Eagles were just lucky says Henley
Dumb luck: Don Henley
Eagles co-founder Don Henley believes some of the band’s success was down to “dumb luck” – and they’re aware how rare it is to have enjoyed two rounds of big-time glory.
They split in 1980 then returned 14 years later to enjoy as much acclaim as they had during the 70s. Speaking at the premiere of their documentary, History Of The Eagles Part One, Henley admits it’s a rare achievement.
He tells Rolling Stone: “We fully realise how fortunate we are. We don’t take credit for all that – some of it is just dumb luck. Some of it is being in the right place at the right time; coming into contact with the right people, the right managers, attorneys, crew members, producers. There are a whole lot of people involved in this other than us.
“We were fortunate enough to have one of the rarest things in American life: a second act. We broke up for 14 years and came back, and we were bigger than ever. We still pack arenas and stadiums 42 years on.”
Henley says the aim of the three-year movie project was to offer “an honest look at who we are and what the group is.” He believes some fans will be surprised to learn the extent to which the Eagles is a business. And he admits he learned a little about himself as he watched the film.
“Some of it was painful,” he reflects. “The self-destructive behaviour that a lot of young people go through. The insecurities, the fear, the feelings of unworthiness, ‘we don’t deserve this,’ and the feeling it’s all going to disappear up in smoke tomorrow.
“Of course, the substance abuse was part of that; and how much time was wasted that could have been more productive. But it was all a learning experience that made us the people we are today. Nobody in this band has died.”
Henley thinks the days of Eagles in-fighting are behind them but adds: “We still get mad. They still piss me off all the time. You learn to pick your battles, roll with it. We’ve gotten pretty good at that – we all know that the whole is bigger than the sum of the parts. So we have much more perspective now, and perspective is a wonderful thing.”
Meanwhile, bandmate Glenn Frey says more touring is likely to play a part in the Eagles’ future. “We don’t know; we’re taking it one year at a time,” he reports. “But we have been looking into going back out on the road, maybe incorporate some footage. We just haven’t decided when yet.”