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Thread: Don Felder in the Press/Blogs/etc.

  1. #101
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    Default Re: Don Felder in the Press/Blogs/etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by UndertheWire View Post
    I'd guess that Don hasn't read his book recently and so has forgotten some of the things he's written. Looking at the quotes that Soda's pulled out, it doesn't seem so bad but what was a problem for me was the lack of context and balance. I'm inclined to believe him that Glenn could be unpleasant to work with (there's enough hints from other sources) but he doesn't do too well at explaining why people put up with it. That would require writing something positive.
    You have a good point, UTW, the context of why people put up with it is missing. I have no doubts that Glenn is likely to be moody. I have no idea as I've never met him, let alone spent time around him. Yet it seems to me that the kind of person capable of writing great songs, the kind that knows human emotions, vulnerabilities, strengths, everything it takes to understand people well enough to write songs that touch the hearts of so very many, that person would be the type to feel it all as well. I'm not sure I'm explaining this well, but I'd think that such a person would feel the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. When compared to a person like me, who tends to think in terms of black and white, true and false, on and off, and everything needs to be logical, I can see where such a person would be termed 'moody'. Anyway, Felder did a really good job of writing in depth about the 'lowest of lows'. The context of the rest of it is missing. We all know there was and is a lot more to Glenn what Felder documented. Either Felder can't see it, or he chose the path that would sell more books.

    As for his recent comments, what scares me is the possibility that he doesn't see the things he said as painting someone in a poor light, and not that he's forgotten what he said. I've said it before, but his discussion in his book about some of Joe's personal hygiene habits (or lack of), well, fans didn't need to know that. Not at all. If I were Joe, I'd certainly never speak to Felder ever again, and if I were forced to, I'd tell him off before punching him. I'm not sure how Felder can sit in front of an interviewer and blame Glenn and Don as the reasons Joe won't have anything to do with him. I would quote the parts I mean, but the thought of going back through that book and rereading parts of it makes me nauseous.
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  2. #102
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    Default Re: Don Felder in the Press/Blogs/etc.

    Good points UTW and Dreamer. I'm sure with time, age, and an updated PR strategy, Felder's perspective on people and long-ago events has evolved, which is natural, understandable, and his prerogative. Unfortunately for him, there is that book, which he will never get away from. What I really want is to get a look at the original draft of Heaven and Hell...I wonder if Felder is now thankful that it actually wasn't published as originally written.

    As for Joe and Timothy's treatment of Felder, the HOTE doc mentions the extent of the band tensions that Timothy was subjected to when he joined in 1977. Fast forward to 2001, and those tensions WERE STILL THERE - 24 freakin' years later!!! My theory on Joe and Tim is that they were just so RELIEVED to have the source of much of the tension out of the band. It opened up a new horizon for them. Now it was just the two of them and the two big stars - a tight little foursome that would be the Eagles. I'm now wondering if Felder's departure was what Glenn needed in order to write and record a new album. Joe and Tim were probably so excited to be embarking on making a new Eagles album and the prospect of touring without Felder and all of the friction he caused, that what they thought of him personally was completely irrelevant.

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    Default Re: Don Felder in the Press/Blogs/etc.

    Glenn and Don Henley come across badly in History of the Eagles. From what I’ve read, a lot of people, even those who like the documentary, now have a bad opinion of them. And it is not Don Felder’s fault, he is not the author of the documentary. It is an authorized documentary, so they only have themselves to blame.

    In the documentary, they blame all the tensions in the band on the drugs and Don Felder. But while making Long Road Out of Eden, the Eagles argued a lot and ended up recording their parts separately and sending the files to the studio. They weren’t doing drugs (that we know of) and Don Felder wasn’t in the band anymore. In a 2007 interview with Independent.ie, when talking about the album, Don Henley said: “Frankly, Joe and Timothy didn't bring in a lot of stuff. We were waiting for it, but it never came." Was it necessary to say that publicly? He really made them look bad.

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    Default Re: Don Felder in the Press/Blogs/etc.

    I don't want to take this too far off topic so I'm posting a reply in the documentary thread.

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    Default Re: Don Felder in the Press/Blogs/etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by UndertheWire View Post
    What's annoying about that writer and the interview is it gives the impression that Felder provided the bedrock of the Eagles sound with Henley (mostly) and Frey just providing vocals and lyrics for the music that Felder came up with. In doing so they ignore all the work that was done before Felder joined the band, even though he still plays some of those earlier songs in his set.
    Well, it's not just that one interview. I have mentioned a few times an interview with Felder from the One Of These Nights era. Here's, again, how he described the band's songwriting in 1975, when he had only made his first album with the band:

    "Somebody will have an idea and spit it out, whether it's one line, two bars, no words but a chord change, words but no chord change. Henley's a really far-out lyricist. He and Glenn [Frey] work really well on the lyric part of it, and Bernie [Leadon] and I work primarily on the musical end of it."

    For example, Don Felder cites the procedure behind 'One of These Nights':

    "Glenn would go 'One of these nights, cha cha chachacha cha cha chachacha,' and that's it, no chord changes. Then I sat down and played bass on it and dubbed the bass part to it and it was just me and Henley and Glenn sitting around and jamming. It's just being around, listening to ideas, criticizing ideas, and just working together.

    "That's usually how it comes together on certain things; on other things Randy [Meisner] and I will work on like 'Too Many Hands' or Henley and I will work on like 'Visions'. The ones that come together as part of a band instead of one guy writing the song and presenting it are the ones that come out best. There is just a certain magic this band has when it works together."

    I like Don, but the guy has never been Mr. Modest when it comes to describing the band's creative process. Either the band wrote songs together or he wrote them with one of the guys. It's hard for me to believe that Hollywood Waltz (initiated by Bernie and his brother), Journey Of The Sorcerer, Lyin' Eyes, Take It To the Limit, After The Thrill Is Gone and I Wish You Peace were written by the whole band with Felder and Bernie "working on the musical end of it",
    Last edited by chaim; 07-29-2014 at 06:43 AM.

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    Default Re: Don Felder in the Press/Blogs/etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by UndertheWire View Post
    I'd guess that Don hasn't read his book recently and so has forgotten some of the things he's written. Looking at the quotes that Soda's pulled out, it doesn't seem so bad but what was a problem for me was the lack of context and balance. I'm inclined to believe him that Glenn could be unpleasant to work with (there's enough hints from other sources) but he doesn't do too well at explaining why people put up with it. That would require writing something positive.
    This is always a difficult issue. It seems to me that often in a band there's a leader (or two) who has to keep his eye on the big picture while the others are interested only in their own little contributions ("I want my precious song on the album"). Eagles, of course, wasn't necessarily like this, because when you listen to the Hotel California album, it's obvious that Joe was very much a team player from the very start and interested in the songs.

    But I feel that sometimes these leaders are treated unfairly in discussions about the bands. It's easier to be a nice guy when you don't have to stress about what's the best move for the band next etc. It is possible that there were times when Glenn, as the founder/leader of the band, felt this kind of stress and was sometimes in a bad mood also because of this. In his book Don talks about what went on in his head in any given situation ("I wondered if I still had his phone number so I could ask if there's anything I could do"), but Glenn is judged only by his behavior and Don doesn't seem to think that some of Glenn's "difficult behavior" could've been a result of pressure. Glenn was also in a situation where he was trying to keep four egos around him happy and took a step back. This is something Felder has never discussed. Well, actually he has mentioned it, but he said that the reason for it was that Henley was so great that Glenn had to step back.

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    Default Re: Don Felder in the Press/Blogs/etc.

    I thought that Don Felder did show some understanding (in his book) of the kind of pressure Glenn was under during the late seventies and how it contributed to the bad behaviour. However, this is probably with the benefit of hindsight, maturity and years of therapy himself.

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    Default Re: Don Felder in the Press/Blogs/etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by UndertheWire View Post
    I thought that Don Felder did show some understanding (in his book) of the kind of pressure Glenn was under during the late seventies and how it contributed to the bad behaviour. However, this is probably with the benefit of hindsight, maturity and years of therapy himself.
    You're probably right. Maybe he did, but I just don't remember it.

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    Default Re: Don Felder in the Press/Blogs/etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by chaim View Post
    This is always a difficult issue. It seems to me that often in a band there's a leader (or two) who has to keep his eye on the big picture while the others are interested only in their own little contributions ("I want my precious song on the album"). Eagles, of course, wasn't necessarily like this, because when you listen to the Hotel California album, it's obvious that Joe was very much a team player from the very start and interested in the songs.

    But I feel that sometimes these leaders are treated unfairly in discussions about the bands. It's easier to be a nice guy when you don't have to stress about what's the best move for the band next etc. It is possible that there were times when Glenn, as the founder/leader of the band, felt this kind of stress and was sometimes in a bad mood also because of this. In his book Don talks about what went on in his head in any given situation ("I wondered if I still had his phone number so I could ask if there's anything I could do"), but Glenn is judged only by his behavior and Don doesn't seem to think that some of Glenn's "difficult behavior" could've been a result of pressure. Glenn was also in a situation where he was trying to keep four egos around him happy and took a step back. This is something Felder has never discussed. Well, actually he has mentioned it, but he said that the reason for it was that Henley was so great that Glenn had to step back.
    Agreed. He even claims that despite the fact that Glenn willingly stepped back, he secretly resented it. However, I think that in that case, Felder might have been projecting his own resentment at not having a more prominent role in the band onto Glenn. It's not as if Glenn ever SAID he was resentful; that was Felder telling us what he believed Glenn really felt (only Felder stated it as fact rather than the speculation it was). I take any of Felder's "mind-reading" of Glenn's "secret thoughts" with a grain of salt.

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    Default Re: Don Felder in the Press/Blogs/etc.

    I tried something this morning. I know very little about how songs are constructed but it seems to me that Don Felder and Glen Frey would have a very different approach to arranging and I should be able to tell the difference. I listened to a couple of Don's early solo tracks (Heavy Metal and Bad Girls) and a couple of Glenn's (All Those Lies and That Girl) and then I went back to The Long Run album to see which tracks were most similar. I was trying not to pay too much attention to the lyrics or vocal melody, other than the way it fitted in with the underlying music. For Don, it was Those Shoes and for Glenn, I Can't Tell You Why. The styles and the structures are completely different.

    With Those Shoes and Don's solo tracks, it is very layered with the vocal over a heavy beat and guitars. There's a lot going on but it's all happening at the same time. The vocal isn't even that important. I can't think of a single solo track by Glenn that has those characteristics.

    I know that Timothy brought I Can't Tell You Why but the arrangement is similar to those solo tracks from Glenn. As Timothy describes it, it "has a lot of air". Rather than a layering of instruments, the instruments weave in and out, an accent here, a pause there but they are there to support the vocal. Even the guitar solo is melodic and like another vocal. Of course, it could be something that Glenn picked up from someone else, possibly Bill Szymczyk, and took forward into his solo career.

    I'm sorry, I'm not very good at describing this. I don't have the musical vocabulary.

    Bringing this back to Don's interview, I find it easy to believe that Don Felder was the main contributor of the music for Those Shoes and Victim of Love but I'd need a lot of convincing for Sad Café and King of Hollywood.

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