By 1980, the Eagles were the biggest band in America, but their success took a horrible toll on the group. Don Henley and Glenn Frey were intense and driven men, and original members Bernie Leadon and Randy Meisner had already quit because the atmosphere had become toxic. Joe Walsh was often too drunk and stoned to complain about his lack of control by this point, and new bassist Timothy B. Schmit was wisely obedient. But guitarist Don Felder couldn't stand being treated like a second-class citizen.
Tensions flared all throughout the tour in support of 1979's The Long Run, but they got even worse at a 1980 benefit show for Senator Alan Cranston. Felder didn't want the band involved in political causes, and when the senator's wife visited the band backstage, he said, "Nice to meet you . . . I guess." Those last two words sent Glenn Frey into an uncontrollable rage, and onstage that night, the Eagles were actually threatening each other on mic. "That's three more, pal," Frey said. "Get ready." He was actually counting the number of songs remaining before he administered a backstage beatdown. Felder split in his limo before a fight could break out, and it was the last time the band played together for 14 years.