Much like the Philadelphia football team of the same name, Don Henley's Eagles will not be playing at the Super Bowl next year. The Eagles turned down an offer to perform at the big game, and since Henley didn't say why, we can only presume either they didn't want to perform in front of a billion people or they didn't relish following up Prince's scorching halftime act from last year (Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers will be doing the honors, instead). Or, perhaps, they have totally different aspirations, like playing Nashville's Grand Ole Opry. "That would be an honor," says Henley. While it probably is an honor, we're talking Super Bowl here. Still, the statement was one of many Henley quotes that showcase how the Eagles' slow slide from rock to country has rapidly accelerated (the fact that their latest album is supposed to be only available in Wal-Mart represents a pretty strong appeal to the heartland; the fact that the double disc has repeatedly beat out Garth Brooks and Carrie Underwood to top Billboard's country chart proves it's working). Other choice quotes: "Certainly, country is one of the last bastions of good songwriting -- and of singing in tune," "As long as we're on the charts. Any chart will do," and "Country music is now akin to what my generation was listening to in the '60s and '70s." So does that make Kenny Chesney Jimi Hendrix? Does Carrie Underwood = Janis Joplin? Henley, we need answers.
• Breaking News: "Exclusive" Wal-Mart Eagles Album Not So Exclusive
• Tom Petty Talks Super Bowl, "Long-Overdue Heartbreakers Record," Corporate Rock: Exclusive
• Don Henley Talks New Eagles LP
To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here
MUSIC 9 Classic Devo Videos
OLYMPICS 18 Epic Opening Ceremonies