Guest Author - Lizz Shepherd
Don Felder has written an engrossing memoir of his many years as a member of The Eagles. Fans of the group will be interested in the hundreds of little insider tidbits as well as the larger stories that make up this work.
Heaven and Hell: My Life in the Eagles 1974-2001 is a work that sums up not only the many years spent as an Eagle, but of Don Felder's life apart from the band. The crazy days spent on tour with The Eagles are tempered by softer tales of time spent with his wife and children. Yes, he was in one of the biggest rock bands of the era, and yes, he did a lot of things he regretted. Through his book, however, he purges his soul of much of this wrongdoing. He continually conveys his desire to make amends with those around him. He attempts to keep his long-term marriage together despite infidelity and years spent touring away from his wife.
For Hotel California fans, there's a lot of juicy information about how the song came together. According to Don Felder, he wrote the music and convinced the band that the song was worthwhile.
In the end, after a long road of stress, travel, drugs, rock n' roll, Don Felder lost his band and his wife at about the same time. All at once he was fired from the Eagles and his wife divorced him after 27 years of marriage. Faced with both hard knocks, he was poised for a brand new life that he had no idea how to start. One of the first things he did was to sue the Eagles for $50 million.
Overall, the work shows great maturity. Rather than a rock n' roll tale of excess and bragging, Don Felder takes responsibility for the things that went wrong as well as right. He dispenses no ill will against the former bandmates who fired him and then sued him over the release of this book. He has nothing but kind words for the wife who divorced him and got half of it all. If you're an Eagles fan, the book does deliver.
Heaven and Hell is the book Don Henley and Glenn Frey sued to keep from being published. But it's out now, baby, There's no putting the cork back in the bottle.