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Thread: Don Henley in the Press - Retro Edition!

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    Default Don Henley in the Press - Retro Edition!

    Like I said in Tim's forum, Kate has inspired me to post some articles from an article database I have a subscription to. Here's one for Don:

    Some excerpts from NME - February 23, 1985
    by R. Cooke

    "No, I don't have any sensational stories to tell. And I don't have anything to say about drugs."

    Huh! There goes the Don Henley interview. The former Eagle looks grouchy.

    "There's a whole new generation of kids out there who don't know about the Eagles. I think I've stretched out from that. It's inevitable it'll be compared with the Eagles, but that's alright. We did some good things."

    This is how we cover our traces. But Henley's new record Building The Perfect Beast proves to be a lot more than another hippie burn-out. One side collects thoughtful love songs, the other ruminates on the state of his country with insight and a fair showing of blood. It almost eludes the weary West Coast bag.

    "I think this bias against the West Coast is a little silly," says Henley, in a considered and pleasant Texan twang. "I'm not gonna change the place I live to get a good review someplace.

    "We're all American kids from the mid-west or the south. Most of the way I view the planet at large was formulated back in Texas. As far as I'm concerned the last pure West Coast sound was the Beach Boys. I grew up listening to the Dillards I don't consider myself mellow or laid-back. I'm quite an intense individual and a workaholic."

    <snip>

    "I supported Gary Hart for President and I did some work for his campaign phone work, fund-raising. I'm a Democrat. I used to feel a dilettante but I've learned a lot in the last few years. Everybody's a dilettante, anyway Reagan's a f--kin' dilettante. He's the master of ceremonies at someone else's dinner. Nobody knows what's going on, except maybe the CIA."

    "The sad thing is that great men don't run for President any more. They don't want the job."

    Mondale?

    "I met him," he says without enthusiasm. "His intentions were good, but I perceived him as sort of weak. He wasn't a brilliant guy. But I'm baffled and appalled at Reagan's success. I wonder what happened to my generation, all those great liberal ideas we had. Now everything's swung back to the Right, the TV preachers with their own networks...it's pretty scary."

    <snip>

    "Since kids don't read much any more, most of the information they get is from television or music. I think songwriters have a responsibility because of that."

    The LP's most singular example of that comes in the last lines of 'The Boys Of Summer', a damning requiem for his generation.

    "I was driving down the San Diego freeway and got passed by a $21,000 Cadillac Seville, the status symbol of the Right-wing upper-middle-class American bourgeoisie all the guys with the blue blazers with the crests and the grey pants and there was this Grateful Dead 'Deadhead' bumper sticker on it!"

    Henley shivers slightly at his own Big Chill.

    A last irony: the best thing from these sessions is 'A Month of Sundays', a short story where Henley constructs mythic poetry out of the hopeless fate of a small-time farmer. It's a little masterpiece. Geffen has left it off the LP and relegated it to a single B-side.


    ~

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    Stuck on the Border
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    Default Re: Don Henley Interview (1985)

    The comments about A Month Of Sundays are totally accurate. This is just my opinion, but most of the over-produced synthesised stuff on that album is hollow and dated, whereas MOS is a real song that will last forever.

    Please don't be offended, Don fans, but this is my least favourite of his albums.

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    Default Re: Don Henley Interview (1985)

    Really! I actually like it a lot! Maybe because it was my only Don album for a long time, so all of the songs on it are the most familiar to me. But Boys of Summer, Not Enough Love in the World, You Can't Make Love, You're Not Drinking Enough - love 'em.


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    Default Re: Don Henley Interview (1985)

    I like BTPB a lot, too. It's probably my favorite Don solo record, although, I have to admit that I don't have Inside Job. However, I have heard most of the songs off of it, but I've never listened to the entire record at once.


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    Default Re: Don Henley Interview (1985)

    I'm not a huge fan of Inside Job either - it's not bad, it's just not my favorite.


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    Default Re: Don Henley Interview (1985)

    Thanks for posting that interview, Nancy. I have accumulated a large number of Don interviews and I don't believe I have read that one.

    I tend to agree with Julie--BTPB does have some over-synthesized songs on it. It also has several songs I love on it, however--notably BOS, Sunset Grill, You Can't Make Love, Not Enough Love in the World.

    End of the Innocence is probably my favorite Don album, thanks to the title song, HOM, the beautifully haunting New York Minute, and the hard-rocking (and sexy) I Will Not Go Quietly, but I can't stand Shangri-La and Little Tin God.

    I Can't Stand Still has DL, and the gorgeous love songs Lilah and Talking to the Moon, but Johnny Can't Read and Them & Us? Ugh.

    And I don't understand why so many people are so critical of Inside Job. IMO, it is a perfect reflection of Don's life at that point--For My Wedding, Taking You Home, the beautiful lullaby Annabel, My Thanksgiving--with the sexy Miss Ghost and The Genie thrown in for good measure. And the environmentalist ode Goodbye to a River is special to me too.

    But then, aren't all albums like that? Some songs you love, some songs you don't care for.

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    Default Re: Don Henley Interview (1985)

    It's very rare you come across an album where you like every song, that's for sure. I think the only albums I have that do that - that aren't greatest hits albums - are Fleetwood Mac's Rumours, the Eagles' Desperado, and U2's Achtung Baby. And in the case of the latter, initially, I didn't like them all - some of them had to grow on me.


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    Default Re: Don Henley Interview (1985)

    Interesting that you love all the songs on Desparado, Nancy. It's my least favorite Eagles album. I agree that it is very unusual to like all the songs on one album.


    -------------

    Cause I'm livin' on things that excite me,
    Be they pastries or lobsters or love;
    I'm just tryin' to get by being quiet and shy,
    In a world full of pushin' and shove.

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    Default Re: Don Henley Interview (1985)

    I just love Desperado's wildness mixed with pathos, and I think all of the songs on it are strong both melodically and lyrically. Glenn's racuous vocal on Out of Control, the gorgeous harmonies on Saturday Night, the vocal layering on the Doolin' Dalton Desperado Reprise where you have Don's anguished vocal over a poignant chorus of voices... I find all of it practically epic, and that's not even mentioning the two most famous tracks, Desperado itself and Tequila Sunrise, both of which I adore.


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    Default Re: Don Henley Interview (1985)

    I will just mention a couple of albums on which I like every song without exception before going back to Don's music as this is his forum after all. They are Hotel California, Strange Weather AND....Revolver, Band On The Run, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, Moondance, Rust Never Sleeps,Sticky Fingers, Making Movies, Brothers In Arms and Led Zeppelin IV. I could list more but basically there are my top 10 favourite albums plus SW, which is starting to get perilously close to the top.

    I was very harsh about BTPB. The songs I like on it are BOS and MOS (!) and I used to like Sunset Grill and ASW but I'm afraid they have dated and been overplayed. I should like Land Of The Livng but it does nothing for me at all. I can just about listen to You're Not Drinking Enough but I find those other relationship songs too negative. The title track is a good lyric but horribly over-produced. Drivin' With Your Eyes Closed is pretentious.

    I am still very fond of ICSS, from which my favourite tracks are DL, Nobody's Business, Talking To The Moon and Lilah. I agree about Johnny Can't Read and Them & Us. However well-intentioned, they don't work as songs. Long Way Home is a 'sleeper', as is the title track. You get a much stronger sense of the 'real' Don here than you get on - ooh - No Fun Aloud. That has to be admitted.

    EOTI - best album by far, INCLUDING Little Tin God, which is one of my favourites! But Shangri-La is beyond redemption. I don't like How Bad Do You Want It much either. The rest of it I love.

    The problem with IJ is that those personal songs Dana mentioned don't work for me and as a result the whole album doesn't work for me. I know how strongly it reflects his life but I can't warm to it. The songs I like are the more detached' songs like Miss Ghost & Damn It Rose, plus Goodbye To A River. I like My Thanksgiving but as usual I think it's a bit overblown and I seem to change my mind on EIDN every time I hear it. At least I have strong reactions to his music.

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