Don Henley on a New Eagles Album: ‘It’s Not Like We Don’t See Each Other’
When Don Henley and Glenn Frey set about authorizing the new documentary ‘History of the Eagles,’ they took the unusual step of securing an Oscar-winning filmmaker to produce — because, as Frey put it in a recent interview with the New York Times, “Our management sent me what they thought were some of the best music documentaries that had been done. And I wasn’t crazy about any of it.”
If that makes it sound like the longtime partners think they deserve a better rock doc than everyone else, well…maybe they do, but at least they didn’t stop director Alison Ellwood from digging up the unvarnished truth about the band’s often contentious history. “We encouraged them to speak to everybody,” insisted Henley. “Including ex-members of the band, who don’t necessarily have warm and fuzzy feelings toward us.”
One of the most notorious episodes in Eagles lore concerns the infamous 1980 show that ended with Frey and guitarist Don Felder duking it out. Asked about it now, Frey sounds considerably mellower, saying, “Let’s put it this way: I’m glad I’ve had a second chance. I could have handled some things a lot better. We put the band back together in 1994 and I played music with Don Felder for six years. So I feel like that’s water under the bridge.”
Questioned about a new album, both Eagles played coy. “It’s not like we don’t see each other,” shrugged a typically taciturn Henley, while Frey proved a little more expansive on the topic.
“The Eagles are a working band,” he explained. “Some years we play a lot of shows, some years we play a dozen shows. We do one year at a time, we think that’s a good way to do it. The band’s going to start thinking about coming back together, and talk about whether everybody wants to uproot themselves from their lives and try to make a record, with all that involves. It’s a shared thing, the leadership. Don and I take turns driving the bus, depending on who’s around.”