The Biggest Reason Don Henley Struggled After The Eagles Disbandment
The Eagles drummer and co-lead vocalist Don Henley has contributed to the band’s success a great deal as he sang the lead vocals on the band’s hits such as ‘Hotel California,’ ‘Best of My Love,’ and ‘Desperado.’ In addition to his applauded vocals, Henley co-wrote most of the band’s best-known songs usually in collaboration with frontman Glenn Frey.
Along with his triumphant tenure with the band, Henley has a solo career that started with the disbandment of the Eagles. While many musicians don’t like admitting to missing their band as well as the perks of being in a band, Henley stated during an interview that he particularly struggled with being the only person who’s responsible for making music.
The Eagles Disbanded In 1980
The Eagles’ disbandment back in 1980 was primarily based on an on-stage feud between two members, Don Felder and Glenn Frey. The two bandmates found themselves in the middle of a dispute when they were to perform a benefit concert supporting California Senator Alan Cranston on July 31, 1980.
However, the band was already tired from recording their previous album entitled ‘The Long Run’ which took longer than it should. During a meet-and-greet on stage before the show, Felder and Frey started a fight in the middle of a conversation with Senator Alan Cranston. As a result, the two threatened to beat each other after the show but kept things together while performing on stage.
Unfortunately, the feud marked the ending of the Eagles after a period during which all the band members had tension. Following the disbandment, every member went their way as solo musicians including Don Henley. While the band got back together in 1994, its members had to make music without each other during 14 years of separation.
Don Henley Reflected On Being A Solo Musician
Following the breakup of the Eagles, Don Henley embarked on a solo career and released his first solo album entitled ‘I Can’t Stand Still‘ which was a reasonable seller. The single ‘Dirty Laundry’ was particularly successful as it reached number 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 and was nominated for a Grammy Award.
His debut solo album was followed by a record named ‘Building the Perfect Beast.‘ Several songs on the album were successful, especially his single ‘The Boys of Summer.’ Henley’s next album named ‘The End of the Innocence‘ was even more successful which brought him Best Male Rock Vocal Performance Grammy Award in 1990.
In an interview in 1990, Don Henley reflected on being a solo musician and admitted that he likes being in a band since he liked to share decisions with other band members. As an artist who works alone, he said that he has to take care of everything which wasn’t something he enjoyed.
Don Henley then continued his words by saying that he was unprepared to be a solo musician. He also shared the reason behind this and stated that he’s not a singer who’s happy with being in the front. Since he didn’t have his bandmates back then, he had to shine on the stage all the time which was contradicting his shy personality.
Henley’s opinions on being a solo artist follows:
“I liked being in a band. I like being in bands. I like people to bounce things off. I like people to share in the decisions. I don’t like everything on my shoulders. I was unprepared to become a solo artist. I was reluctant to be your basic lead vocalist, front guy.
Because I’m not really a demonstrative. I’m not a show-off. I’m actually kind of shy and retiring when it comes to that kind of stuff. I’m a collaborator when it comes to writing songs. So, I had to sort of put my whole life together again and find other people to collaborate with and get used to being out front.”
You can watch the interview below.