Don Felder Talks About Collaborating with Don Henley on ‘Hotel California’

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In the eighth season of AXS TV’s acclaimed celebrity sit-down series The Big Interview With Dan Rather, the host was joined by legendary Eagles guitarist Don Felder for an episode that aired on April 29, 2020. The series gives viewers a glimpse into the people behind the personas, as Rather conducts insightful conversations with a different star each week.

In this episode, Felder, born September 21, 1947, talks about listening to the radio while he was in the hospital with polio at age five and how his passion for music began when he was 10 years old.

He also explains to his host what made the Eagles’ “Hotel California” such a significant hit.

“It’s a unique progression of the basic chord progression from the demo that I wrote,” he says, “and Don Henley wrote some brilliant lyrics. Don as a lyricist writes these little postcards… throws you a picture… on a dark desert highway…”

Watch a clip from the interview

The song was released on February 22, 1977, as the second single from the album of the same name, following the earlier release of “New Kid in Town.” Both songs reached #1 on the Hot 100.

“Hotel California” will forever be known for the guitar interplay between Felder and Joe Walsh.

Related: Our exclusive interview with the producer of the Hotel California album

Felder’s most recent solo album was 2019’s American Rock ‘N’ Roll which boasts an impressive guest list of contributors including Sammy Hagar, Peter Frampton, Mick Fleetwood, Bob Weir, Alex Lifeson, and more.

Best Classic Bands Staff

3 Comments so far

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  1. TheDude
    #1 TheDude 5 May, 2020, 14:08

    Always liked Don Felder. Taking the high road talking about his band mates.

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  2. v2787
    #2 v2787 22 February, 2021, 12:28

    I’ve seen Felder perform with his solo band, and I have to say that the Eagles were nuts to fire him. I know they had their personal differences, but my God–Henley really needs to grow up and put that childish grudge behind him. Bringing Felder back into the Eagles would be the right thing to do–but I guess Henley’s gonna be a jerk about this until he dies. It’s very sad.

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    • Dave
      Dave 22 February, 2021, 21:10

      I don’t get why so many people think that Don Felder should be brought back into The Eagles after all the drama that he caused and what people need to understand is that Felder was responsible for his own firing from the band. If you read the Felder blogs/news/press page on the Eagles Online Central forum, you’ll get more proof and burning his bridges with his former bandmates with the lawsuit and the book of his was his fault, not Henley or Frey’s.

      Frey and Henley absolutely deserved more money than the other members, because they were the founders, the main writers and singers and by that time, things had changed.

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