The Eagles know why the fans turn up: to hear the oldies

Mon Jun 23, 2014 10:30am EDT
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By Jeremy Gaunt

LONDON (Reuters) - When veteran California rock band the Eagles hit the stage in London at the weekend, there was no pretence about why people had come to see them or what the band was expected to do.

It was a case of play the songs we know, dudes, and please don't change anything.

So a lively run-through of "Hotel California", "Tequila Sunrise", "Take it Easy", "Witchy Woman", "Life In The Fast Lane", "Desperado", "Take It To The Limit" and more than three hours of other Eagles standards went down a storm with a packed crowd at the cavernous O2 Arena.

Which is exactly what the band - founded in 1971 and still playing, give or take a 14-year split-up - intended.

"We know why our audience comes," co-founder Don Henley told Reuters. "We are not up there to indulge our musical interests. We are most interested in making the listener happy."

Indeed, the Eagles' current world tour is called "History of the Eagles" and is a rare beast in that it is the concert of the DVD rather than the other way round.

After producing a documentary film about their career - from Southern California country sound to heavier rock band, through burnt-out breakup to reformation - the band's manager suggested that they replicate that evolution on stage.

"(He said) 'It will do more for your career than putting out a new album'," Henley said.   Continued...

Members of the band The Eagles (L - R) Don Henley, Glenn Frey, Joe Walsh and Timothy B. Schmit attend the premiere of the film "History of the Eagles Part One" during Sundance London, at the O2 Arena in London in April 25, 2013  REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth