, a hired gun that played guitar and little else. When he was forced out in 2001 it was a painful insult to the man that had brought so much to the band for so many years.
Sadly, the Eagles continue onward with a hired hand playing Felder's parts and they make a conspicuous point that the band is comprised of but four members. The new lead guitarist stands off to the side, usually not quite in with the rest of the band and is in no way elevated to the status of a full band member. Meanwhile, Mr Felder has been forcibly excluded from performing the guitars parts he created onstage with the band he helped so greatly back in 1974. While Mr. Felder does not indulge self-pity in his writing I was struck by how much he has lost musically and how incomplete the new Eagles CD sounds without his creative input.
This is a must-read for Eagles fans on either side of the Atlantic. One only hopes that this book will soon be published in the US so that more fans here in the Eagles native country will get to read about it for themselves. In the meantime, it was worth the cost (unfavorable exchange rate and all) to purchase in the UK and have it shipped to the US.
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Initial post: 29 Feb 2008 12:50:08 GMT
Yes interesting that they never actually replaced Felder in the band - but then again who can???? That says something, espcially as the new sideman has writing credits and produces as well. the new album was a bunch of solo things put together and "badged" the Eagles - to be honest I ony bought it because of the badge and was disappointed..., there's one good song on it and its an old JD Souther song from the '70's!
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