The Eagles still touring 44 years later

Allison Hager

The Eagles are an iconic band. With five number one singles, fourteen Top 40 hits, and four number one albums, the Eagles were among the most successful recording artists in the seventies.

1971 – Already experienced artists Glenn Frey, Don Henley, Randy Meisner, and Bernie Leadon were performing with Linda Ronstadt as her backup band. After a short period of time with the band, the four decided to go out and start their own band called Eagles.

1972 – In 1972, a new and upcoming band with four twenty some year olds released their first album called Eagles. The album was an immediate success. It reached No. 22 on the charts and eventually went platinum. Three singles were released off the album, each reaching the Top 40.

1974 – In the year 1974, guitarist Don Felder was asked by the Eagles to play the slide guitar on a couple of their songs. Shortly after they made the decision to invite him to join the band. He was then a part of Eagles.

1975 – In 1975, guitarist Bernie Leadon left the band. The reason is unclear, but they filled his spot rather quickly. After Leadon left, a spunky, wild, twenty-seven-year-old named Joe Walsh joined the Eagles. Before joining the Eagles, Walsh was in two bands, the James Gang and Barnstorm. The last album for Barnstorm was recorded in 1974. Contributing to the project were the Eagles and Walsh’s producer that was just recently hired by the Eagles. At the end of production, the producer suggested that Walsh join the Eagles. Before they knew, Eagles was now a band of five.

1977 – In 1977, founding member Randy Meisner decided to leave the band. Rumor has it that his departure was mutual, but nothing is set in stone. It is said that he had stage freight and just couldn’t sing the part he needed to. So, it was just best if he left. Following Meissner’s departure, bassist and singer, Timothy B. Schmit joined the Eagles. He initially took Meisner’s spot, but he wasn’t just a replacement. He is/was a good artist.

1972-1976 – For five years in a row, Eagles released a new album every year. Their last album of their five- year streak was Hotel California. Hotel California is one of the band’s bestselling album and probably one of their most recognizable ones, aside from Their Greatest Hits (1971-1975). Hotel California was the Eagles’ first album featuring Joe Walsh and their last album featuring Randy Meisner. Hotel California is ranked 37th in Rolling Stone’s list of “The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.”

1979 – In 1979, they released their first album after Hotel California and Their Greatest Hits album. The Long Run was their next big hit. The Long Run album took three years to make between departures, arrivals, outside projects, and legal entanglements.

1980 – It was the beginning of a new decade, and the Eagles weren’t doing too hot. Glenn Frey and Don Henley were very intense and driven. They wanted it all. The atmosphere just became toxic. One night on stage, Frey and Felder got in a huge fight in front of the crowd. There were threats, smashed guitars, and a fast exit by Felder. The next day some of the eagles got a call telling them that the band had broken up and that was the end of that.

1980-1994 – In the fourteen years Eagles was not a band, the men decided to try their hand at a solo career again. Most were successful, with Don Henley’s being the biggest.

1993-1994 – In 1993, a thirteen track tribute album was released. They took Eagles songs and country stars and merged them. Travis Tritt was scheduled to sing Take It Easy, but refused to do the video unless the Eagles were back together. Everybody laughed and brushed it off because there was no way the band was getting back together. Much to everyone’s surprise the feuding Eagles decided they could put away their differences for one music video. Even though the video wasn’t a big hit, it paved the way for the Eagles to get back together.

1994-1996 – Eagles went on their first tour since being back together and released their first album since 1979.

2001 – In 2001, Don Felder got fed up with Frey and Henley’s ability to be good band leaders. Felder claimed that he got threats from the two if he did not do what they said. He wanted to leave and they wanted him gone so he left the band.

2016 – On January 18, 2016, the one and only Glenn Frey passed away from illness’ after having surgery. He was sixty-seven. He left behind a loving wife and three beautiful children. He was 1/6 of the heart and soul of Eagles. He will be dearly missed.

2016, 2017, 2018 – No one can replace Glenn but, it’s nice to try. Glenn’s son Deacon and country icon Vince Gill replaced Glenn on guitar and vocals. Don Henley, Joe Walsh, Timothy B. Schmit, Deacon Frey, and Vince Gill have done numerous tours for the past 2-3 years, and I don’t think they are stopping anytime soon.

You win some, you lose some, but the music and the heart makes the difference.