Friday, December 17, 2010

The Eagles: An American Band by Andrew Vaughan

Bonnie's an Eagles fan - music not football. She brought home The Eagles: An American Band by Andrew Vaughan over the weekend, and, having just run out of books, I snatched the oversized book about the country rock band and read its 288 pages within 24 hours. That is not an impressive feat, as the print is well-spaced, and many of the book's pages are filled with pictures. I also had plenty of time while the cold winds blew outside. It was pleasant conjuring southern Californian scenes wrapped in a blanket and sipping hot chocolate.

Though it seems like I have been listening to "Peaceful Easy Feeling" forever, I guess I had never really read much about the Eagles. I knew most of their names, that there had been plenty of booze and drugs, and that they had broken up over personality and artistic differences, but I could not have told you who replaced whom or at what time. I did not know their hometowns, musical origins, or songwriting credits. I did not realize that they had all released solo albums since the breakup, nor how many recording awards they had scored. Of course, that is all in the book.

Author Andrew Vaughan takes a lot of care to tell how the original four Eagles came together, thanks to agent David Geffen, producer John Boylan, and singer Linda Ronstadt - they had all been in her ever-changing band. Vaughan also recounts the history of country-influenced rock, telling the stories of the Byrds, Flying Burrito Brothers, Poco, and other bands that had failed to sell the sound to the American public. Then he details the band's career, album by album and fight by fight. The author ends with an account of the reformed band, a bunch of guys in their sixties who still play well and are again making tons of money.

Bonnie will now be happy that I have finished so she can read about Frey, Henley, and the other men who at one time or another have been called Eagles.

Vaughan, Andrew. The Eagles: An American Band. Sterling, 2010. ISBN 9781402777127.

1 comment:

Dan Trabue said...

I reckon I'm with you in having enjoyed the Eagles for years without ever really knowing much about them, but then, I've never been the type to know much about any of my favorite musicians...

With all the rave reviews coming up with the new True Grit movie, any chance of getting a review of the book?