Customer Reviews for

Heaven and Hell: My Life in the Eagles (1974-2001)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

Positively Liberating!

My son said, ¿Hey Dad! Turn on Howard Stern.¿ I did, and the interview he was having that day with Don Felder cost me $25.00 and a well spent weekend, reading his book. What a story. It¿s not just his story, it¿s all of our stories. All of us who grew up with the E...
My son said, ¿Hey Dad! Turn on Howard Stern.¿ I did, and the interview he was having that day with Don Felder cost me $25.00 and a well spent weekend, reading his book. What a story. It¿s not just his story, it¿s all of our stories. All of us who grew up with the Eagles. All of us who achieved success and all of us who did not. Don Felders story wrapped around his ¿relationship¿ with the ¿Gods¿ is a true testament of how to survive, achieve and ultimately prevail. There has always been something disturbing about The Eagles. Only being able to see what would could as a fan with our faces pressed up against the glass left us only with speculation. Don¿s book served to confirm all of my suspicions about ¿The Gods¿ and I feel better for that as apparently does Don. Don Henley¿s commitment to always being late for appointments confirms his commitment to his perpetual state of arrogance. One need only take a look at the politics of ¿The God¿s¿ to see why they feel that only they should be the arbiters of other peoples success and money. It was good to see Don finally stand up for himself. Now he, unlike those who profited from him obviously likes what he see¿s in the mirror. If I never read another book, I will not feel that I had been cheated.

posted by Anonymous on July 22, 2008

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Most Helpful Critical Review

6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

Hotel Paranoia

Don Henley once said there are three sides to every story: yours, mine, and the cold hard truth. What Don Felder provides in this book is the 'yours.' The book is at times a touching rags-to-riches story of a small town boy who makes it big. It's also a poison pen dagge...
Don Henley once said there are three sides to every story: yours, mine, and the cold hard truth. What Don Felder provides in this book is the 'yours.' The book is at times a touching rags-to-riches story of a small town boy who makes it big. It's also a poison pen dagger aimed directly at Don Henley and Glenn Frey, who he holds responsible for seemingly everything that went wrong in his life. Felder, by his own account, seems to live a miserable existence no matter how much success he achieves. He is miserable in the recording studio, miserable on tour, and miserable at home with his wife and four children. At some point, one really starts to wonder how someone can exist going through life so miserable. He overreacts to seemingly minor situations, such as his youngest son trying pot as a teenager. When Felder discovers this, he is practically ready to drive him to rehab instead of just chalking it up to typical teenage behavior. Felder is also careful in touching on his relationship with the members in the band. However, he fails to realize that what goes around comes around. When his good buddy Bernie Leadon is forced out 'mainly due to Felder's arrival', followed shortly thereafter by bassist Randy Meisner, Felder stands idly by, unwilling to support his friends. Yet when the ax falls on Felder in 2001, he is incredulous that band mates Joe Walsh and Timothy B. Schmit refuse to battle for him. It is Schmit who actually sets Felder straight by telling him what happened in the 1970s is no longer relevant, but a suddenly headstrong Felder refuses to see it that way. The final straw appears to come with the impending release of an Eagles greatest hits compilation in 2000. Once again, Felder is unhappy that Henley and Frey 'whom he refers to as 'The Gods'' make more money. It's at this point when you really wish Felder would grow a spine and just make the decision to just leave the band. Henley and Frey may never win any humanitarian awards, but for Felder to lay all his problems at their feet is simplistic at best and vengeful at worst. After all, they were the ones to give him his big break and they did provide most of the inspiration for this book. The book is at times funny, and Eagles fans will revel in Felder's accounts of life on the road and writing classic hits such as 'Hotel California.' In the end, you can't help but feel for Felder a bit. But at the same time, you can't help but also think that he could have prevented so much of what went wrong by simply standing up for himself. When he was finally able to do so, it was too late.

posted by Anonymous on October 6, 2008

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 15, 2013

    While Don Felder¿s description of his journey to becoming an Eag

    While Don Felder’s description of his journey to becoming an Eagle and the people he met along the way is interesting; overall Felder comes off as a childish self-absorbed whiner out of touch with reality. 
    It is not unreasonable Felder had reservations over the new contracts considering Don Henley and Glenn Frey’s justifications for taking a larger share of the revenue were flimsy and rather dubious.  Although, an important consideration in favor of signing was that Felder understood the new contract allowed him the opportunity to make more money than he had ever made before.
    However fair or unfair the unequal distribution of the bands revenue may have been, those were the cards that had been dealt.  It was time for Felder to put on his big boy pants and make a decision-either sign the contract or quit. He chose neither and tried to re-negotiate.  Hey, if Felder wanted to take a stand on principle that’s great and I applaud that.  However, most people simply submit a counter-offer.  Not Felder.  He opted for the juvenile unprofessional approach-a continuous barrage of complaints and letters from his representatives.  That misguided strategy of relentless nagging and badgering clearly pushed his band mates well beyond the boiling point.  Felder became that annoying buzzing fly always just out of reach of your fly swatter. What employer would not have fired him?
    It is mind-goggling that after being fired Felder said he back-peddled on his demands and then wanted-pleaded-to sign the contracts as is. When advised his request was denied he portrays himself as a victim shocked and hurt no one returns his calls.  Is he kidding?  He stirred up all of that chaos even though he had no intention of standing his ground if things didn’t go his way?  Felder got one thing right-he does suck at poker.  He grossly misplayed his hand and blew his chance to stay in the Eagles and make more money than he had ever made before.
    It seems odd Felder made a point of trying to link his firing from the band with the departures of Bernie Leadon and Randy Meisner; as if they all belong to some former Eagles brotherhood.  I don’t see the connections.  Each left at different times under different circumstances and conditions.  I don’t know why Leadon or Meisner left but it seems their departures had just as much to do with sheer survival from that insane rock-star lifestyle that was killing all of them as it did with whatever disputes were going on. They got out and moved on.  Felder’s firing from the Eagles and subsequent alienation by its members stands alone.
    Any sympathy I had for Felder evaporated once I got to the parts where he shared private conversations of former and current band members-people he referred to as his friends and mentors.  Writing about his own experiences is one thing; repeating statements others said to him in confidence or conversations he overheard is dishonorable.  His stories of scandalous raucous parties appear to be nothing more than thinly veiled attempts to hurt those he seemingly believes have wronged him.  Two things that resonate throughout this book are that Don Felder is his own worst enemy and he is no friend of the Eagles.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 23, 2012

    Eagles. Nah just felder

    My lord don felder you were incedibly lucky and blessed . Now the poison pen...thsnk god you ever knew frey and henley..kind of like complaining about winning the powerball lottery..you were a very good guitar player and brought the band more into rock but where were you when leadon and meisner were forced out..the best american songwriters of the last cetury gave you the guitar slot . They could have picked many others.stop whining grow up

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