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Don Henley Hopes Eagles Documentaries Clear Up ‘Misconceptions’ About the Band

Don Henley
Kevork Djansezian, Getty Images

With the possible exception of Joe Walsh, the guys in the Eagles aren’t exactly known for being talkative, and Don Henley tends to be the most taciturn of all — so the fact that he recently decided to open up to Rolling Stone about the pair of new documentaries delving into the band’s history must mean he really likes the movies.

“There have been a lot of misconceptions about this band and about how we got along or didn’t get along,” explained Henley when asked what the band was trying to get out of the process. “We wanted people to know how hard we worked and how hard we tried.”

There’s also the matter of preserving a musical legacy that — while it still represents one of the top-selling catalogs in rock history — is uncharted territory for a lot of younger listeners, including a few of the band members’ own kids. “From my own personal point of view, it’s a wonderful thing for my kids to have because we all, most of us in the band, became fathers later in life and our kids don’t really understand what happened,” Henley pointed out. “In some respects that’s good, there’s just some things they don’t need to know about. But on the other hand, it’s a wonderful portrait.”

Making the movies was a learning experience for Henley, who talked about reliving his old insecurities while gaining a new sense of accomplishment and perspective. And he thinks the Eagles’ journey might also be instructive for viewers — particularly those who have what he sees as a naive view of the music industry. “You have to be a grownup at some level,” he argued. “You can’t just leave it to the managers and the lawyers, you have to know what you are doing. It’s wonderful just to be very childlike and skip through the daisies and write your little songs and play your little guitar, but there’s a lot more to it than that. It’s a hard-ass business. It’s mean, it’s nasty, it’s dishonest, so we learned a lot about that.”

Next: Top 10 Eagles Songs

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