Home » Don Felder Reacts to Don Henley Revealing His ‘Divide and Conquer’ Strategy

Don Felder Reacts to Don Henley Revealing His ‘Divide and Conquer’ Strategy

Former Eagles member Don Felder found himself entangled in a prolonged and intricate dispute over finances and control within the band. Departing in 2001, he confronted significant financial and legal challenges regarding the handling of the band’s money and decisions, particularly with Don Henley and Glenn Frey. Despite a lawsuit settlement aimed at maintaining confidentiality, Felder continued to voice his perspective.

While bound by the terms of the settlement, the musician refrained from openly discussing the lawsuit’s specifics. Nevertheless, he penned a book titled ‘Heaven and Hell: My Life in The Eagles (1974-2001),’ shedding light on his time with the band. In a 2008 interview with Westword, he delved into the details.

Responding to Henley’s Allegations

When questioned about Henley’s assertion that Felder aimed to undermine Henley and Frey’s leadership in the Eagles by influencing other members like Joe Walsh and Timothy B. Schmit, and whether this accusation bothered him, the rocker responded:

“It’s not frustrating; it’s just not accurate. I never contested control of the band. Essentially, all I did was start asking questions. There’s an old adage in Hollywood among managers: ‘Pay your acts enough money that they don’t ask questions.’ And I started asking questions. Not only was I a one-third owner of Eagles, Ltd., and I’d been somewhat fiscally illiterate about the handling of funds and contracts and negotiations and all that—I just stayed out of it.”

He continued to elaborate on the significant shifts he observed in the band’s dynamics in the 1990s: “But in the ’90s, when we resumed, and Don and Glenn literally seized power, and through greed and power just kind of started taking control of the whole thing, making all the decisions without even consulting or a phone call or what used to be a band meeting. None of that took place. And we’d go out and do a bunch of shows, and I’d get a check, and that was it.”

Striving for Clarity in Band Matters

Felder then reflected on Henley and Frey’s response to his inquiries: “I had no idea what was going on, which charities we were supporting, or anything of the sort. So, I began asking questions, not just as a one-third owner of the band—Don Henley, Glenn Frey, and myself were the trio who owned the band—but also as a shareholder and stockholder in a multimillion-dollar company. I had the legal right and grounds to seek answers to these questions, and they became quite intimidated.” The guitarist also detailed how his attempts to gain clarity on the financial matters eventually led to his dismissal:

“I essentially got blindsided with the information being withheld, and when my lawyer finally sent letters requesting the information they had promised to provide, the response I received was, ‘You’re fired.’ So, I wouldn’t really characterize it as me trying to take control of the band. I was simply trying to get answers about where all the money was going. My question back to them today is, if you have nothing to hide, why hide everything?”

Henley and Frey continued with the Eagles until Frey’s passing in 2016. The band continued to tour with other members, but the relationship between Felder and the remaining Eagles did not publicly improve. In a 2013 interview with Illinois Entertainer, Felder expressed his willingness to reunite with the band under one condition: they would need to extend an offer of friendship or peace first.

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