Glenn Frey: Eagles Album Saved Band

Steve Kroft Interviews Members Of The Legendary Band

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Over the years, most of the writing has been done by Henley and Frey, but all of them have made their contributions

"We've been through probably every trip a band can go through. And what is left now is working at our craft," Walsh tells Kroft.

By the time legendary guitarist Joe Walsh joined the band in the mid 1970's, the Eagles were already flying in private jets, with more than enough money to indulge all of their appetites, at a time when sex couldn't kill, and getting high was considered expanding your consciousness. Walsh gave them a harder edge -- less country, more rock, and he contributed a guitar riff that seemed to sum up their circumstances.

"We were just setting up to rehearse, you know, we hear this," Frey says, singing a riff. "And we go, 'Hey, that's a song. That's a song. Save that. Save that, man.' So then we actually started jammin' on it."

In some ways, "Life in the Fast Lane" would become their musical epitaph, written at the zenith of their career, part of a rock masterpiece so successful it would lead to their undoing.

"Hotel California," Kroft remarks. "Everybody wants to know what the song means."

"I know, it's so boring," Henley tells Kroft. "It's basically a song about the dark underbelly of the American dream, and about excess in America which is something we knew a lot about."

The album would sell 16 million copies. But the Eagles had already become "prisoners of their own device." Too much money, too much fame, and too many parties.

"We weren't the Stones, but we weren't the Osmonds either, somewhere in between," Frey says.

"Closer to the Stones?" Kroft asks.

"Closer to the Stones than the Osmonds, that's right," Frey agrees.

Asked if they ever got in any trouble, Henley tells Kroft, "Yeah, we've all been in trouble. Everybody in this group has been in trouble."

"Like, 'need a lawyer' kinda trouble?" Kroft asks.

"Yeah, oh, yeah," Henley says.

"Had your picture taken at the police department?" Kroft asks.

"Oh, yeah, yeah. Glenn and I both," Henley says. "We did some stupid things. I mean, I did some incredibly dumb things, you know, but managed to get through it."

After "Hotel California," there would be one more album, "The Long Run," which took nearly three years to produce. By the time it was finished, so were the Eagles.

"It was turmoil in this group from day one. There were disagreements and dramas, and you know once we started to have some success, we were all freaked out about losing it," Henley remembers.

"All we felt was the pressure to do better than 'Hotel California.' And, you know, it ate us up," Frey adds. "And then throw in the fact that we were able to afford and do whatever kind of drugs we wanted. You know, that sort of thing brought out the worst in everybody."

In the summer of 1980, they finally split up, and for 14 years, went their own way. They all had successful solo careers, especially Henley, but nothing like their success with the Eagles. In 1994, sensing they had they money on the table, they agreed to a reunion tour called "Hell Freezes over."