Danny Kortchmar, who played on definitive albums by James Taylor, Linda Ronstadt and Jackson Browne, wrote this song with Henley. Kortchmar (sometimes listed on the credits with his nickname "Kootch") is a key contributor to Henley's solo work. In our interview with Kortchmar
, he explained that Henley had the title and the idea for the lyrics, and the track came together when Danny came up with a riff on his Farfisa organ. Said Kortchmar: "One night I set it up, ran it into an Echoplex and started banging out that part that you hear on the record. I was up into the wee hours banging away on this thing. That's when I recorded it, and when I played it for Don the next day, I said, 'I think this is 'Dirty Laundry.'' He said, 'Yeah, that's it. Record it and let's go.'"