Classic Rock Corner

Don Felder Surprised at Ex-Eagles Mates' Ill Will Toward Him

When guitarist Don Felder joined the Eagles in 1974, he was seen by many as a sort of bridge member, as the band was morphing from the more countrified lineup with Bernie Leadon and Randy Meisner to the latter, rockier quintet that also included Timothy B. Schmidt and Joe Walsh.

But -- just in case anybody ever thought any differently -- the Eagles were always run by the not-always-so-benevolent dictatorship of co-founders Don Henley and Glenn Frey. And while Felder was in the lineup when "Hell Froze Over" and the band reunited in 1994, he was terminated in 2001 after purportedly questioning the split of the financial pie.

Felder in turn sued for wrongful termination and breach of contract and fiduciary duty (the suit was settled out of court years later), raising Henley and Frey's ire. Felder's no-holds-barred autobiography, Heaven and Hell: My Life in the Eagles (1974-2001) ramped the ill will up even more.

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Bob Ruggiero has been writing about music, books, visual arts and entertainment for the Houston Press since 1997, with an emphasis on classic rock. He used to have an incredible and luxurious mullet in college as well. He is the author of the band biography Slippin’ Out of Darkness: The Story of WAR.
Contact: Bob Ruggiero