When the Eagles last got back together it was 1994, and Don Henley shared his sentiments with the world by naming their live album Hell Freezes Over. Now we’re two short months from a new Eagles album — their first studio release in twenty-eight years — only this time, Henley saw it coming. Performing at one of his West Coast solo dates in Primm, Nevada, on Saturday, the Eagles drummer delivered a powerful two-hour set on guitar, playing some obligatory hits (“Boys of Summer,” “All She Wants to Do Is Dance”) and other unexpected favorites, including an acoustic “The End of the Innocence” and mesmerizing “Hotel California.”
Backstage before the show, Henley also talked openly for the first time about the new Eagles disc (slated to hit stores in October) as they prepare for their only six performances of 2007 — two of which will take place October 18th and 20th at the premiere of the new Nokia Theater L.A. Live. “They say everything in life is a matter of timing,” Henley said. “And the time seems right for us to do this.” Henley explained that other pursuits — including raising their children and working on their solo careers — have kept the Eagles from “doing this” sooner. “I think it’s okay to go away for a while,” he explained. “We’ve had some conflict within the group, and in terms of songwriting and recording, we just didn’t feel like it up until now.”
The disc they will release in October, tentatively titled Long Road Out of Eden, has finally brought the group back to the studio. Recorded over the last few years in an undisclosed L.A. studio, Henley confirmed that the album will be distributed exclusively through Walmart for the first twelve months. “People will be getting value for their money,” Henley said. The band recorded around twenty songs for the effort.
The Eagles, who have had one of the fiercest love/hate relationships in rock & roll, broke up in 1981. (One infamous conflict that led to the split came in 1980; while onstage at a concert in Long Beach, California, Glenn Frey and Don Felder allegedly spent the night threatening to kick each other’s asses backstage.) “It may never be like it was in the past,” Henley said, but he’s proud to be part of “a band who knows when to sit one out — creatively, it was our time to get back in the studio,” he added.