At the start of the new documentary The History of the Eagles, famed drummer and singer Don Henley leans back in his chair and flatly states, “It’s something you can’t do forever. This is not a lifetime career.”
That was in 1977 – and 35 years later, it’s safe to say that Mr. Henley has proven himself wrong. One of the biggest acts of the 1970s, the Eagles have sold more than 150 million albums, topped charts, won six Grammys and landed on countless best-ever album and artist lists.
Their hits have been enormous and many, among them Hotel California, New Kid In Town, Take It To The Limit, Peaceful Easy Feeling, One Of These Nights, Lyin’ Eyes and Take It Easy.
The bitter acrimony between members was almost as legendary, culminating at a 1980 show in Long Beach, Calif. – later dubbed “Long Night at Wrong Beach” – where two bandmates spent much of the show talking about how they were going to beat each other to a pulp afterwards.
Those hatchets have long since been buried, and now the band – which includes Mr. Henley, Glenn Frey, Bernie Leadon, Joe Walsh and Timothy B. Schmit – is back on the road to coincide with the release of the two-part film, which documents the band’s rise, their tangles with each other and with substance abuse, their breakup and their eventual reunion. The concerts also feature hits from the various band members’ solo catalogues.
“I think we can maintain this for a few more years. I don’t see why not. Other people like the Rolling Stones and the Who and Led Zeppelin have done it,” prophesied Mr. Henley in that 1977 interview, when he was just 30 years old. “Groups last longer than they used to, you know.”
The Eagles play Rogers Arena Friday and Saturday (ticketmaster.ca).