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.
©2008 Don Felder (P)2012 Audible, Inc.
This probably makes it in my top 10.
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.
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.
I listened to 2/3 of the book on an 8 hour drive and found myself looking forward to hearing more.
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!
This book confirms all those rumors of discord that always swirled around The Eagles. It is a fascinating story of growing and outgrowing.
I listen to audio books in the car and with this one I found myself sitting in the driveway at home, unable to stop listening!
Warning: After you finish this book you may be struck with an overwhelming desire to go to your iTunes and delete all the solo Don Henley stuff!
Haven't read the print version
It gave insight to not only the Eagles and their journey, but shined the spotlight on the quietest of Eagles.
His voice is just humdrum. He makes every quote sound very mundane instead of a conversation. He made the book hard to listen to as he is very monotone.
Thank you Mr. Felder for pulling back the curtain not only on your own life, but that of the Eagles. I was impressed that Felder's musical childhood was surrounded by so many of the Rock n Roll giants that the 70's would produce. If California was the springboard to so many 70's rockers, then Gainesville florida must have been the ladder to get there.
I find myself most disappointed at the actions of Henley and Fry. And in some cases I was disappointed in Felder for just "going along". Being a pacifist in such a situation rarely leads to anything good. As far as the timeline, its interesting to note that for myself, a fan of the Eagles since childhood, my interest in the band wained about the time that they let Mr. Felder go. The last Eagles Album really only had one good song, and no good ones.
And lastly as a native of Amarillo, TX and a musician in that area, It was great to hear more about JD Souther who hailed from that town and drove so much of the Eagles. Good Read!
My 63 years of activities have been varied: Professional musician, USAF (and Private) pilot, radio personality, Steinway piano salesman, writer, and--above all--fanatical researcher of many subjects. Aviation and the Civil War are only two of them. I fulfilled an ambition to live in and visit all 50 states before I was thirty, and I've traveled many parts of the world. I began reading when I was 3.
Besides Felder's account of the band's career, the inside look at how the music business worked during its heyday.
The description of how the members of arguably the most popular rock band in the world were unable to stand each other offstage, let alone socialize.
I have not listened to Dennis Holland before, and frankly had never heard of him before listening to this book. I don't make as big a deal about narrators as does Audible. As long as they're intelligible and modulate their voices pleasantly, I couldn't care less about this aspect of my purchases.
No extreme reaction. I've read a great many rock biographies, and there are always similarities among them. At least this one didn't sound like a fan-zine.
A very good listening experience, highly informative (if also highly subjective), and written with warmth and humor.
Going into this book, I was not a big Don Felder fan. I guess I decided to listen to this book because I wanted to know what it was like to be a musician during one of the most interesting periods in rock music. I had seen the documentary History of the Eagles that had glorified Henley and Frey and slightly vilified Don Felder but I thought it only right to get his point of view too. I halfway expected him to deflect and attack the others like some bitter washed up drug addict but that is not this book at all.
Felder starts with his childhood, which I have to admit, was so slow that I started the first have of the book at 1.5x speed thinking that I wouldn't be able to finish the whole thing. It's not that Felder's life pre-Eagles is dull. It's just that the writing and the narration felt a bit flat and as a result, I felt like all I wanted to do was fast forward to the good parts.
After reading the book, I totally appreciate and respect Don Felder and his contributions to the Eagles. At the same time, I do kind of understand the "gods'" viewpoint that no one would see the Eagles without Don Henley and Glen Frey (although I think Joe Walsh is equally as important.) As long as they're still allowed to play Hotel California, Felder isn't all that missed unfortunately.
Congrats to Don Felder for writing a tell all that doesn't make him come off like a petty jerk. He is a truly talented gentleman.
This book would be highly recommended for any Eagles fan.
I liked the first person narrative. You actually felt like you knew Don after reading the book.
See a different perspective from a musician that lived, worked, and played with the Eagles.
I told my daughter another serious classic rock fan, that I'd never look or feel quite the same way about the Eagles. I still love their music, but feel, I sort of have a fly on the wall's point of view of some of the goings on. I know it is one participant's perspective, but very interesting all the same.
Great story! Very hard to turn off. I was completely engrossed! I saw a documentary on cable about the Eagles a couple of months ago so when i stumbled across this audiobook i had to give it a listen. I'm no hard core Eagles fan either, its just a great story and the narration was good as well. Hard to find an audiobook that keeps me as interested as this one. Great job, Fingers!
Felders contribution to the band throughout 70s was equal that of Henley and Frye. They screwed him on royalties. Listening to this book is pretty convincing that Frey & Henley were greedy bastards who wouldn't share evenly with the band member (not a side show)
responsible for much of American Rock history. Felder gave as many compliments to Don & Glenn as he did criticism of their dictatorship. And they were also basing the split
Frey and Henley got 2/7ths on Hell Freezes Over proceeds.
Felder, Schmidt, and Walsh only got 1/7th. Felder should have gotten more. If not for him, Hotel California would have never had the world reach it had.
based on Henley & Frey 's solo work. Henley put out some excellent music. Frey's solo work really sucked compared to Henley.
I don't think it makes much difference, but I do like to listen while walking or exercising etc.
Honest and accurate
As somebody who grew up listening to the music of the Eagles, I've always been interested in hearing about the creation of the music and the influences of the artists who created it.
The Eagles have been an extraordinary band with so many songs that have impacted my life from a very early age. I grew up to their music. I was saddened with their breakup, I rejoiced with their reunion, and I always like to hear the story.
Don Felder's book, of course, is just one person's perspective of what happened. But I do believe it gives an accurate assessment. His story very much coincides with other information I have learned about the band.
It is a familiar story. Most rock stars come from very humble backgrounds. Don begins with humble childhood, his love for music, and his learning to play guitar from a very early age.
Even at an early age, his giftedness was apparent, but that doesn't mean his rise to the top was easy. Quite similar to other rock stars that I have read about, the rise to fame was a combination of skills combined with a great deal of personal sacrifice and no small amount of luck.
The book is very interesting, well written and captivating. The story is told in a very honest way and even though it is critical of others in the band, Don also points out his own faults.
There is nothing uncommon about bands that break up. Band members start off in poverty with a bond over shared creativity and talent that is able to produce incredible songs. But as success takes place and money is earned pride and greed suck all the life and inspiration out of the band.
I think anyone who loves the music of the Eagles will enjoy this book. I think that includes just about everybody. But I would stay those who actually participate in the process of creating music themselves will enjoy it so much more.
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