If you’re an Eagles fan who caught their performance at the Grammy awards show in February, consider yourself lucky. You saw what very well may have been the band’s final appearance.
Eagles co-founder, Don Henley, along with bandmates Joe Walsh, Bernie Leadon and Timothy B. Schmidt plus guest performer, Jackson Browne, delivered a heartfelt rendition of “Take it Easy” to a packed house on February 15 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. Former Eagles Randy Meisner and Don Felder were not in attendance. The song, which was written by Glenn Frey and Jackson Browne, may be credited with putting Winslow, Arizona on the maps and in the ears of music fans worldwide.
On March 10, drummer, vocalist and occasional guitarist, Don Henley, told Simon Mayo of BBC Radio that the poignant performance, which came merely a month after the sudden demise of Eagles co-founder and guitarist Glenn Frey, was so emotional and difficult, the surviving members of the band “almost didn’t do it.” Two days later, Ultimate Classic Rock reported that Henley confirmed the end of the California-based rock band.
“That was the final farewell. I don’t think you’ll see us performing again. I think that was probably it. I think it was an appropriate farewell.”
The announcement of the end of the band is frustrating news to fans who were looking forward to the next Eagles project. Henley revealed to the BBC that prior to Frey’s final illness, the band had been planning to put together a “Hotel California” tour. Said Henley of the proposed project, “Obviously, that’s not happening now.” Listen to the BBC interview.
The Eagles may be grounded, but Don Henley has no plans to retire anytime soon. According to his own website, Henley will be performing at a special three-day, two-night event in Dallas next month. Hosted by Runaway Tours, the limited-seating event will feature an intimate evening of musical storytelling by Henley, as well as a photo op and Q&A session with the co-founder of the Eagles. Tickets, which became available on Saturday, include accommodations at the Gaylord Texan Resort in Dallas-Fort Worth. All ticket holders will receive a lanyard laminate for the semi-private concert in the resort’s Glass Cactus Nightclub. Eagles fans who use their American Express card to purchase tickets for “the ultimate fan experience” will receive an autographed copy of Henley’s Cass County CD when they check into the hotel.
Don Henley is also slated to appear with legendary songwriter, Carole King, when she performs her Tapestry album in its entirety at the British Summer Time festival in London’s Hyde Park on July 3. Other acts scheduled to appear at the multi-day event include Massive Attack, Patti Smith, Florence + The Machine and Mumford & Sons. Tickets are available for online purchase at the BST website.
The first time Don Henley, Glenn Frey, Randy Meisner and Bernie Leadon toured together as the Eagles, the year was 1971, and they were pop chanteuse Linda Ronstadt’s backup band. Less than two years later, the band’s eponymous debut album delivered three top-40 songs to American airwaves. In the summer of ’72, it was hard to go anywhere without hearing “Take it Easy,” “Peaceful Easy Feeling” or “Witchy Woman” blasting out of car stereos.
Interestingly, the band that proffered the seminal “California sound” had only one band member who was native to the Golden State. Timothy B. Schmit, who replaced bassist Randy Meisner in September 1976 and participated in the Grammy tribute to Glenn Frey, hails from Oakland.
Whether you loved them, hated them, or felt indifferent to their mellow, California folk-rock sound, The Eagles were a mighty musical force to be reckoned with.
[Photo via Evan Agostini/Invision/AP Images]