Eagles Feather Their Nest Again
Band's Triumphant Return
Author: Nui Te Koha
Publication: Herald Sun (Melbourne, Australia)
Date: November 15, 2004
Abstract: More comments from the Australian press conference done before the filming of Farewell I.
US 70s band the Eagles began their record-breaking concert run with a triumphant performance at Rod Laver Arena last night.
Their Farewell 1 show is a joyous ride through timeless pop and rock, retold with sincerity and a genuine sense of celebration.
"Well, well, well, we are back in Melbourne," singer-guitarist Glenn Frey told the crowd.
"Welcome to the Eagles' Farewell 1 tour, moving right into Farewell 2, I'm sure, at some point."
The Eagles, which has two of the biggest selling albums of all time, played a hits-packed three hour-plus set.
"We feel like we don't have a lot to prove any more," singer-drummer Don Henley told a media call on Saturday.
"We are not so concerned with our place in the pantheon of rock."
That said, the musicianship and spirit of Farewell 1 puts all competition to shame.
It is a set of light and shade, essential for the show's pace and crafted nuance.
Henley starred early. His stark vocal on Wasted Time was desolate melancholy.
Bassist-singer Timothy B. Schmit gave a sad tenderness to I Can't Tell You Why, arguably one of the Eagles' finest.
Guitarist-singer Glenn Frey debuted a new song, No More Clouds, apparently inspired by UK singer-songwriter David Gray. Frey said he was turned on to Gray by a friend, US golfer Brett Quigley.
"I dug his groove," Frey said on Saturday. "I wanted to write something of that flavour, but it's not a David Gray copy. It's much more country."
It follows Gray's penchant for bittersweet melodies with delectable twists and turns.
Hopefully, the Eagles might adopt Gray's expert blend of folk and electronica in the recorded version.
Guitarist-singer Joe Walsh also debuted One Day At A Time, a song that acknowledges 10 years on the wagon.
"A lot of the guys I ran with didn't make it," Walsh said.
"One Day At A Time is about my life experience, now, and then. It's meant to be a message of hope to anybody that is in trouble," he said.
Live, each player is a revelation. Walsh, particularly.
His life, or former hard living, are a compelling undercurrent in the commentary-parody, Life's Been Good, or the horn-and-harmony collision of In The City.
"It was a 24-hour-a-day, all-consuming runaway beer truck," Frey told the media call of their legendary partying.
Henley : "The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom. We had to do pretty much what we had to do."
Last night's show is the first of three being recorded for a live DVD. US network heavyweights were at Laver to assist with production.
Film crews are shooting Melbourne footage to be included in a US television broadcast of The Eagles' show.
At the weekend, crews followed Walsh into several guitar shops. "We hope to put a little bit of Melbourne in there," Walsh told the Herald Sun.
The feeling is mutual. Last night, and for four remaining nights, Melbourne is soaring with The Eagles.
Farewell 1 is now the frontrunner for concert of the year.
THE Eagles' Farewell 1 tour is a truly five-star operation.
Don Henley, Glenn Frey, Joe Walsh and Timothy B. Schmit travel by private jet, stay in the best hotels and dine at the finest restaurants.
But, away from the spotlight, the band with the biggest-selling album in history becomes the lowest profile.
Asked if it is difficult to maintain an appreciation for the high life, Henley joked: "Well, I sent my eggs back this morning. It doesn't matter where you stay."
Frey said they were all family men who picked their kids up from school.
Frey, who has a two-year-old son, says as soon as he gets home, his wife will hand over their toddler.
"Here! You're back," Frey said, imitating his seemingly frazzled partner. "Hold him."
Henley revealed Schmit's aside to him before they were inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame a couple of years ago.
"He said: 'You know, last night about this time, I was taking out the garbage."
Schmit sees fame and celebrity as science fiction.
The Eagles' Greatest Hits 1971-75 is the biggest selling album in history. Their 1976 record Hotel California is ranked eighth on the same list.
The Eagles will earn between $1.3 million and $1.5 million a show in Australia . But Schmit says the trappings have little to do with their identity.
"Hopefully, we will never take our good fortune for granted."