The Eagles member Don Henley described as “Duane Allman and Eric Clapton together”

Don henley

The Eagles are special for a number of reasons, the most well-known of which is their extensive roster. The majority of the band’s most well-known songs are credited to Don Henley, Don Felder, and Glenn Frey. However, a number of other people also contributed to the California-based group’s rise to prominence.

Joe Walsh, the guitarist, is among the most prominent. Before Eagles gained notoriety, the influential Kansan axeman was already well-known for his work with James Gang. His hit song from 1970, “Funk #49,” showcased his guitar and vocal prowess. Later, in 1972, he broke away from the group and started Barnstorm. In 1975, he rejoined the Eagles as a replacement for founding member Bernie Leadon.

Long before it actually happened, it appeared as though Walsh would become an Eagle. Producer Bill Szymczyk, who had previously worked on On the Border and One of These Nights, along with Eagles members Frey, Henley, and Randy Meisner made guest appearances on the last Barnstorm album, 1974’s So What. Moreover, Irving Azoff, who oversaw the Eagles, managed Walsh as well.

Two years before Leadon left, the band would later disclose that they had spoken with Walsh at the start of 1975. The writing was clearly on the wall. The following year, Frey informed Melody Maker that Walsh’s reply to the inquiries about taking Leadon’s place was to give him a call if he ever left. He acknowledged that “it was more or less a matter of time” before they came together. Leadon had been on the road for a lot longer than all of his bandmates. He had previously been a member of the Flying Burrito Brothers.

Walsh, on the other hand, was more than happy to take on a more supporting role in the Eagles since he was sick of being the band’s leader and songwriter. In that same interview, Frey clarified that they had no intention of hiring anyone else save the former James Gang maverick because no one else could, and they were happy with the sonic advantages of being a five-piece rather than going back to being a quartet.

For example, Walsh’s arrival freed Frey to continue playing rhythm guitar while Felder and the new guitarist were complemented by two lead guitarists. The band’s breakthrough song, “Hotel California,” was the title track of their 1976 debut album with Walsh. It would go on to become an iconic anthem.

But it was Don Henley who gave Walsh the real inside scoop on his decision to join the group. Many questioned whether Walsh would blend into the group’s rootsy, soft-rock sound because of his unique hard-rock approach. In actuality, their different styles worked well together. Henley clarified that Walsh and the Eagles got along great on their first tour together. They even covered his compositions like “Funk #49” and “Rocky Mountain Way.”

“He is capable of playing the stuff we do, and we are capable of playing his music,” declared the drummer.

Don Henley compared the effect of Walsh’s hard-rock approach to that of Felder’s more subdued style. He likened the two to “Duane Allman and Eric Clapton” combined. Considering the strength of their individual styles and their collaborative efforts as a duo in Derek and the Dominos, that is quite a compliment. Clapton, on the other hand, has long been considered one of the greatest guitarists of all time.

“Sure, he introduced some harder guitar playing even though he didn’t put it on this album in terms of songwriting,” Henley said in closing. “But I think he and Felder played some killer guitar for us all.” It reminds me of Eric Clapton and Duane Allman together.

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