- Paperback: 352 pages
- Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (April 1, 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9780470450420
- ISBN-13: 978-0470450420
- ASIN: 0470450428
- Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 865 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #705,111 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Heaven and Hell: My Life in the Eagles (1974-2001) Paperback – April 1, 2009
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"An entertaining tell-all."--Boston Globe
From the Inside Flap
When guitarist Don "Fingers" Felder was invited to join the already platinum-selling Eagles in 1974, he had no idea what sort of rock-and-roll heaven and show-business hell he was about to enter-- -or how hard it would become to tell one from the other. For the next twenty-seven years, Felder found himself deeply involved in a musical career that was musically thrilling, emotionally exhausting, and surprisingly dangerous.
In Heaven and Hell, Felder shares this remarkable journey with a firsthand look at his tempestuous years with the Eagles. Even as he, Don Henley, Glenn Frey, Randy Meisner, Bernie Leadon, and, later, Joe Walsh and Timothy B. Schmit became America's most popular and successful rock band, selling tens of millions of records, Felder reveals that greed, jealousy, and creative differences constantly threatened to tear the Eagles apart.
From one sold-out arena to the next, some members of the Eagles blazed a trail of sex, drugs, and rock-and-roll that became as legendary as their music. Felder explains how the famous E3 (third encore) parties, which began as spontaneous, raucous backstage binges, evolved into highly organized orgies, with roadies recruiting gorgeous women from the audience to be chauffeured to lavish hotel suites, where nothing was off limits.
Even further behind the scenes, he reveals the grim test of wills between Leadon, Felder's friend since his impoverished boyhood in Gainesville, Florida, and the duo of Frey and Henley. Despite Felder's attempts to mediate this conflict, it would not be resolved until a tense meeting that very nearly came to blows, which ended when Leadon stormed out of the room, never to return to the band.
Felder alsooffers a rare glimpse into the creative melting pot that produced such great Eagles hits as "Life in the Fast Lane," "Hotel California," "Victim of Love," and many others. The writing of these songs often involved the entire band, as well as non-band members, such as well-known Eagles collaborator J. D. Souther, Bob Seger, and others. Frequently beginning as a simple guitar lick or a vague idea, these songs took shape through a fascinating process of free association and collaboration, yet, says Felder, even these exciting moments led to friction and bickering.
Filled with hilarious true stories of rock stars on the road, including Felder's first meeting with Keith Richards, who was passed out on a bathroom floor at the time, and Joe Walsh's genius for practical jokes, Heaven and Hell is the book Eagles fans have been waiting for.
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The reason I almost gave it only three stars was for the section of the book dealing with his firing from the Eagles (which in my humble opinion, was the stupidest thing they did, with the possible exception of their collective drug abuse). The reason I upped my rating, besides what I said above, is that I think this was more due to the Publisher more or less "chickening out" that it was that Don himself deliberating left something out of the book. Let me explain. When I read this book, I found this section to be sadly lacking in details of what went on with his firing from Eagles, as far as who, what, where and why. I had heard several times, that the UK edition, for example, was far more detailed in this area, and that the US Publisher was apparently leiry of being sued, so they severely edited this portion of the book, apparently against Don's wishes. I haven't been able to completely verify this, but that's what I heard and read in many places, including a few professional reviews of this book.
At any rate, this part of the book was very "thin" if you will. I keep expecting to get to more details, but then the book was over, and I was left wondering about this part of his story. It just seemed to me that it left out a lot of the story and many details where either sketchy or completely absent. This left me, as a reader, dangling, and wondering exactly went on here, but it never got resolved for me. If, in fact, the Publisher did get cold feet, and deliberately edited this out, they did us readers a great disservice by doing so. That was really the whole reason we bought this book in the first place, was it not?
Other than that, the rest of the book is fabulous and was good read. One way I can tell how much I like or dislike a book, is by how fast I read it. I finished this book in only about 5 or 6 days, and that is reading only in the car while driving to and from work (while my wife drove!), and about 1/2 hour each day over lunch.
If you didn't buy this book when it first came out, and you are any kind of Eagles fan, I do highly recommend it. I would suggest though, that if you can, you give a shot at finding the UK version if you can.