The Don Felder Insult and Onstage Confrontation That Glenn Frey Says Ended the Eagles

The Eagles were one of the biggest country-rock bands of their era, and their legacy still lasts today. “Hotel California”, “Take It Easy”, and “Peaceful Easy Feeling” are still rockin’ on the airwaves in the current era. Unfortunately, Eagles as a band were far from “easy”. The Eagles’ breakup was the kind of messy that you’d expect from hard rock bands or too-famous pop outfits. The Eagles broke up in 1980 after two specific members threatened each other in front of an audience during a performance.

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The Rise and Fall of the Eagles

The band was chasing the high of their massive hit Hotel California in 1976. The pressure to keep their careers going resulted in studio sessions dragging on. Their subsequent 1979 album The Long Run ended up being one of their less-stellar albums. When the time came for them to tour to promote the new release, singer Glenn Frey and guitarist Don Felder were cracking under the pressure and at each other’s throats.

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The fateful day occurred on July 31, 1980 in Long Beach. The band played a fundraising show for Senator Alan Cranston. Felder allegedly gave the Senator a less than enthusiastic response to being thanked at a meet-and-greet before the show.

Frey wasn’t happy with how Felder treated the Senator, and the resentment was starting to boil over.

“I felt Don Felder insulted Senator Cranston under his breath, and I confronted him with it,” said Frey. “So now we’re onstage, and Felder looks back at me and says, ‘Only three more songs till I kick your ass, pal.’ And I’m saying, ‘Great. I can’t wait.’”

A confrontation occurred, and it only got worse when the band was on stage in front of a pretty huge crowd.

“We’re out there singing ‘Best of My Love,’ but inside both of us are thinking, ‘As soon as this is over, I’m gonna kill him,” Frey continued. “That was when I knew I had to get out.”

The set was over, and Felder destroyed a guitar backstage before leaving. And with that, The Eagles’ breakup was official—for a while.

The Longevity and Legacy of the Eagles Today

Once the band disbanded, each member launched a solo career and seemed to have left The Eagles in the past. However, after years of asserting that they were done for good, the band got back together in 1993 for a Travis Tritt music video covering “Take It Easy”.

The Hell Freezes Over Tour was announced just weeks later. Unfortunately, Frey and Felder were still not on great terms. Felder was fired in 2001. The band continued without him in the years that followed. Recently, beloved country singer/songwriter Vince Gill and Frey’s son Deacon joined the lineup after Frey passed away in 2016.

The Eagles still live on!

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