(L-R) Glen Frey, Don Henley and Joe Walsh of the Eagles perform (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images)
(L-R) Glen Frey, Don Henley and Joe Walsh of the Eagles perform (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images)

Last Tuesday my wife and I headed off to Billings to see a concert by “The Eagles.”

Here are a few facts you might not know about one of the most prolific bands of our time.

  • The Eagles formed in Los Angles in 1971. Original members were Glenn Frey, Don Henley, Bernie Leadon, and Randy Meisner.
  • They produced five number one singles, received six Grammies, five American Music Awards, and produced six number one albums.
  • “The Eagles Greatest Hits” (1971-1975) and the album “Hotel California” were two of the top 20 best selling albums in the US.
  • Rolling Stone Magazine ranked Hotel California number 37 on their list of “The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.” Which album was number one? Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
  • Bernie Leadon suggested the name “Eagles” after reading about the Hopis Indian Tribe’s reverence for the eagle. The story says he was with the group and high on peyote and tequila in the Mojave Desert at the time. Sounds like the 70’s.
  • They had the top selling album of the 20th Century “Their Greatest Hits (1971-1975)”.
  • The Eagles are the 5th highest selling music act and highest selling American band in U.S. history. No American band sold more records than the Eagles during the 1970s.
  • Glenn Fry and Don Henley played in the backup band for Linda Ronstadt before leaving with her blessing to start their own group. She suggested they get Bernie Leadon.
  • When Leadon left the band in 1975 Don Felder joined the Eagles and they also added James Gang guitarist Joe Walsh.
  • Eagles Guitarist Don Felder, sent Fry and Henley a music progression on tape that became one of their biggest hits — “Hotel California.”
  • After a 14 year breakup the Eagles reunited in 1994. "For the record, we never broke up, we just took a 14-year vacation", announced Frey at their first live performance in April 1994.
  • Felder was fired from the band in April of 2001 due to differences between he and Glenn Fry. He filed lawsuits for wrongful termination, breach of contract, seeking $50 million in damages. The suit was settled out of court for an undisclosed amount.
  • After four decades, and a 14-year absence they are still going strong. The two leaders, Fry and Henley, are approaching the age of 70.

Some Final Thoughts

Seeing this group in concert is an amazing experience. As a former guitar player and band member it’s tough to keep four or five guys on the same page for 4 months let alone four decades.

And they are musically still amazing. Harmony and musicianship are still remarkable.

If you get the opportunity to see them don’t pass it up. They are an American Treasure.

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