Don Henley Says The Songs Are The 'Stars' Of The Eagles' Show
Over 40 years after releasing their self-titled debut, Don Henley says the true superstar of the Eagles is the music. Although the group's lineup has changed frequently over the decades, Henley and co-founder Glenn Frey have weathered the personnel problems and managed to always keep the band centered on the music first.
Henley told The Courier-Journal, "The songs are bigger than the band and that's exactly the way it should be. Those songs are now a part of the lives of millions of people, the world over, and it's very gratifying to know that we have somehow touched all those lives. But, as a band -- and as individuals -- we were never all that enthusiastic about the fame aspect, never thought of ourselves as 'rock stars.' We have seldom actively sought the limelight except in terms of the obligatory marketing duties and the concert tours. We go before the public to perform our material and that's it."
He maintains that by focusing on the work, the band has been able to shake off the distractions that have plagued many of their peers over the years: "We long ago made a conscious, deliberate decision to let the songs be the stars. We are the creators of those songs and we are the conduit, the means of expression for them, but we will eventually fade away and the songs will live on."
Henley explained that the 40th anniversary tour is an absolute special occasion for the Eagles and fans alike: "This tour will definitely be different. There will be some stripped-down, intimate, musical moments hearkening back to our very first rehearsals in a shack in the San Fernando Valley. . . There will be some new arrangements of familiar tunes. The sets and the lighting will be all new and the visual aspect of the show is something that we are very excited about."
Don Henley explained to us what it was about the Eagles' music that registered so deeply with their fans: "I think a lot of it has to do with timing. I think these songs came along at a time in people's lives when they were becoming adults, or, y'know, going through a certain period in their life, their lives. And, y'know, there's a cliche about songs being 'the soundtrack' to people's lives and things like that, but I would imagine that there are a lot of different reasons for that and we don't have a clue."
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