The Cotton Candy History of the Eagles Eagles fans will enjoy this history of the creative process of writing and making music; the headaches and hazards of dealing with producers and record labels; the rifts that arise between band members due to inflated egos and long term substance abuse; and old video footage which includes a few snapshots of the seemingly endless parade of “70’s bush.” The descriptions of the exchange of ideas between band members to blend the right words and music to create enduring hit songs represents some of the best parts of this documentary. The old video footage is entertaining-the hair, the mustaches, the naked girls. The Desperado album footage is great. Those expecting the dark and dirty details of post-concert raucous parties will be disappointed. They show glimpses of their “sex, drugs and rock-n-roll” lifestyle yet leave the racier details up to the viewer’s imagination. That is how it should be. Whatever happened in that warped distorted reality they called “Hotel California” should stay there. The background of the bands initial formation and its early years is fascinating yet incomplete. While it details Henley and Frey’s “road to becoming and Eagle” and their good fortune of meeting and working with Linda Ronstadt , it merely skims over the background and journey of fellow founding members Bernie Leadon and Randy Meisner. Anyone who appreciates the early Eagles understands that Meisner’s vocals and Leadon’s playing style took any song from being good to extraordinary. All four founding members established a foothold for the Eagles in the Rock industry …not just Henley and Frey. The new members that came on board later, Don Felder, Joe Walsh and Timothy B. Schmidt, are equally short changed in that regard. Thankfully fairness did prevail when the Eagles were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. All former and current Eagles were inducted and rightfully received due credit for their contributions to the bands overall success. Not all bands do that. To their credit, they do discuss the rampant abuse of alcohol and drugs that was an inherent part of their day to day lives. However, they use Joe Walsh as a “scapegoat” of sorts to represent the excesses they all willingly overindulged in. The others acknowledge their abuses but downplay the extent, especially Henley. In reality everyone that remained in the Eagles in the mid 70’s took on “life in the fast lane” and “road it for all it was worth.” But by the late 70’s they were no longer “living it up in Hotel California.” They were dying in it. When the band imploded they didn’t walk away, they crawled. For some, “the long road out of Eden” took months and for others it took years. Joe Walsh’s ability to break free after all of those years and stay clean is inspiring. Equally, there is something to be said for knowing when it’s time to take a break and regroup. In that respect Bernie Leadon was the smartest Eagle of them all. Henley makes some valid points concerning the exorbitant amount of money record label owners, such as David Geffen, skimmed off the revenue of the bands they had contracts with. But hey, they signed the contracts right? Interesting that Henley rails against the perceived injustices Geffen heaped upon them yet he and Frey gave their fellow band members the same fleecing when they decided to give themselves a larger share of the bands revenue based on dubious reasons. Now that’s some irony for you.
IF YOU ARE AN EAGLE FAN, YOU WIL ENJOY GOING DOWN MEMORY LANE AGAIN, BUT THE CONCERT ON DISK 3 MAKE THIS DVD WORTH IT. CLEAR PICTURE AND SOUND, THE EAGLES ON THE TOP. I'AM GLAD I HAVE IT