Don Henley Says The Eagles Ignored Gimmicks In Favor Of Quality
Don Henley feels that the Eagles can attribute their success to serving their music first. Henley, who's currently out on the road with the band for its 40th anniversary trek, was asked by MSN why the band's music has aged so well decades after breaking on the scene. Henley explained, "I think there are a number of reasons, including the fact that we never bought into fads or trends. We stuck to classic elements -- country & western, bluegrass, blues, rhythm & blues, soul, rock -- and combined them into our own sound. As I've said many times, we are a musical mutt. We weren't purists, we weren't cutting edge, but we never aspired to be. We were painstaking but not perfectionistic in our songwriting and production values."
He went on to say: "We dealt in universal themes, rather than the insular and the unaccessible. We never let any of the 'cult of fashion' or 'cult of personality' crap overshadow the music. We didn't have any robot masks or giant mouse heads, but for a long time we managed to stay relatively low-profile or incognito as individuals, letting the music do the talking. It was a different world, back then, in terms of media; artists were able to cultivate a little mystique. This was before "celebrity news" became a genre, before so-called 'entertainment media' and tabloid reporting merged and tramped into the field of proctology. We also had demographics on our side, all of us being born near the beginning of the post-World War II baby boom generation.
Henley shed light on how the group's recent critically acclaimed career-spanning documentary, History Of The Eagles Parts 1 & 2, helped shape the band's current road dates: "This tour is obviously a corollary of the documentary and, onstage, we are trying to tell the story of the band in a personal, intimate way. That's hard to do in 20,000-seat arenas. Our previous tours have been geared for arenas -- they've been more or less "greatest hits" type shows and it made sense for Glenn (Frey) to do most of the emceeing, as that has been his traditional role. But, on this tour, which is called, History Of The Eagles Tour, it didn't make sense to have Glenn do all the talking. So, we all chime in. Still, the show is mostly music."
Don Henley remains confident that the Eagles are still performing at the top of their game: "The music is really tight. We've got some really good backup musicians, an incredible horn section, we've really worked on putting a good show together. The show is about three hours long, 30 songs, and it's just very, very polished."
The Eagles tour dates (subject to change):
September 18 - Minneapolis, MN - Target Center
September 20 - Chicago, IL - United Center
September 21 - Auburn Hills, MI - The Palace of Auburn Hills
October 4 - Lincoln, NE - Pinnacle Bank Arena
October 5 - Denver, CO - Pepsi Center
October 7 - Wichita, KS - Intrust Bank Arena
October 9 - Tulsa, OK - BOK Center
October 11, 12 - Dallas, TX - American Airlines Center
October 14 - Memphis, TN - FedExForum
October 16 - Nashville, TN - Bridgestone Arena
October 18 - Indianapolis, IN - Bankers Life Fieldhouse
October 19 - Rosemont, IL - Allstate Arena
October 21 - Moline, IL - I Wireless Center
October 23 - Kansas City, MO - Sprint Center
October 24 - St. Louis, MO - Scottrade Center
November 4 - Montreal, QC - Bell Centre
November 6 - Toronto, ON - Air Canada Centre
November 8, 9, 11 - New York, NY - Madison Square Garden Arena
November 13 - Knoxville, TN - Thompson-Boling Arena
November 15 - Charlotte, NC - Time Warner Cable Arena
November 16 - Greensboro, NC - Greensboro Coliseum
November 18 - Birmingham, AL - BJCC Arena
November 20 - Tampa, FL - Tampa Bay Times Forum
November 22 - Miami, FL - AmericanAirlines Arena
November 23 - Orlando, FL - Amway Center
January 15, 17, 18 - Inglewood, CA - The Forum