I deliberately tried very hard not to make it a revenge book, says guitarist Don Felder, author of Heaven and Hell: My Life in the Eagles (1974-2001), which hell read from and sign tonight. I wasnt out to hang anybodys head from the highest pole in town. That wasnt the intent. Maybe not, but the two best-known Eagles, Don Henley and Glenn Frey, whom Felder holds responsible for expelling him from the group in 2001, dont come across terribly well. Granted, Felder has high regard for their skills as songwriters and performers especially Henley, whom he calls a brilliant contemporary rock writer. He would have been a fabulous poet if he werent a musician. He was a literary major, and not only that hes gifted with a brilliant voice. But in the years following 1994, Felder began to fear that he was being shortchanged financially, and his inquiries werent welcomed.
Whether it was a question about the crew or the artwork or whatever we were doing, I kind of had a ball-gag shoved in my mouth and a check shoved in my hand, he maintains. They interpreted it as a challenge to their authority, which was not the intent at all for me to do. It was just simply trying to make certain I wasnt getting screwed.
After being dumped, Felder sued the band, settling out of court prior to Heaven and Hells release. Still, he insists that the book was more about personal catharsis than score-settling. I hope I dont sound too negative, he says, because I still have a lot of fond memories.
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Felder drops by the Highlands Ranch Tattered Cover, 9315 Dorchester Street, at 7:30 p.m. The event is free, but Felder will only autograph books, not memorabilia. Get details at 303-470-7050 or www.tatteredcover.com and read a massive Felder Q&A at blogs.westword.com/latestword.
Tue., Aug. 12, 2008