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Don Henley Believes That Bands Are Not Democracies
Friday, June 20, 2014
Don Henley Believes That Bands Are Not Democracies
Don Henley believes that the key to a successful band is understanding that it’s not a democracy. Henley, who, along with the rest of the Eagles are currently on tour in the UK, spoke to Australia's News.com (News.com.au), and explained, "You cannot take four or five creative people who have egos and creative desires and expect them all to see things the same way all the time. There’s going to be resentment and jealousy and fighting about credits and money. There’s an old saying that says it’s amazing to think of how much could be accomplished if no one cared who got the credit."
 
Upon reuniting in 1994, co-founder Glenn Frey insisted that he and Henley receive more money than the rest of the band -- Joe Walsh, Timothy B. Schmit, and Don Felder. It was Felder’s issues with the money situation the led to his firing from the band. Henley, explained: "Glenn has no qualms about talking about that. He feels like we deserve it, because we started this mess. We guided it, we’re the ones who had the connections that got the record deal with David Geffen, we wrote most of the hit songs. We felt like, and we still feel like, we are the leaders of this band. Although we certainly do listen to the opinions of the other guys. We all seem to be able to reach consensus these days and go forward."
 
Although co-founding bassist Randy Meisner is too ill to perform, co-founding guitarist Bernie Leadon is the special guest on the current tour, playing his first Eagles dates since 1975. Henley is thrilled to have him back, saying, "It’s like riding a bike. It took us a few weeks but we got back in the groove quickly with Bernie. It’s great having him around again."
 
When asked about whether there was a consideration about asking Felder to join the extended 40th anniversary tour, Henley said, "I don’t think so. No. I don’t really have too much to say about him. We’re still embroiled in some legal wrangling. I’m not really at liberty to make much comment on him or where we’re at. Overall I think things worked out the way they’re supposed to."
 
He added: "The thing about bands is you have to have leaders in a band. Everybody can’t be on equal footing. It’s like a football team. Somebody’s got to be the quarterback. Somebody’s got to snap the ball, somebody’s got to run with the ball, somebody’s got to block. If people play their positions and play their strengths everything turns out well. The whole is greater than the sum of the parts. We always understood that, some of the other people apparently didn’t understand that."
Don Felder, who’s currently out on the road as a solo act this summer opening for Styx and Foreigner, told us that when the Eagles reunited, rather than risk any dramatic flare-ups within the group, the band’s management created a situation where the Eagles pretty much only ever had to deal with each other onstage: "It was extremely segregated in an attempt to avoid some sort of emotional explosion. But wheat that did, was, I think it caused really a lack of just contact. A lack of being able to hang out, and y’know, chat and have fun and laugh and have a good time. It was all very dramatic and closed." 
 
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