The Eagles share story through documentary

By Rose Eclarinal, ABS-CBN Europe News Bureau

Posted at May 06 2013 12:16 PM | Updated as of May 06 2013 08:16 PM


LONDON -- With more than 120 million albums sold worldwide, five No. 1 U.S. singles, six Grammy awards and more than four eventful decades in the music industry, is there anything more that an iconic rock band like The Eagles could wish for?

The band, composed of Glenn Frey, Don Henley, Joe Walsh and Timothy Schmit, still wants to make music but on top of that, they also want to share their story -- from their humble beginnings to their journey to stardom.

A select crew of filmmakers put together a documentary dubbed "History of The Eagles," an intimate look into the history of the band and the legacy of its music. It recently premiered at the Sundance Institute shindig in London.

The documentary is directed by Alison Ellwood and produced by Alex Gibney. It boasts of never-before-seen home videos, archival footage, personal photos, memorabilia, and, amassed by one of the most enduring and world-renown American bands. It is now available on DVD and Blu-Ray.

ABS-CBN Europe was invited to take part in the exclusive Q and A session during the premiere screening of the film where the band answered interesting questions from the media.

On lessons learned as a band member:

Glenn Frey: Things started to change for this band when people started having kids. And I find that the job I do in the band is the same job I do at home: Be consistent, be fair, listen and understand that, sometimes, it’s just gonna be impossible.

Don Henley: Men grow up slowly.. (laughs) If at all, especially men in the entertainment industry. We've learnt a lot. We have that wonderful thing now called perspective, which we didn't have quite so much of then, and perspective is wonderful thing. We have more gratitude for how fortunate we are. And we've learnt to accept and tolerate one another.

On selecting the documentary film crew:

Glenn Frey: I went to New York and I said to him, I just thought his reel was riveting. He became the producer of the project, and he, in turn, introduce Allison into the process as editor/director. Essentially, they just unearthed these incredible historical footage on us and we proceeded to do interviews with them as they interviewed everybody else that people we thought we're close to at that time. They did a terrific job.

Don Henley: We said to our management to go and find me somebody who's won a lot of awards and doing documentaries about things other than bands. And so that's how it came to be.

On coming to London for Sundance:

Glenn Frey: We feel very comfortable coming here. We always have. We have a terrific fan base. And for us, it's not like there's gonna be another Eagles movie coming out next year. This is a one time thing for us, so you know, it's important.

Don Henley: We've had a very successful premiere in the States at the Sundance Film Festival, so when they offered - I didn't even know they we're doing Sundance over here, I think this is their second - so when they offered to premiere it here we said great.

On overcoming obstacles:

Glenn Frey: I feel a little bit more objective than I could have at other times. I was surprised at how many obstacles we had to overcome in the short 9 year period, from 1971 to 1980. It include a change of producers, change of band members, changing managers, changing business managers, changing agents, changing record companies. There was always something standing in our way, challenging us to overcome it, to get beyond it, and I think that's what we're caught up with everyday. It wasn't like we're gonna be a band that gonna last a lifetime. It wasn't anything like that, but we certainly wanted to be a band that was a good band and a band that was respected by its peers.

Don Henley: There were a great many obstacles as Glenn said, and we were learning as we went. We started out knowing very little about the music business, and we learnt some lessons the hard way.

On advice to other bands:

Glenn Frey: I only know what works for me. Every band has its own road to follow. I just know that when things get difficult, it helps to take a couple of deep breaths.

On excessive lifestyle in previous years:

Joe Walsh: When we stopped, I didn't really have a life and I didn't know what to do, and I was sad. So I pretended that we didn't stop and I kept going, and basically I ended up alcoholic and dependent on substances and those things gradually convince you that you can't do anything without them.

Don then came to me in 1993, and said we're thinking about trying it again and we can't really do it without you, and we can't do it unless you're sober. And I was at the bottom right then. I really took it as far as I could go. And that was the reason I've been waiting for all those years.

Don Henley: I think the lesson that we can take from this is that we all survived, we're all alive and well. We've been through the fire, and many people didn't make it both in the States and here in Britain. We've lost a lot of people in the business. But for one reason or another -- good genetics, will power or good fortune or whatever -- we're all fine, and we intend to stay that way, and we're grateful for that.

On lesson from documentary:

Glenn Frey: Part of what this documentary has taught me is I need to be more generous with myself. And you gotta look at yourself and your past, and you have to accept who you are and what you did, and thankful anyone did not get hurt, say you're sorry for the things you did that were wrong, and get on with it. And I feel that we're pretty comfortable with who we are up here now.