Eagles guitarist Don Felder went a long time between solo albums: his first was released in 1983 and it wasn't until 2012 that he followed it up with Road to Forever
. He says the title track was one he had been working on for a long time.
In a Songfacts interview with Don Felder
, he told the story behind the song: "My father passed away when he was 66 years old. He had worked his whole life, retired at 65, and then the last year of his life he passed away and never got to see my success in the Eagles. I'd just joined the Eagles and was just starting to take off, and he never really got to see the success.
So I started writing this really pretty acoustic song called 'Road to Forever,' about us all showing up on this planet and living our lives, but going down this road that we all know where it goes. And so when I started writing for this record, I had been talking with this producer, Greg Ladanyi. He produced Warren Zevon and Jackson Browne. I think he even did a Don Henley record. A bunch of really great records on his career. For about three months he and I were in talks to produce this record. We'd play golf, listen to my songs, talk about where we would record it, who was going to play on it, when we would start.
And literally about a week before we were due to commence going into the studio on this record, he got on a plane and went to Greece to visit another one of his acts that he was producing who was the Greek Madonna, and had a tragic fall off the back of a stage in this soccer arena, and passed away.
So when we got in the studio, I said, 'I've got this song that I started with my father, who just passed, but I'm going to call all the people in to work on this song that Greg and I had talked about and kind of make it an homage to Greg and my dad.'"