By: Gary Graff
Don Felder was happy to participate in the new "History of the Eagles" documentary about his former band, but he's not a big fan of the finished product.
Felder, who joined the group in 1974 and was dismissed in 2001, tells us that the contributions he and other former members of the band, such as Bernie Leadon and Randy Meisner were given short shrift compared to the attention paid to primary songwriters Glenn Frey and Don Henley:
"Over and all I thought it was OK. I didn't think it was really an accurate documentary. It was more of a Henley/Frey-glorified documentary of their work, literally giving very little credit to all the other people who worked so hard in building that whole kind of history of recordings, including Bernie, Randy, myself, the other things that people brought to it like (producer) Bill Szymczyk. To me it's like a football quarterback who has just won the Super Bowl saying, 'I'm great. I played such a great game, and I did it all' as opposed to realizing it was a large team of a lot of people working together the make it happen."
Felder adds that he felt the three-hour film -- currently airing on Showtime -- glossed over many of the issues and infighting that have marked the Eagles' career. But there were things about it he enjoyed as well:
"Well, you know, obviously it was a pleasure and delight for me to see a lot of the footage I hadn't seen for so many years. I'd forgotten how skinny I was; I was a 29-inch waist, so I guess I've gained a few pounds...It was just fun to look back at those times. The hairstyles I thought were really interesting. I didn't realize I had so much hair in those years. And Henley's fro, kind of the bro-fro that he used to wear. The hairstyles and the look of the 70s, I thought, were just classic."
Felder and the Eagles filed lawsuits against each other after he was kicked out of the band in 2001, which were settled out of court six years later. He published a revealing memoir, "Heaven and Hell: My Life in the Eagles (1974-2001)" in 2006.
Interestingly, Henley has commented that one of the Eagles' former members will be joining the band for its tour dates this year but pointedly said it would not be Felder.
The Eagles' only announced show so far is March 23 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, while Felder is touring to promote 2012's "Road to Forever," his first solo album since 1983.
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