The Reason Don Henley Enjoys Not Being The Boss In The Eagles
Don Henley is a multitalented artist who is a singer, songwriter, record producer, guitarist, and founding member of the Eagles. Between 1971 and 1980, when the band broke up, Henley was the drummer and co-lead vocalist of the Eagles. Throughout his career in the band following the reunion in 1994, he has continued to handle these duties. Besides, Henley also sang the lead vocals on several Eagles hits, including the worldwide-known classic ‘Hotel California.’
When the Eagles decided to break up in 1980, Henley embarked on a solo career and released his debut solo album ‘I Can’t Stand Still’ in 1982. He has released five studio albums, two compilation albums, and one live DVD to this day. Apart from his achievements in the Eagles, Henley is a successful solo musician with over 10 million albums sold worldwide, eight top 40 singles, two Grammys, and five MTV VMAs.
Following the death of Glenn Frey on January 18, 2016, the Eagles went on a hiatus. Although Don Henley claimed that they would probably never perform again, the Eagles decided to move on and continued touring with Frey’s son Deacon Frey’s addition in 2017. In a previous interview where Henley talked about Frey’s importance in the band, he admitted that Glenn Frey was the natural leader of the Eagles. As it seems, Henley enjoys not being the boss of the band. Let’s learn the reason why.
Why Does Don Henley Thinks Not Being The Boss Is Great?
Back in 2015, the two close friends, Billy Joel and Don Henley, made an appearance on the show 92nd Street Y where Joel asked Henley some questions. In one of these questions, Joel told the musician that he is also a successful solo artist apart from his career in the Eagles. Moreover, he asked him why he decided to stay with the band under the new circumstances as his own solo material is quite strong.
In response, Henley said that the Eagles are a part of him and recalled the time they went on a hiatus for 14 years between 1980 and 1994. Following that, he stated that getting older and more mature affected their personality, and they got along more easily due to that. Henley then revealed that the band calls the Eagles ‘the mothership,’ and they have all done solo work and returned to the mothership throughout their music career.
Moreover, Henley argued that it’s a nice mixture because, in the Eagles, he is not the boss but one of the bosses. According to the musician, this helps him share the burden, blame, and praise with his bandmates. However, Henley added that he is the boss in his solo career, so he gets all the blame and praise. So, it seems that Henley doesn’t want to bear the burden of being the boss in the Eagles as it’s a challenging responsibility.
During the interview with 92nd Street Y, Billy Joel asked Don Henley the following:
“Your own original material is so strong, and you have had a very successful career as a solo artist. Why did you decide to stay with the Eagles?”
“The Eagles is just a part of me. Glenn and I started that band back in 1971, and we did have a little hiatus. You know, we parted company for 14 years, and then in 1994, we realized that actually there was still a demand for our services. So, we got back together. It hasn’t always been smooth sailing, but as we’ve gotten older, more mature, as we got married and had children — you know, that will have a tempering effect on your personality.
It’s great to have both a solo career and the career with the Eagles. We refer to the Eagles as ‘the mothership,’ and so we can go off and do our solo things and then go back to the mothership. It’s a nice mixture because, in the Eagles, I’m not the boss. I’m one of the bosses. You know, you can share the burden, blame, and praise with your bandmates. But in my solo career, I’m the boss, so I get all the blame and all the praise. It’s a nice back and forth type of thing.”
You can watch the rest of the interview below.