Remember When the Eagles Reunited for Their Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction?
The Eagles have never been a band that welcomed back former members after they departed, but they broke that rule for one night when they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The legendary country-rock pioneers performed a two-song set that included every member from every era of the group during their induction ceremony on Jan. 12, 1998.
The original lineup of the Eagles included singer-guitarist Glenn Frey, drummer and vocalist Don Henley, bassist and singer Randy Meisner and lead guitarist and singer Bernie Leadon. That lineup of the group scored all of the early country-leaning hits including "Take It Easy," "Peaceful, Easy Feeling," "Best of My Love," "Lyin' Eyes" and more. Don Felder joined the group in 1974, adding more of a rock guitar edge, and when Leadon departed the Eagles in 1975, Joe Walsh came in to replace him, helping turn the group toward an even more rock-oriented sound that produced later hits including "Hotel California," "Life in the Fast Lane," "Heartache Tonight" and "The Long Run."
Meisner left the Eagles in 1977, and Timothy B. Schmit came in to replace him, scoring a hit as a writer and singer with "I Can't Tell You Why" in 1979 before the Eagles broke up in 1980.
The 1980 lineup of Frey, Henley, Felder, Walsh and Schmit reunited in 1994 for the Hell Freezes Over Tour, which led to a number of subsequent tours. Guest appearances from previous members were not allowed during those shows, but the members of the band set aside that policy during the 1998 Hall of Fame gig, which featured every member of the group jamming on “Take It Easy” and “Hotel California," representing both the country and rock eras of the band.
"We said, ‘We used to do this with four people, so surely we can do this with seven,'" Leadon recalled to Rolling Stone. “"t just meant that someone was doubling someone else’s part."
The moment of harmony would not last, and that night would represent the last time all of them shared a stage. Felder was fired from the Eagles in 2001, and he responded by filing multiple lawsuits and writing a tell-all book that resulted in his permanent estrangement from the other band members. Leadon rejoined the Eagles for their History of the Eagles Tour, which ran from 2013-2014 and encompassed hits from their entire career. Meisner was invited to take part in that tour, but his declining health would not allow for it.
Those dates would prove to be Frey's final concerts as a member of the Eagles. He died in January of 2016, bringing that era of the Eagles to a close. They have performed in a new lineup that features his son, Deacon, and Vince Gill alongside Henley, Walsh and Schmit since 2017.
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