Why The Eagles’ Don Henley Bought A Tank, Gruff Rhys Explains

In a recent interview with The Guardian, Super Furry Animals frontman Gruff Rhys revealed the story behind selling their tank to Don Henley of The Eagles.

Super Furry Animals initially purchased the tank in 1996 using their promotional budget for the release of ‘If You Don’t Want Me to Destroy You,’ a single from their debut album ‘Fuzzy Logic.’ The tank, painted blue and adorned with the band’s name and song title, was used to make a grand entrance at music festivals and even featured on the single’s cover art.

The Tank’s Journey And Eventual Sale To Henley

When asked what happened to the tank, the musician recalled:

“They were confiscating sound systems after the criminal justice bill [became law], so we put ours in a tank. Tanks are illegal on highways, so we had to pull in favors to park it in fields. When we took it to the [1996] Reading festival on a lorry, we got all these complaints because it was louder than the second stage.”

He continued, explaining the fate of the tank:

“In the end, we sold it to Don Henley from the Eagles, who collects military vehicles. He had no interest in the band and, I think, had the SFA logo repainted in military colors. We were hoping to have a festival on an aircraft carrier and such, but to do that, we needed a platinum‑selling album.”

The Tank’s Impact And Disposal

Despite its initial success in drawing attention, the tank proved to be a challenge to manage. Rhys shared in a 2016 conversation with Vice:

“Our record plugger found a by-law where you could drive armed vehicles around London between four and six in the morning. So he drove the tank to Radio 1 and, parked it outside, and plugged the record. It got A-listed. So, after a summer of taking it around to festivals, we felt we needed to move on. I mean, it was difficult to store. We stored it at a guy from the record company’s brother’s field. It was a bit of a pain, so we put it up for sale.”

On a different note, the singer is getting ready to launch his new solo album, ‘Sadness Sets Me Free,’ on January 26. The album includes the single ‘Celestial Candyfloss’ and features music from pianist Osian Gwynedd, double bass player Huw V Williams, and Flaming Lips’ former drummer Kliph Scurlock.