Don Henley

July 22, 1947

Don Henley Artistfacts

  • Henley launched his career in 1970 as the drummer in the Texas Rock band Shiloh. He rose to fame as the drummer and vocalist for the Eagles. His solo career has been the most successful of any former Eagles.
  • He released his first solo album in 1982, the same year as Eagles guitarist Glenn Frey's first solo album. Henley's '80s output featured significant contributions from Danny Kortchmar, who was the guitarist on some of the biggest '70s albums for Carole King, Jackson Browne and James Taylor. Kortchmar co-wrote many songs with Henley, including "Dirty Laundry" and "New York Minute."

    Explaining how Henley works, Kortchmar told us: "Once the track is completed, he drives around in his car and listens to it and comes up with lyrical ideas. That's what happened with a lot of the tunes he and I wrote together. The music would come first and then he'd have something to write to, and then he would complete the song."
  • There were eleven years between Henley's third and fourth solo albums. This was due to partly to a long legal dispute between Henley and his record company, Geffen.
  • Henley is co-founder of the Recording Artists Coalition. He has been working recently (along with Hole guitarist Courtney Love, also in a dispute with Geffen Records) to promote musicians' rights so that they aren't trapped in contracts that aren't beneficial to them.
  • He also founded the Walden Woods Project, which preserves historic lands around Walden Pond in Concord, Massachusetts. This place is primarily associated with the writer, Henry David Thoreau. The Project attempts to prevent corporate development on these lands.
  • Henley's 2000 album Inside Job was co-produced with Tom Petty drummer Stan Lynch.
  • His father was a farmer and also owned an auto parts store; his mother was a school teacher. Henley's appreciation of nature started here, helping his father farm, and with frequent fishing trips to Caddo Lake. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Lonnie - Tampa, FL
  • In California, Henley has fought to save the Redwoods and supported clean-water legislation.
  • Henley prefers to write songs in his car. He also likes to wait for inspiration to strike him, rather than force it out. This is one reason why there is so much time between his albums.
  • His albums have featured guest appearances from Melissa Etheridge, Belinda Carlisle, Patty Smyth, and Axl Rose, among others.
  • Don Henley was arrested in 1980 in Los Angeles and charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor when paramedics were called to his home to save a naked 16-year-old girl overdosing on cocaine and Quaaludes. He was fined $2,000 and given two years' probation and ordered into a drug counseling program. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Bertrand - Paris, France
  • Don Henley's mom bought him his first set of drums in 1963 as a reward for blowing up the family's clapped-out washing machine with a cherry bomb.

Comments: 11

  • Ken from Louisville, KyWhen asked about his first reactions to the History Of The Eagles documentary, Henley smiled and said "I've got a lot of explaining to do to my kids". Henley and his wife have teenagers, born well after the Eagles' first incarnation (1972-80).
  • Ken from Louisville, KyAccording to Henley, the 1980 incident happened after a party he had at his LA home. As common in those days the partiers were mostly crashers that Henley didn't know and it got out of hand. Henley and his then-girlfriend decided to go to bed, but let the party continue. He says he was woken up in the morning by the police pounding on his door with a search warrant. They found the drugs and the naked unconscious teenage girl.
  • Ken from Louisville, KyDon Henley was in a late 60's Texas band called Shiloh. Kenny Rogers heard them perform, liked them, and said "If you guys ever get to LA, look me up and I'll produce an album for you on my own label". They took him up on it. They made one album that didn't do much. Another artist on Rogers' label was a duo called "Longbranch Pennywhistle" - Glenn Frey and J.D. Souther. Henley and Frey met at the label's office when both were trying to talk to Rogers about their futures.
  • Ken from Louisville, KyThe Hell Freezes Over album was a result of the ongoing legal dispute between Henley and Geffen. Since the Eagles' record deal with Asylum had long expired, Irving Azoff negotiated a deal that gave the Hell Freezes Over record to Geffen in return for Geffen releasing Henley from his contract.
  • Liz from Point Place, WiI love Don Henley's Voice
  • Mark from La Habra, CaHenley needs to be taken down a peg. Without him the Eagles seem to get along fine including Felder and Frey. A shame such a talented person makes a constant ass of himself that millions of people have to suffer. The truly sad part is is that he refuses any constructive criticism and yet he doesn't hesitate to put someone else down. The bottome line is Henley doesn't even realize he's doing it. He's so far gone he will never get it.
  • Brian from Sacramento, CaI agree with Brady, but John Lennon ended the Beatles. I think Don ranks with John Lennon and Bob Dylan as one of the greatest songwriters of our generation.
  • Rick from Humboldt, IaDon Henley dated Stevie Nicks and got her pregnant in the late 70's. The Fleetwood Mac songs "Sara" and "Goodbye Baby" are about the abortion she regrets.
  • Marlow from Perth, Australiaclassic song "sunset grill" is about a real bar or cafe' not exactly sure but after the song business booooooomed! back in 1985
  • Don from Pittsburgh, PaIMO,Don Henley realeased "End of the Innocence" in 1990 truly one of the best albums by a solo artist in that decade.
  • Brady from Fort Stockton, TxDon's known, not only for his awesome voice and crusading in the musical industry, but also for his arrogance and ego, which many people beleive to be a cause of the eagles' breakup in hte eighties. they got back together in '94 and recorded Hell Freezes Over, but since then, to my knowledge, haven't put out any new albums.
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