The Eagles over Sundance London

Guest Post by Toby Rose
The Sundance Festival had a big highlight for Robert Redford and that came in the form of a part in a Sundance director’s movie. Surprisingly the veteran heartthrob had never been invited to put his acting skills in form of the camera of one of the directors that his indie festival champions. J. C. Chandor has righted that glaring wrong by casting Mr Sundance in his forthcoming film `All Is Lost`.

A special moment at the festival was a Nokia hook up with the Sundance team to produce a series of 6 short films which showed the underbelly of the underground of the music scene of six American cities: coast to coast from Brooklyn to Portland. It was edgy and youthful stuff and it introduced the audience to a buzzing New Orleans scene called ‘bounce’. It was a refreshing, behind the scenes look at a thriving and varied set of music scenes specific to each city.

Though his tardy casting in the film of a Sundance alumni was a monumental moment for Mr Redford the arrival of The Eagles with their biopic `History of the Eagles` was surely a major festival highlight.

After many line-up changes originals Don Henley and Glen Frey came to London flanked by Timothy B. Schmidt and Joe Walsh. The AOR legends – Adult Orientated Rock – spoke about their inspirations and remaining aspirations. Given their Greatest Hits album was the biggest selling album of the twentieth century these are guys left with no slot to prove. These were the guys who brought us Take it to the Limit, Desperado and the seven minute chart topper Hotel California.


The documentary told of the jubilations and tribulations of a band, which hit the heights, the bottle and the drugs.

True grit guitar hero Joe Walsh hit the most poignant note in the rock legend press conference. “We reached a point when we could do anything we wanted. So we did.” said the legendary guitarist. And the rest of the band said that Joe had to be clean to join them for this potentially valedictory tour. Don confessed that it was not just Joe who had maxed out his credit card of excess.

These veterans rockers reflected on their earlier years when excess was the name of the game. Now proud fathers they credited family as their new passion in life as they prepare to set out on another stadium tour. And as Don said ‘it may be our last’. There was no sense of swan song here as there is plenty of gas left in the tank as they prepare to kick of a series of gigs in the States. In answer to a question from a Norwegian journalist Europe will be part of their routing which takes them round the world well into next year.

And they now are about to limber up for the gigs ahead.

“We have to get into ‘concert shape’ when we have to pay every day.” says Glen.

And then, with a hint of mock menace, family man Don shoots Joe Walsh a look and says. “My son can play now play the guitar solo on Hotel California. So watch out!”

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