Bernie Leadon Says The Eagles Became A ‘Don Henley And Glenn Frey Show’ After The Second Album
Former Eagles guitarist Bernie Leadon joined Rock History Book for an interview during which he claimed that The Eagles turned into a Don Henley and Glenn Frey show following the release of their second album, ‘Desperado.’
Bernie Leadon was known as the last original member to join The Eagles, which was formed by Glenn Frey, Don Henley, and Randy Meisner. During his tenure with the band, Leadon contributed to the band greatly by shaping their early sound with his sense of harmony and with country, bluegrass, and acoustic elements.
After the release of their self-titled debut album, The Eagles achieved instant success with their hit singles co-written by Leadon and Henley and highlighted with Leadon’s multi-instrumental talent. However, Leadon’s most prominent role was on the second album of the band, ‘Desperado.’
Released in 1973, ‘Desperado’ had a strong country-rock sound. After the release, the album didn’t achieve the expected success and due to that, The Eagles distanced themselves from the ‘country rock’ label. Besides, Henley and Frey co-wrote most of the album and began to dominate the others in terms of leadership.
As a result of the growing tensions within the band, Leadon quit the Eagles in 1975 by pouring a beer over Frey’s head. In a recent interview by Rock History Book, recalling those days, Leadon stated how the producer Glyn Johns created a balance between the band members during the recording of the first two Eagles albums. However, after the release of ‘Desperados,’ the band parted ways with Johns which eventually caused it to turn into a ‘Don Henley and Glenn Frey show.’
During the conversation, Bernie Leadon said the following:
“I’m glad there are some songs that we’re all credited with writing because that shows we really were a band. I mean, especially around ‘Desperado,’ Glyn Johns was still producing it- Glyn Johns, by the way, was very adamant that Meisner and myself should be pushed forward as well, and it not just turned into the Glenn and Don show immediately which is I think what they wanted.
They were pretty pushy, honestly, but Glyn Johns kind of created the balance that exists on the first two albums. When after he left, the whole dynamic changed. And then pretty soon, Don and Glenn had written all the hits. So, it did become the Don and Glenn show.”
You can watch the full interview below.