The Eagles Interview
The Eagles Interview
In London to celebrate and promote the Sundance London premiere and the upcoming DVD release of The History of the Eagles, current band members Glenn Frey, Don Henley, Joe Walsh and Timothy B. Schmit discuss the documentary in detail, as well as their personal experiences in the music industry, their plans for an upcoming world tour and their love and gratitude for the female folk musician that ultimately brought them together, Linda Ronstadt.

In the documentary, there is a lot of focus on your relationships and the tension within those relationships. What lessons did you learn from that time? How do you now manage to ensure that any tensions or difficulties are kept under control?

Glenn Frey

We are a lot more mature. I think we are a lot more accepting of each other. You know, it’s funny, things changed for us in this band once people started having kids and I find that the job I do in the band is the same job I do at home: be consistent, be fair, listen and understand that sometimes it’s just going to be impossible.

Don Henley

Basically, even though we were in our twenties, we were kids then, you know? Men grow up slowly especially in the entertainment industry and so we’ve learned a lot. We have that wonderful thing now called perspective, which we didn’t quite have so much of then and perspective is a wonderful thing. We have more gratitude now for how fortunate we are and, you know, we’ve learned to accept and tolerate one another. Not that we don’t have our differences these days, it just doesn’t become quite so dramatic. There’s more dialogue.

Joe Walsh

At this point, we’ve been through everything a band can go through and so with that all out of the way, the only thing that’s really left to do is play, which is all we wanted to do in the first place.

Timothy B. Schmit

Yeah, we all have families. We’re older. When we get together now, you know, we don’t hang out or live in a big house together or go out to bars. That was a long time ago. So now, we get together and we work really hard. We get together and work. That’s what we do.
How did you all get together for this event? It must be quite something to synchronise your diaries and come over to London for this. Was there anything specific or special about this launch for all or any of you?

Glenn Frey

We have a long history with England and London in particular, because of making our first two and a half records here. We feel comfortable coming over here. We have a terrific fan base and for us, it’s not like there’s going to be another Eagles’ movie coming out next year, you know? So this is like sort of a one-time thing for us and it’s important, so we’re looking towards the future and what we’re going to do this summer. And as we start to prepare for that, this is a good thing for us to all come over here together and talk to you guys, show the film, answer a few questions…

Don Henley

And we have a good relationship with the Sundance Institute and with Mr Redford. We had a very successful premiere in the States at the Sundance film festival and so when they offered, you know… I didn’t even know they were doing a Sundance over here. I mean, this is what, their second year of doing it here? They said they’d like to premiere the film over in England with the Sundance event and so we said, ‘Great, we’ll be there.’ As far as getting here, all these guys came from LA. I was working in Florida and so I came from Miami. I could go into what happened on the flight, but you know… [Laughter]

Joe Walsh

I’m not here yet [Laughter].

Don Henley

We have a great team of people that work with us and they manage to get us where we’re supposed to be. Usually, when we’re supposed to be there.
Joe Walsh talked a lot in the film about alpha-males. Did it make any difference having a woman (Alison Ellwood) directing the film? Did it bring any other sensibilities to it that may not have been there, had it been a male director?

Glenn Frey

We made a great hire. That was the first thing. We knew we wanted to do ‘The History of the Eagles’, but we wanted somebody that was going to make a truly great film for us and we ended up finding a guy named Alex Gibney, who is an Academy Award winning film director, he won the Academy Award for Taxi to the Dark Side about Guantanamo. He was nominated for another Academy Award for The Smartest Guys in the Room on the Enron scandal. I went to New York and I met with him, because I just thought his reel was riveting, and then he became the producer of the project and he in turn introduced Alison into the process as the editor/director.

Essentially, they just unearthed all of this incredible and historical footage on us and we proceeded to doing interviews with them, as they interviewed everybody else. We gave them a long list of people that we thought, you know, we were close to at that time and from there, they just did a terrific job. We didn’t do a lot of, ‘Oh you’ve got to take that out’, or ‘You need to redo this, I have to say that’, there wasn’t a lot of that required because we made a good hire and Alison is a terrific up and coming film director now.

Don Henley

We wanted someone who had not done a lot of band documentaries to avoid the sameness of that. Glenn actually found Alex. He said to our management team, ‘Go and find me somebody who has won a lot of awards and who is doing a lot of documentaries about things other than bands’. And so that’s how that came to be.

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Content updated: 20/01/2019 16:58

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