Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Don Felder

Don Felder
Donald William "Don" Felder (born September 21, 1947; Gainesville, Florida) is an American musician and songwriter, best known for his work as lead guitarist for the Eagles from 1974 to 1980 and again from 1994 to 2001.
Don Felder was first attracted to music after watching Elvis Presley live on The Ed Sullivan Show. He acquired his first guitar when he was around 10, which he has stated he exchanged with a friend at the five-and-dime for a handful of cherry bombs. He was heavily influenced by rock and roll and when he was 15, started his first band, The Continentals, which also had Stephen Stills of Crosby, Stills & Nash fame. Around this time he also met Bernie Leadon, later one of the founding members of the Eagles. He and Bernie both attended Gainesville High School in Gainesville, Florida. Bernie replaced Stills and the band became the Maundy Quintet. In the 1966 Gainesville High School Yearbook the Maundy Quintet is pictured next to another Gainesville High student and his band; Tom Petty and his early band the Epics. Felder gave Tom Petty guitar lessons for a year and a half at a local music shop, and also learned how to play slide guitar from Duane Allman.

After the band broke up, Felder went to New York with a band called Flow, which released only a single jazz album. While in New York, Felder improved his mastery of the guitar and learned various styles.

After Flow broke up, Felder moved to Boston, where he got a job in a recording studio. There, through his friendship with Leadon, he met the rest of the Eagles in 1971, while they were on their first tour. In 1972, Felder moved to California where he was hired as guitar player for a tour by David Blue. He helped Blue put together a tour, during which they opened at a few Crosby and Nash shows in November 1973 and in opening the Roxy Theater in Hollywood, California for Neil Young and the Santa Monica Flyers.– Felder replaced David Lindley (who had fallen ill) in the Crosby Nash band. He would also jam from time to time with the Eagles in their rehearsal space.

In 1974, Felder was called by the Eagles to add slide guitar to their song "Good Day in Hell". The following day he was invited to join the band. The band started moving away from their earlier country rock style, towards rock. On the band's fourth album, One of These Nights, Felder sang lead vocal on the song "Visions", which he co-wrote with Don Henley. Joe Walsh eventually joined the band later that year (1975), after Bernie Leadon quit.

The first album to be released by the Eagles after their makeover was Hotel California, which became a major international bestseller. Felder wrote the music for the album's title track, "Hotel California", and had originally introduced it, as an instrumental demo, to Henley and Frey who initially named it "Mexican Reggae".[3] It would become the band's most successful recording. After the release of Hotel California and the tour that followed, the Eagles found themselves under tremendous pressure to repeat this success. Their next album, 1979's The Long Run, took almost three years to complete. The band broke up in 1980, ostensibly for good.
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