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DON HENLEY ON BERNIE LEADON: 'IT'S LIKE HE NEVER LEFT'

9/30/2013

One of the highlights of the Eagles' current 40th Anniversary Tour is the return of legendary co-founder Bernie Leadon. Leadon's appearance marks the first time since 1975 that he's performed on the road with the band -- and the first time officially sharing guitar duties with his replacement, Joe Walsh. Don Henley spoke to MSN.com about having Leadon back playing with the group on their earlier material during the show, explaining, "Bernie's return has gone very well. It took a couple of weeks to sort out harmonies, guitar parts, volume levels, etc., but once it all came together it was like he never left. Bernie is a very accomplished musician and he's an important part of the band's history. It's also good to have another harmony voice in the stack. We're all getting along just fine, thank you."

 

He was asked about what influence the band's two producers Glyn Johns and Bill Szymczyk (pronounced: Sizz-Mick) had on the Eagles' music: "We learned a lot from both of them. They each had very different styles, personally and professionally, but there was value in all of it. Like so many things, that has become more apparent in hindsight. Szymczyk was at the helm during the mega-platinum years and we put in some long hours with him, down in Miami."

  • Henley's quick to point out that the magic of the band's studio work didn't end with the band and the men behind the boards, explaining, " . . .There were also several second engineers and tape operators (this was before digital) who burned the midnight oil with us. Our success involved a great many people who went above and beyond the call of duty."
  • Bernie Leadon, who was by far the most professionally experience member of the Eagles' co-founders, remembers being impressed early on by Don Henley's songwriting talents: "When the band started, Henley wasn't really writing. So, he only co-wrote one song on the first album -- that was 'Witchy Woman' with me. And then the second album he comes out with this full-blown, masterpiece song 'Desperado.' Now, how could he do that? I don't know, except the fact that he was an English major, so he understood storytelling, he understood language. (Laughs) He pulled that out of a dark and hidden place."

  • The Eagles tour dates (subject to change):
    October 4 - Lincoln, NE - Pinnacle Bank Arena
    October 5 - Denver, CO - Pepsi Center
    October 7 - Wichita, KS - Intrust Bank Arena
    October 9 - Tulsa, OK - BOK Center
    October 11, 12 - Dallas, TX - American Airlines Center
    October 14 - Memphis, TN - FedExForum
    October 16 - Nashville, TN - Bridgestone Arena
    October 18 - Indianapolis, IN - Bankers Life Fieldhouse
    October 19 - Rosemont, IL - Allstate Arena
    October 21 - Moline, IL - I Wireless Center
    October 23 - Kansas City, MO - Sprint Center
    October 24 - St. Louis, MO - Scottrade Center
    November 4 - Montreal, QC - Bell Centre
    November 6 - Toronto, ON - Air Canada Centre
    November 8, 9, 11 - New York, NY - Madison Square Garden Arena
    November 13 - Knoxville, TN - Thompson-Boling Arena
    November 15 - Charlotte, NC - Time Warner Cable Arena
    November 16 - Greensboro, NC - Greensboro Coliseum
    November 18 - Birmingham, AL - BJCC Arena
    November 20 - Tampa, FL - Tampa Bay Times Forum
    November 22 - Miami, FL - AmericanAirlines Arena
    November 23 - Orlando, FL - Amway Center
    January 15, 17, 18 - Inglewood, CA - The Forum

SIDE NOTES

  • The Eagles' 40th Anniversary Tour will carry on into 2014, with the band set to open the newly revamped Forum in Los Angeles over three nights in January.
  • There's no word yet on whether the new year will first bring another North American leg, or as hinted, a European and Australasian run.

FAST FACTS

  • During Bernie Leadon's time with the Eagles he co-wrote a total of 11 songs, including the band's first Top Ten hit, 1972's "Witchy Woman."
  • He played a pivotal role in developing the band's country-rock sound, but had tired of the group's non-stop grind of studio work followed by endless months of touring -- not to mention bandmates Don Henley and Glenn Frey's growing songwriting monopoly on the Eagles' albums.
  • Prior to joining the band, Leadon was the lead guitarist for the Flying Burrito Brothers alongside former Byrds Gram Parsons, Chris Hillman, and Michael Clarke.

CHECK IT OUT: The Eagles -- with Bernie Leadon -- on July 16th, 2013 performing "Witchy Woman" live in Philly:

Bernie Leadon On Den Henley Writing 'Desperado'


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