The Eagles Songs Don Henley Refused To Sing

Endless fan demand or bad memories it brings back to mind — there are various reasons why an artist doesn’t want to play that one song they made. Writing a song needs inspiration. If that piece is written out of sadness, despair, or grief, it can easily make artists return to that moment. Besides, singing a hit song countless times and still being asked to play it one more time sometimes bores them — the Who’s Roger Daltrey, for instance, hated singing ‘Won’t Get Fooled Again’ live.

The Eagles granted many rock classics to the rock music scene, and they have many hit songs in their catalog. Founding members Glenn Frey and Don Henley’s harmonizing lead vocals helped form the band’s sound. They weren’t just bandmates; they were close friends who worked together to help the Eagles rise to fame. Although the band had nothing but successful music efforts in their career, it seems Don Henley refused to sing some of them due to a Glenn Frey-related reason.

Glenn Frey had a significant role in the Eagless’ success. Apart from sharing the vocals with Don Henley, he played guitar, keyboard, and piano. Sadly, Frey passed away on January 18, 2016, due to complications of rheumatoid arthritis, colitis, and pneumonia. His death was hard to swallow for the Eagles fans, family, friends, and his close friend Don Henley. Don didn’t want to continue as the Eagles unless Deacon Frey, Glenn’s son, rejoined the band to fill in for his father.

Speaking to Montreal Gazette months after Glenn Frey’s passing, Henley revealed that the songs that were extremely emotional to perform on stage were the ones he wrote with Glenn. He mentioned ‘Desperado,’ the first song he wrote with the late musician, and said he dedicated it to him whenever he played it live. According to Don, it was part of the healing process. The singer then admitted he didn’t want to sing any of Glenn’s songs, even if he co-wrote them.

“It gets emotional at the end when I do ‘Desperado’ because that’s the first song that Glenn and I wrote together,” said Don Henley. “So every night, I dedicate it to him. And the crowd gets emotional, and that’s part of the healing process — for them and me. I think they expect it. I won’t sing any of his songs, though. I don’t think that would be quite right, even if I co-wrote them. I’m just not doing it.”

So, ‘Desperado’ is the song that touches Don Henley’s heart most, as it’s the first song he wrote with his late bandmate and friend Glenn Frey. As Don said, he dedicates the song to Glenn every time he sings it during a show. However, the musician refuses to sing Glenn’s songs, even the ones they wrote together because he believes that wouldn’t be the right thing to do.