The Eagles’ Don Henley calls career and legacy a ‘blessing’ as they perform final ever UK gig

Virgin Radio

9 Jun 2024, 09:24

Don Henley with Joe Walsh and Vince Gill

Credit: Getty

The Eagles frontman Don Henley reflects on their life and career as the legendary band say goodbye to touring in the UK. 

The band, made up of Henley, Joe Walsh, Timothy B. Schmit, with Vince Gill, and Deacon Frey, took up a five-night special UK residency at Manchester’s Co-op Live Arena as part of their The Long Goodbye Tour, billed as their final-ever run of shows. 

The last of those historic gigs happened last night (Saturday 8th June), and Virgin Radio will continue the celebrations with The Long Goodbye Sunday Special with Ben Jones tonight at 7pm, taking a look back at the incredible 50-year career of the Hotel California hit-makers. 



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During Ben’s interview with Don, which took place in 2008, the now 76-year-old vocalist discussed the pressures of being on the road. 

He revealed at the time: “It's difficult to be away from your family. It’s difficult sleeping in a different bed every night. The three hours on stage are very intense. You want to do your best and hope that everybody's on the case every night. There's a lot of pressure, a lot of emotional pressure being in a band, but you know, it's better than working at the petrol station.”

Despite often exhausting experiences of tour, The Eagles have had plenty of performance success, touring throughout their lengthy career, which came to a shock to Don and the gang. 

“It's really a blessing,” Don said after decades in the charts. “We're all extremely grateful. I think Mick Jagger once said he didn't plan to be doing this when he was 30 years old, or 35 years old. And look at him now. He's an inspiration to all of us. 

“We're just extremely thankful that we have this all going on, and we have so many fans at this stage of the game who have stuck with us.”

No matter how long the Long Road might be, it’s not always a smooth journey, which Don and the band experienced first-hand. 

When asked about the relationships within the group, Don confessed: “I think if you talk to any band, from The Who to the Rolling Stones to The Beatles, any band will tell you that it's not easy. There are great difficulties in keeping the relationships healthy. 

“It's the nature of creative people. It's the nature of the beast. When you work so closely and so intimately with other people, particularly in the studio and when you're working on things that are very personal to you. It's also difficult on the road.”

Don also shared his love and appreciation for the UK, and gave an insight into why it was so important for the Eagles to touch down on this side of the Atlantic. 

Explaining the close link the Eagles have to the UK, Don said: “We have ties going back to the beginning of our career in England. We recorded our first two albums in London, and part of the third album was recorded in London with the great English producer, Glyn Johns, and so we have a great fondness for that part of the world and for the people there.”

Listen to Ben Jones in conversation with Don Henley in The Long Goodbye Sunday Special on Virgin Radio UK tonight at 7pm.