With the first iconic strum of the guitar on their first hit “Take It Easy,” the Eagles set a new direction for the country-rock-infused California sound.
Rik Forgo, an author based in Pasadena, spent the last two years compiling information, interviewing and building a micro-history of the group’s origin story.
The Eagles drew their inspirations from the Beatles, Elvis Presley, the Byrds, Buffalo Springfield, the Flying Burrito Brothers and other country-rock artists who set the tone for music in the late 1960s and early 1970s, including Rock and Roll Hall of Famers Linda Ronstadt and Jackson Browne.
In the band members’ first nine years together, they scored gold records for every album they released and delivered songs that changed the musical landscape. Their thought-provoking, intimate lyrics were matched by precision instrumentation that sounded as good live as in the studio. Legions of fans built around them.
But where did they come from? With the new book release, “Eagles: Before The Band,” Forgo and publisher Time Passages tell the band’s story and map band members’ individual histories before they became one of the bestselling rock bands in history.
“Eagles: Before The Band” walks Eagles fans through the often hard-scrabble lives of each band member as they searched for musical success in the mid-to-late 1960s. Glenn Frey started in teen clubs around Detroit. Don Henley worked the dive-bar circuit in East Texas. Bernie Leadon and Don Felder played frat parties in Gainesville, Florida. Randy Meisner took his crystal-high vocals to out-of-the-way clubs in the far reaches of Nebraska and Colorado. Timothy B. Schmit worked his way up from local parties to playing in front of huge California crowds. And Joe Walsh dropped the oboe in New Jersey and became a guitar legend in bars across Ohio.
The four founding members were suddenly backing up Linda Ronstadt in a Disneyland concert in 1971. Rock-and-roll history ensued. “Eagles: Before The Band” follows each band member’s inspirations and paths, including groups they started with and albums and singles they released along the way. Fan-friendly details like early reviews, who each member collaborated with, television and movies appearances, and what bands they toured with are chronicled meticulously.
Forgo compiled the band’s story from more than 1,400 cited references and organized them season-by-season so fans could keep pace with each band member in the pilgrimage that led them to the Eagles. Helpful biographies of band members, contributing artists, producers and managers are coupled with insightful analyses of their early works. Together they paint a picture of their evolution as artists and musicians, and how rock music was changed by their journey.
“Eagles: Before The Band” is a unique book in the rock music publishing industry, and it presents the band’s story in a way that fans will love. It is currently available on Amazon and will be in local book stores soon.
Time Passages is an independent book publisher specializing in micro-histories. It is based in Lake Shore. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.