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Eagles Fan Petitioning For Former Members To Receive Kennedy Center Honors

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Ousted Eagles guitarist Don Felder posted a fan-driven link to convince the Kennedy Center Honors to also induct himself, and fellow former members Randy Meisner and Bernie Leadon in December at the band’s upcoming tribute in Washington, D.C.

Felder posted on his Facebook page: “If anyone hasn’t signed this petition please take a minute and do so. Randy and Bernie should be included in the honor as FOUNDING MEMBERS of The Eagles. Thank you in advance.”

Felder, who joined the Eagles for their 1975 One Of These Nights album, was — along with Don Henley and the late-Glenn Frey — a full partner in the band, but was fired in 2001 following monetary disputes with Henley, Frey, and Eagles manager Irving Azoff. The case was settled out of court the following year. In 2006, Felder published his memoir, Heaven And Hell: My Life In The Eagles.

Last year, Henley spoke candidly about the circumstances regarding Felder’s exit, saying, “A lot of people on the outside believe a lot of the bull***in Don Felder’s book and believe Glenn Frey and I are some kind of tyrants. The fact is, we are largely responsible both for the longevity and the success of this band. Because we did it our way, and a lot of people didn’t like that. Felder’s just bitter because he got kicked out of the group so he decided to write a nasty little tell-all, which I think is a really low, cheap shot. I mean, I could write some stuff about him that would make your mustache curl.”

The petition, titled, “Allow Former Eagles Members Don Felder, Bernie Leadon, and Randy Meisner to be Honored Alongside the Current Members of the Band at Kennedy Center Honors”( reads in full:

In the press release for the 2015 Kennedy Center Honors, Chairman David M. Rubinstein said that the Kennedy Center Honors “recognizes the extraordinary and unparalleled talents of individuals whose impact and genius have left an indelible mark on civilization”. He also goes on to say that “Our Honorees represent the voices, soundtracks, and stories of our personal lives and memories”.

The Eagles as a band have contributed greatly to the musical arts as well as American culture. Since their debut in 1971, the band has produced five number one albums, as well as six number one albums, including their best selling and iconic studio album, “Hotel California”. As Mr. Rubinstein mentions in the Kennedy Center Honors press release, the Kennedy Center honors individuals whose unparalleled talents impacted both the arts as well as American Culture.

So to the Eagles (preferably Don Henley), including manager Irving Azoff, as well as the board of directors and staff at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, I ask you this:

The former members of the band have helped make contributions to American Culture by means of their guitar and bass playing. Several songs are well known based upon the vocals, and the guitar and bass playing of Felder, Leadon, and Meisner including “Witchy Woman”, “Hotel California”, “One Of These Nights”, “Take It To the Limit” among many others. Not only do the current members deserve to be honored for their contributions to the band that we all come to know and love, it is fitting and appropriate that the former members of the group deserve the same honor, no matter the bitterness, differences, or angst that the current members have against them. Please consider allowing them to be honored.

Don Felder told us that over a decade after being fired from the Eagles and suing his bandmates and manager, the tensions surrounding all the past and present Eagles seems to have cooled to a comfortable temperature, resulting in the recent critically acclaimed History Of The Eagles documentary: “I think there’s not a lot of bitterness or resentment left in a lot of those relationships in the band. I know they invited Randy Meisner and Bernie Leadon to be part of it as well, so that everyone that had been participating at some point in the career of the Eagles was represented, either in interviews or in existing, older footage. So, I know they tried to include everyone.”

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September 10 – Woodinville, WA – Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery
September 16 – Telluride, CO – Telluride Blues & Brews Festival
September 17, 19 – Aspen, CO – Belly Up Aspen

Photo Courtesy of WEA

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