The Eagles’ Don Henley Reflects On His ‘Complicated Relationship’ With Glenn Frey
Howard Stern Show recently shared a previous interview of The Eagles drummer and co-lead vocalist Don Henley on their Instagram account. During the interview, Henley talked about his longtime friendship with late Eagles icon Glenn Frey and Frey’s contributions to his career.
As you probably know, Don Henley and Glenn Frey decided to form a band in 1971 while they were a backing band for Linda Ronstadt. They became The Eagles’ founders, co-songwriters, and co-lead vocalists. Then they were joined by Bernie Leadon as the guitarist and Randy Meisner as the bassist. The band gained great success and fame with their iconic works.
In addition to the harmony between the Eagles members, Henley and Frey’s collaborations for many songs drew great attention. Henley and Frey were also flatmates and spent a lot of time together while working on their music. During his interview, Henley revealed that he wasn’t brave enough to write his songs in The Eagles’ debut studio album but was encouraged by Glenn Frey for ‘Desperado.’
Don recalled when he first shared ‘Desperado’ with Glenn Frey, saying that he liked it a lot and wanted him to be the song’s lead vocalist. He also stated that Frey helped him become a better songwriter both as his closest friend and bandmate. Henley added that there had been always ups and downs in their friendship but it’s over now. Unfortunately, one year after this interview, Glenn Frey died due to the side effects of acute ulcerative colitis and pneumonia.
Howard Stern Show’s IG post read:
“How Glenn Frey Made Don Henley a Better Songwriter (2015).
Don Henley gives credit to Glenn Frey for making him a better songwriter and tells Howard how the Eagles frontman helped him write ‘Desperado.'”
In Henley’s words, he said:
“One day in 1973, Glenn Frey and I were renting a house up Laurel Canyon. A little house on top of it and one of those houses sit on still. So, when the wind blew, the house moved. It was freaky. We rented a piano, and I put it in. We had already done the first album and did pretty well, but I didn’t have any material on the album. I hadn’t been brave enough to write.
I sat down with Glenn and said that I got this piece of a song that I had been carrying around all these years and wanted to show to you. Also, I wanted to be in the style of Ray Charles when he did that album called ‘Modern Sounds.’ That was the voice in my head.
I showed it to him, and he said ‘This is really good man.’ He was a big part of my becoming a songwriter. Like brothers, we get along very well, and sometimes we don’t. It’s all water under the bridge now. He encouraged me and pushed me to the front and said ‘you’re gonna sing this song because you got the right voice to sing.'”
You can listen to the song below.