In it for The Long Run
Music fans will witness one of the greatest bands in the history of rock and pop when the Eagles play The Sevens stadium on Thursday night.
With a staggering 120 million-plus album sales worldwide, Glenn Frey, Don Henley and Co have a huge following. From debut single ‘Take It Easy’ through to ‘Desperado’, ‘Hotel California’ and many more, the American rock legends are responsible for some of the most enduring anthems the world over.
Marc Eliot, pictured below, knows the band’s incredible story inside out, from the early days in LA, after writing the book ‘To The Limit: The Untold Story of The Eagles’ which was first published in 1998.
7DAYS caught up with the New Yorker to find out how and why the band are still playing together, just weeks before the 40th anniversary of Take it Easy.
THE WRITE STUFF
Eliot originally wanted to write about the band because ‘it’s a pretty good story’. With one former member, Don Felder, suing the group after being fired and legendary tales of excess and in-band acrimony, there was plenty of great material too. Eliot admits key members of the band and management were against his book originally, including Henley and former manager turned music mogul David Geffen. Ultimately he was able to get all key players to talk despite some sensitive subject matter.
He says: “Really, the Eagles play an important role, a link in the connective tissue of American music history. They are the link between the 60s - of Bob Dylan and the New York folk scene, to the 80s and when Bruce Springsteen brought rock and roll back to the east. I’d written one book about Phil Ochs (cult folk singer) and New York of the 60s, and another about Springsteen. This story was act two, rock and roll’s journey to the west coast.”
The band recorded six classic albums between 1972 and 1979 before pursuing solo careers during a 14-year break. And by calling the reunion tour’s live 1994 album ‘Hell Freezes Over’, in reference to when Henley thought they might reform, the boys certainly showed a sense of humour.
Their tours are huge affairs. But instead of creating problems between band members, it’s a situation they have learned to thrive in, according to Eliot. He explains: “What they do now is each of them have their own projects. And every once in a while they come together and try to ‘conquer’ in their own vernacular, new worlds. So coming to a place like Dubai does two things for them. First it gives them that conquering thing. And it also juices them up because it is a new audience and a brand new place, it rejuvenates them as a band.”
LIFE IN THE FAST LANE
More than 20,000 people are expected to rock out to classics such as ‘Take It To The Limit’ and ‘Life In The Fast Lane’ as well as solo smashes such as Henley’s ‘Boys of Summer’ on Thursday night.
It’s similar anywhere in the world that Henley, Frey, Joe Walsh and Timothy B. Schmit perform together. Eliot explains: “There is no place where the Eagles are strangers. You can hear them in China and Tibet, any place you can get the internet. Rock and roll is people’s music, people want to share in the live experience. They were as big in their heyday as Michael Jackson, and people will go to see them because they have become legendary.
“When it comes to the UK, in the 70s they were to England what the Beatles were to America in the 60s - the big sound coming from the other side of the pond.”