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Thread: Felder's "Heaven and Hell" Discussion Thread

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    Administrator sodascouts's Avatar
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    Default Felder's "Heaven and Hell" Discussion Thread

    Here's the place to give your thoughts on Felder's new book Heaven and Hell.

    Always in our hearts, Never forgotten

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    Administrator sodascouts's Avatar
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    Here's some of my overall thoughts:

    I found the rags-to-riches arc interesting. I liked reading about his early career.

    Then we come to the parts about the Eagles. IMHO, Felder's book was (unsurprisingly) unfair to Glenn, and that kept me from enjoying it. I'm not going to pretend that Glenn is some angel and that he never was mean to Felder. I'm sure he was on more than one occasion. But Felder makes him sound like a sadist whose only joy comes from insulting other people to "make himself feel superior." Now, I guess that is his true perception of Glenn's behavior, but I feel fairly sure his illustrations of Glenn's so-called cruelty are exaggerated. As examples he gives nicknames Glenn made up for people that seemed mean, but we weren't there. One of the examples he gives is Glenn calling David Sanborn "Dolphin" because he had a withered hand. Well, Sanborn was hardly a no-name who was forced to take it if Glenn insulted him. Obviously, he wasn't bothered by it too terribly much, yet we're supposed to be? Since it didn't bother Sanborn, it's logical to conclude that it was one of those things that sounds bad in print, but when you hear him say it, it's good-natured... Like all of the guys calling Azoff "Shorty." Guys do that kind of stuff all the time for some reason; I've seen it. Side note: Can any men here explain why so many guys do that? It's always mystified me!

    The same for what Felder describes as Glenn's "cruelty" to his road manager Tommy Nixon. Felder paints Nixon as a pathetic type who was forced to take Glenn's abuse because he couldn't find work elsewhere and thus was "dependent on Glenn for a job and money." That's just ridiculous. I have met Nixon. He doesn't seem to me to be the cringing type who never would stand up for himself, and with being the tour manager for the Eagles on his resume, you can bet he would be able to get a job elsewhere any time he wanted!

    If we want to break it down into chapter discussion, I'll give my thoughts on Chapter One when I have more time.

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    To be brutally honest is there much point in discussing the early 'I was so poor I lived in a cardboard box in the middle of the road' stuff? There isn't that much to say about it.

    I am going to make an overall point though. I think that Felder never accepted that he was a 'second banana'. He could not accept that he was a great guitar player and that was all. He also wanted to be a great singer, great songwriter, great frontman, great businessman and he resented Don and Glenn because they were all those things. And that carried over into his personal life. Susan became a successful businesswoman, and he couldn't deal with that either. I felt sorry for him at times but I'm afraid the self-indulgent whining and 'why me' attitude irritated me.

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    Border Desperado JoeFan's Avatar
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    I've only read bits of the book, but it's easy to see that Frey is the first on Felder's enemies list. I knew they never got on, but I was still surprised that Felder portrayed Frey as being horrible not only to him, but to everyone in his path. Before we dismiss every criticism though we should remember that they were all immersed in drugs, and drugs can worsen the behaviour of even the nicest person.

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    I agree - the drugs had a lot to do with how people behaved (including Felder). I also know that Glenn can be extremely abrasive. I think, however, that these qualities of his have been exaggerated and his more positive qualities completely ignored in this book. It's similar with the 'Don Henley has no sense of humour' stuff. But Felder at leasts accepts Don's talent so he doesn't over-emphasise this.

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    Moderator Brooke's Avatar
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    I agree Felders childhood years aren't really discussion worthy!

    One little tidbit I picked up on so far is that Felder says that he would never have rushed out in the early days of the Eagles (before he, Felder, was a member) and bought one of their albums. He would have spent his money on Fleetwood Mac, Hendrix, or Clapton. But yet, he knew his "best friend" Bernie was in the Eagles and he heard TIE on the radio all the time. Now, if your "best friend" was on the radio and had an album out, wouldn't you buy it? Not much of a best friend there, I say! Hmmmmm......
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    He also says that the Beatles were about 'marketing'. He does not have a clue.

    Another point is that world events, let alone American events, completely passed the man by. He mentions the Cuban missile crisis and Kennedy being shot. And that's it until the O.J. Simpson trial.

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    Administrator sodascouts's Avatar
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    Here's a funny review of the book:

    "Sniping Lingers Long After Bands Split"

    Always in our hearts, Never forgotten

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    That's a pretty accurate reflection on the book! Thanks for posting it, Soda.

    LTL, I hope you don't mind me quoting you over here.

    Quote Originally Posted by luvthelighthouse
    I just wanted to say... I doubt the book would really change my opinion of Glenn. (but I was prepared for some bad stuff) I'm about halfway through it now... and to be honest, I think Don F. is a hack!

    He acts like he was SO casual when he was invited to join the Eagles. WHATEVER! The hack was probably bouncing off the walls to be invited to join an established band that had a major label backing. Also, no matter what he has said, or elluded to about Glenn... to me, it was Glenn just taking charge of the band to make sure they stayed on top. Heck, someone had to.

    I TOTALLY noticed the whole "picture" thing... w/Don and Glenn looking HORRIBLE, like evil demons... while he's all smiley and holding his infant child. He may be able to play guitar... but his "victim of rock-n-roll" stance is SO over the top. I'm almost embarrassed for him that he wrote this... almost, but not quite.
    I completely agree with you about the photos! DF could hardly have chosen worse ones of Don and Glenn.

    Reading the book certainly didn't make me think any the worse of Glenn. It seems that Don F lacks a sense of humour - ok, some of the teasing may have gone too far, but they were young men, high much of the time, and under the pressure to produce and perform great music. The band would never have got far as a complete democracy - as you say, someone had to take charge, and while Don became the predominant songwriter and soloist, Glenn took charge of arranging the music, among other things.

    My overriding impression of Don F from this book is that he was one of those guys who takes on the role of victim, of circumstances, of other people, even deranged fans. The best bits of the book are when he talks about how the music came about, and his encounters with other musicians such as the young Tom Petty. The rest of it seems to be a bit of a wallow in self pity.

    I hope by writing it he feels he has conquered his own demons and can get on with the rest of his life, and leave the other band members to get on with theirs.


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    Administrator sodascouts's Avatar
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    I too agree about the photos - the photo of Don was so bad it didn't even look like him! Little passive-aggressive jab there. In fact, I have a feeling that Felder was often passive-aggressive, especially as Glenn and Don grew more dominant. Guys harp on petty things when they feel helpless about the bigger issues.

    I think there's no doubt he's leaving stuff out that may better explain their behavior, especially Glenn's, and that many times things sound worse in print than they are in "real life." I also think that he's misrepresenting other people's feelings. He should speak for himself and leave off speculating on what the others were thinking.

    That said, I do think Felder really does feel he's been wronged and isn't just saying that to make Glenn look bad. It's a pity he couldn't work it out with them more amicably, but he should've known by then it was Glenn's Way or the Highway when it came to the Eagles.

    I also respect that Glenn took Felder's call in the end like a man, instead of hiding from him. He had the guts to tell Felder that it was over himself, and not just through a lawyer or Irving.

    Always in our hearts, Never forgotten

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