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

3.82 of 5 stars 3.82  ·  rating details  ·  578 ratings  ·  91 reviews
A guitarist for the Eagles presents his take on the behind-the-scenes struggles between the band members, revealing the roles played by drugs, studio pressure, and legal disputes in escalating creative and professional discord.
Title: Heaven and Hell
Author: Felder, Don/ Holden, Wendy
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons Inc
Publication Date: 2008/04/21
Number of Pages: 340
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published April 21st 2008 by Wiley (first published October 1st 2007)
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Anthony Taylor
I enjoyed this book from cover to cover. I wasn't expecting that much but was surprised what a good read Felder's account of his time in The Eagles turned out to be. The book is informative and fun from the onset unlike most biographies which really drag when detailing time spent at school, relationships with parents etc the accounts of these times really added to giving a full picture of the man and are relevant to decisions made in later life. I didn't find the book scandal laden, the opposite...more
Justin Matott
Oct 20, 2008 Justin Matott rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: Eagles Fans

It is absolutely delicious, but you don't really want to know what is in it. This "tell all" expose of the hey day of the Eagles is sad in many ways because it let's you in on the "family" bickering that you didn't hear in the music. Such tragedy for such talented people. I am disappointed with the way Felder handles the mysterious question of "What is Hotel California really about?" I don't want it demystified. It was always so intriguing to hear the urban myths a...more
Brendan Delumpa
May 16, 2008 Brendan Delumpa rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: all Eagles fans, and those curious about Felder's departure.
Recommended to Brendan by: No one. I listened to an interview with Don Felder and got the b
Finally, the firing of Don Felder from the Eagles from Don Felder's point of view! But the book is so much more than that, and spends roughly the first third chronicling Don's life from childhood up to the time he joined The Eagles.

It's a raw and open account of a man baring his soul about not only his life with The Eagles, but mixing in his own personal life. What I've found intriguing about this book is Felder's honesty and the matter of fact tone he has taken in writing this. I never got the...more
Bob Mustin
Okay, by now you know I have more than a passing interest in popular music, particularly that since the ‘sixties. And I suppose there’s an element of postmodern voyeurism in the mix as well. But I try to restrict myself to the more interesting and well told tales of such personalities. Don Felder gives us in this book what seems an honest picture of what life is like behind the staged life of rock ‘n’ roll. And if you’ve ever wondered what it takes to get to that level of musical capability, Fel...more
Barry Bridges
My opinion of the Eagles as a band has not changed after reading this book, but my opinion of Don Felder has. I don't expect so much from musicians, just good music. I don't have visions of elevated rock star divinity. I learned a long time ago the stage persona is false and most people with a great stage presence are pretty much a-holes to live with or be around.

Two things that stand out about Don. First, he is working hard to expose everyone else's flaws and doing a very poor job of doing so,...more
I wish I had read this before watching the History of the Eagles documentary. Watching the documentary leads the audience to believe that Glenn Frey and Don Henley are closer associates than are portrayed in the book. Felder's surprising humility comes through most of the pages despite being one of the best-known guitar players on the face of the planet and my personal favorite in the Eagles. The reader gets the feeling that even though he is no longer with the band he would readily play with th...more
It's not often that celebrity autobiographies are this well written. While credit goes to writer Wendy Holden, Felder surely provided the content, tone and some editing.

Anyone who has been in a workplace controlled by a negative alliance knows the dynamic Felder describes. He goes light on it, but the examples given are classic power trips which would certainly be magnified by the drugs, the adulation of the crowds, the money and the pressure to record and perform in front of 40,000 people.

It's a testament to either Don Felder or The Eagles that I blew through this book in 2 days. To Felder's credit he captures the rise/fall/rise/fall of rock stardom with honest reflection. At the same time, The Eagles music was an important part of the soundtrack of my life, and this memoir offered a chance to relive some of those experiences. Funny how I can so clearly recall falling to sleep at 12 years old to Witchy Woman. That was 35 years ago.

This is robust story on many levels. The insight...more
Although I thought this book was poorly written, I really enjoyed learning all about the Eagles. I am listening to their music differently now, and it was a fascinating tale. Don Felder came off sounding pretty whiny at times, though he didn't really get treated as an equal in the band, if this book is telling the truth. But, aside from writing Hotel California (which you will never forget if you read this book; he lets you know numerous times that HE wrote it! In Malibu...there is even a pictur...more
Imagine being stuck with the schoolyard bullies for over 25 years, part of their team but only because you are really good at football and all the while never allowed to forget that fact that you have no say in team decisions, are a lesser part of the team, are mocked and humiliated repeatedly because you occasionally question their behaviour and the organisation of the team, meanwhile the team coach is wholly on their side...sounds like a nightmare, and that is what Don Felder bought into when...more
Hudson Elowsky
Don Felder was a member of the biggest American rock band of all time, the Eagles, from 1974 until 2001. He joined during the recording of the album On the Border and followed them all the way through the 70s, including two of the biggest American albums of all time, Their Greatest Hits 1971-1975 and Hotel California. In 1994, the Eagles reformed after 14 years of being apart and Don Felder remained a member until he was fired, 7 years later.

Felder provided many details all throughout this book....more
This is one of the best autobiographies I have EVER read. I enjoyed the Eagles, but was never a diehard fan. I found the behind the scenes stuff to be VERY interesting. I always felt that Don Henley was an egotistical, selfish, self-absorbed jerk, but had no idea Glenn Frey was as bad (or worse) than Henley was. Thank you, Don Felder for your candidness and your entertaining memoir.
Nora Tripp
I've known since 1987 that Don Henley is a horrible man. I did not know that Glenn Frey is just as bad!
This is a great book until the end. It almost seems like someone else wrote the end? I guess it would be hard to write an end to something that hasn't!
Gregory Barron
Decent book about one mans perspective of a great musical bands rise. I wanted to feel bad for Felder buy so many inconsistencies even in his own story lead me to believe that yes they were assholes along with being great musicians but then again so was he. He downplays his role in drugs and infidelity as much as possible because he was a married man. Yet he goes on to say that he wanted to change his image of a drug fueled sex addict later in the book. The gods probably were bigger assholes but...more
Louie Verile JR.
Only confirms what we all knew... Henley and Frey are douches
Sam Finnegan
Dec 19, 2013 Sam Finnegan rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: anyone who loves rock music, or any music at all for that matter!
Recommended to Sam by: my high-school health teacher, a fellow eagles fan and music lover
As a fan of the eagles, past and present, I loved this book, start to finish. In the beginning of the book, author Don Felder describes his life living in Gainsville, Florida as a child and his earliest pursuits in music, where he was very good friends with another eagle (Bernie Leadon) before the band existed. furthermore he describes his musical and personal journey on his way to California and becoming an Eagle. This portion of the book can at some points be slow because it doesn't involve a...more
This one time, my dad and I were listening to the original album version of "Hotel California," and my dad said, "The impression I'm getting is that these are guys who just loved the hell out of music and got together and played well into the early mornings on occasion."

The impression you'll be left with if you read Heaven and Hell is that Glenn Frey and Don Henley aren't very good, noble or true gentlemen of their word. This may well be the case, but despite the fact that Felder tells his life...more
I've always believed there are three sides to every story--your side, my side and the truth.

Here, long-time Eagles guitarist Don Felder tells his side of 27 years in the the quintessential American band--the Eagles. Brought in for the band's third album, One of These Nights, his job, as he tells it was to help propel the band away from the early country/rock sound and more toward straight rock'n'roll. His friend, and mentor, Bernie Leadon, was a founder of the band.

Felder gives the story of th...more
Tammi Townsley
I started reading this book after watching "The History of the Eagles" as shown on Showtime because of several articles in Billboard and Hollywood Insider that stated Don Felder's view of the documentary was that it was either incorrect or incomplete. He seemed to indicate that his book offered a richer view of the band's history, success and trials/tribulations. Much of the book, when talking directly about the Eagles, was consistent with the documentary with a few notable (and different) recol...more
Pj Walther
Someone once told me that there are three sides to every story. The disputed parties (in the case two) and the undeniable truth. (This was also noted in the book.) With that being said...

I thought this was a very insightful and telling record of the mystic of the Eagles as told by a former member that not only assisted in transforming the band to greatness, but had the courage to stand up to "the Gods" (and a oppertunistic, two-faced manager) of Henley and Frey to demand all he rightfully deserv...more
I thought about giving this 3 stars because it does have a light, enjoyable tone and it's pretty much what you would expect from a book like this, but there were too many pitfalls that really couldn't bring it to level higher than its peers. Others have criticized its "whinyness" and it's hard to stomach given the amount of money Felder made with the Eagles and the oh so tough life traveling around the world in leer jets with constant partying. Felder tries to come off as the "coming up poor" gu...more
Stephen Ridge
Great insight into the quintessential Rock Group of the seventies to present

I was enthralled from the first sentence to the last tear.
a must read for all of us who think the Rocker's existence is a lifetime full of only laughs and champagne and meaningless relationships.
Fielder bares all and gives us real deal without all the pretty window dressings.
I have always been an Eagles fan but now am a Felder fan for life.
in 82' met his Brother in Silicon Valley CA, wish I would have spent more time wit...more
Overall, I enjoyed the book, however one statement Felder makes near the end pretty well says it all ...
"It was widely agreed that my guitar playing had been a cornerstone of the Eagles' success."
Although he may have made significant contributions to the writing (at least of the music) of many of the band's titles, I think his observations on his playing skills are a bit overstated.
I own the DVD of their "Hell Freezes Over" concert and have watched it multiple times. In it, Felder's performance...more
Laura Lynch
The aptly titled book describes guitarist Don Felder’s highs and lows during his tenure with The Eagles.

The author shares a candid look at his youth, personal relationships and his life as an Eagle. Don is honest about his drug use, infidelity and the challenges of being and working in one of the most successful American bands of all times.

The book runs in chronological order and is straightforward in style. It has moments of humor along with insights behind some of The Eagles most well-loved so...more
The Eagles had legendary fights (within the band) but it was all Don Henley & Glenn Frey, according to this account. Don Felder was just a victim.

This book covers more of the writing and recording side of music than most books. It is interesting to read how songs that you have heard for years came together. Contracts and management are also a part of the story.

Kinda funny how the Eagles tried so hard to impress upon fans that they partied harder & had more girls than other bands. "Oh su...more
Bob Varettoni
Well, this was really a fun read, and a nice accompaniment to the Eagles documentary currently making the rounds on cable. I wouldn’t even consider myself an Eagles fan, but I love to read stories about interesting, accomplished lives… and, let’s face it, “Hotel California” IS the American “Stairway to Heaven.” I will say this though… while Mr. Felder is an earnest narrator – and a first-rate and seemingly hard-working guitarist – he does seem to have quite a few First World problems. He effusiv...more
Ian Alexander
Jul 25, 2008 Ian Alexander rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: eagles fans
Recommended to Ian by: Howard Stern radio interview with the author.
I heard Don Felder interviewd on Howard Stern and decided to buy the book. It is an interesting account of a band that I feel was once important and is now not very relevant. I would never have picked this up if Felder wasnt such an interesting and likeable interview on Stern. While not a dissapointment, Felder's story would have been much more captivating if he went into the details of the lawsuit which transpired after he was fired from the band. He just glosses over the subject in the final f...more
A remarkable book! A story well told by an honest and humble man who's basic need was the acceptance of his father from the greatest generation. Having written a song that most all of us know and have heard, Hotel California, he helped to give us music that defined our generation. His incredible lead guitar works appear in every Eagle song ever written. Thank you Don Felder for this true and enduring story that could have never been told without your honest heart and learned wisdom. You have bee...more
I'm not much of an Eagles fan, but what self respecting classic rock fan can resist some inside dirt on this infamously turbulent band? Ironically, I enjoyed the early misadventures of Felder's scrappy pre-Eagles career more than the candid stories about the band during their '70s heyday, and especially those following their reunion. By then, his love/hate relationship with Henley and Frey loses its footing amid the financial windfall driving the endless touring - so much so that his pathetic di...more
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Heaven and Hell Heaven and Hell: My Life as an Eagle Heaven and Hell: My Life as an Eagle Hotel California Heaven and Hell: My Life in the Eagles (1974-2001)

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