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Paul Schmitz

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  • Heaven and Hell: My Life in the Eagles (1974-2001)

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Don Felder, Wendy Holden
    • Narrated By Dennis Holland
    Overall
    (92)
    Performance
    (87)
    Story
    (87)

    The Eagles are the bestselling, and arguably the tightest-lipped, American group ever. Now band member and guitarist Don Felder finally breaks the Eagles years of public silence to take fans behind the scenes. He shares every part of the bands wild ride, from the pressure-packed recording studios and trashed hotel rooms to the tension-filled courtrooms, and from the joy of writing powerful new songs to the magic of performing in huge arenas packed with roaring fans.

    Paul Schmitz says: "Don Felder is an interesting dude"
    "Don Felder is an interesting dude"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does Heaven and Hell: My Life in the Eagles (1974-2001) rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This probably makes it in my top 10.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Felder's story is fascinating especially for an Eagles fan. I like the Eagles a lot, but I'm strictly a "hits" fan and had no idea about the beginnings of the band and all that they went thru. When the story finally gets to the Eagles years, then it really takes off. Up to that point, many chapters are about Felder's pre-Eagles years and they don't really do much other than give us a history of him. The most notable exceptions are stories about Stephen Stills, Tom Petty, Grahm Nash, and Duane Allman.
    When he joins the Eagles, Felder is transparent about the ups, downs, drugs, sex, money and excess that the band enjoyed.
    The wheels occasionally fall off for me when Felder seems shocked that his drug use, infidelity and time away from home had an adverse affect on his family and marriage. Also, as an outsider and fan, the Eagles ARE Henley and Frey. Felder SHOULD have signed the papers (significant plot point) but he had a self-inflated view of his own importance and value to the band especially after they had hit their creative zenith and were coasting on their massive hits.
    In many ways, the last third of the book seemed like sour grapes from the guy who soured the grapes in the first place. Rather than acknowledge and own his role, though, he tries to come across as the one wronged and as the victim. Sorry Fingers, but that just doesn't fly or ring true based on what I heard in your telling of the story.
    Credit where credit is due though, Hotel California is an amazing song...music AND lyrics. Wouldn't have been the same without Don Felder.


    Have you listened to any of Dennis Holland’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I haven't listened to Holland before and found his delivery to be too sing-songy. His cadence was predictable and at times distracting. I will give him credit though for conveying Felder's words and thoughts pretty well. He even pronounced some tough brand names (mics and guitars) correctly.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    I listened to 2/3 of the book on an 8 hour drive and found myself looking forward to hearing more.


    Any additional comments?

    I'm glad Felder took the time to write his memoir. I didn't know much about him or his contribution to the band. I finished it feeling like it wasn't just Henley and Frey who had huge egos in the Eagles. It was all of them...except for maybe Meisner and Schmit. I'm still a fan. Oh and I'm watching the History of the Eagles that recently came out and am happy to report that some of the stories are exactly as Felder conveyed them so kudos to him for historical accuracy!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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