Fans hoping for that rumored Eagles reunion will have to “get over it,” as far as the legendary rock band’s disbandment is concerned. In an interview with the Washington Post, drummer/singer Don Henley admitted that it wouldn’t be right at all for the Eagles to get back together, following the death of the band’s co-founder, Glenn Frey, earlier this year.
When the Eagles had first disbanded in 1980, many had expected that the band that had made rock history in the 1970s with songs such as “Take it Easy” and “Hotel California” was officially done, with no hope of a reunion. A list article from Rolling Stone detailed this breakup in 2014, focusing on how band members Glenn Frey and Don Felder had openly antagonized each other onstage during a benefit gig for Senator Alan Cranston in 1980. And with creative mainstays Frey and Don Henley frequently butting heads, it all made for a “toxic” environment, despite the Eagles’ long track record of chart success.
The band’s members put their differences aside in 1994 to officially reunite and record new studio songs, adding to live recordings from the Eagles reunion tour that year. The album that resulted, Hell Freezes Over, brought the California-based rockers back to the spotlight, and while the coming years saw Felder leave on acrimonious terms and the band go on extended hiatuses, it wasn’t like the Eagles appeared close to breaking up just like they did in 1980.
That all changed when Glenn Frey passed away on January 18 at the age of 67. And while it seemed as if the band died with Frey, Don Henley had stoked rumors of a possible Eagles reunion in September, touching on the matter in an interview with the Montreal Gazette.
“At some point in the future, we might work our way around to that. You know, Glenn has a son who can sing and play quite well. And one of the only things that would make sense to me is if it were his son. With (singer-songwriter) Jackson (Browne), of course, we could do ‘Take It Easy’ and a couple other things, but the only way I would consider any kind of reunion, I think, would be with Glenn’s son, Deacon.”
Unfortunately, it now seems that an Eagles reunion wouldn’t be possible after all, according to a new report from the Washington Post. Speaking from his Tudor mansion in Lincoln, Massachusetts, Don Henley told the Post that the Eagles, as a band, did effectively die when Glenn Frey passed away in January, and that there’s just no point playing shows “without the guy who started the band.”
Since Frey’s death, the Eagles performed in February at the Grammy Awards to pay tribute to their fallen bandmate, playing the song “Take it Easy” with the song’s co-writer, Jackson Browne, standing in for Frey. Henley had also joined forces with surviving members Joe Walsh (guitar) and Timothy B. Schmit (bass) to play at a private memorial, with Glenn’s son Deacon Frey among the guest vocalists. But according to Henley, that may be it for the Eagles, and a reunion is, as far as he sees it, a definite no-go.
“It would just seem like greed or something,” he told the Washington Post. “It would seem like a desperate thing.”
In addition to burying the rumors of an Eagles reunion with the above comments, Henley also told the Washington Post about his often-contentious relationship with Frey. While reluctant to go into great detail, he did explain why the two of them had had such a relationship, despite the fact they had teamed up on some of the Eagles’ biggest hits.
“You know all their little tics and their eccentricities and their peccadillos and everything about them so well that they become predictable and you know their weak points and their strong points, and after a while it starts to grate on you.”
What really annoyed Don Henley, however, was how several publications had reacted too enthusiastically to the off-the-cuff suggestions from September that the Eagles may reunite, if Deacon Frey would replace his late father in the lineup. He recalled being “p—ed off” that Billboard, which was one of the top publications covering the reunion rumors, had “become a tabloid” in his view, mainly because he hadn’t actually spoken to Deacon or his mother about the possibility of a reunion.
Even with Don Henley admitting that he learned a lesson about “keeping (his) mouth shut,” there are still some, such as band manager Irving Azoff, who believe an Eagles reunion is possible, even without Glenn Frey.
“I think Henley was the guy that came up with the words ‘when hell freezes over.’ If hell can freeze over, pigs can fly. I’d never say never.”
[Featured Image by Rick Diamond/Getty Images]