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The Eagles wrote the soundtrack to the Seventies and Eighties – and even now their albums top the charts. But backstage, there were no peaceful, easy feelings…
Don Felder was just a poor boy from Florida, but when he joined the Eagles he soared into the stratosphere. Alongside former bandmates Don Henley, Glenn Frey, Randy Meisner, and Felder’s childhood friend Bernie Leadon, he sold tens of millions of records (Eagles: Their Greatest Hits: 1971-1975 is the bestselling album of all time), performed before countless adoring fans, and co-wrote the renowned hit ‘Hotel California’. His guitar-playing ability lifted the band from mere popularity to iconic status. And now Don Felder finally breaks the Eagles’ decades of public silence to take fans behind the scenes – where drugs, greed and endless acrimony threatened to tear the band apart almost daily.
“Maybe there was too much talent. Maybe the personalities clashed with the egos. Whatever the reason, there were always these explosive arguments going on while I sat silently in a corner. I never expected it to survive. Never once did I feel, ‘Hey, I got it made. This thing’s gonna last for years.’”
Felder was wrong about that, but he was also right: the band split up in 1980, only to reunite for 1994’s mega-selling ‘Hell Freezes Over’ album and tour. But tempers continued to flare, and in 2001, after 27 contentious years as an Eagle, Felder was summarily fired by the ‘board of directors’: Frey and Henley. Lawsuits and counter-suits followed. In ‘Heaven and Hell’, Felder takes us inside the pressurised recording studios, the trashed hotel rooms and the tension-filled courtrooms, where he, Frey, and Henley had their ultimate confrontation.
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