“Almost a half-century later, the Eagles are still prospering. The band recently wrapped up a retrospective History of the Eagles tour, which spanned 146 concerts and grossed $253 million in ticket sales. On a hot, windy day in August, Mr. Henley, 68, seemed relieved that the run was over, as he sat at a picnic table before a platter heaped with cherry tomatoes from his garden. “I’ve been a human jukebox for a long time now,” he said, suggesting that the Eagles might be done touring for good—though that’s been said before. To move forward, he has gone back, using a different setting—his hometown of Linden, Texas, 1,600 miles from Malibu, and 160 miles from his primary home in Dallas—as the musical jumping-off point for his first solo album in 15 years. “Cass County,” due Sept. 25, mixes country and other roots styles, echoing the blend of music that poured through his northeastern corner of the state. […]
In the past you’ve been pretty frank about the insecurities of being a songwriter. Do you still have confidence issues about your work?
No. I’ve pretty much outgrown that, which is another thing that made this album more enjoyable. There’s a paralyzation that occurs when you’re too hard on yourself. The great becomes the enemy of the good. I just decided to lighten up. There’s a magical middle ground that if you hit it, you can write and you can write well. I’m never going to be Paul Simon or Randy Newman, but I’m going to be me and I always aspire to do better work.
You have a two-part documentary out, “History of the Eagles.” What did you cut from the movie, or hesitate to include?
I think the documentary is great, but I didn’t like the process. I’m a very private person. I don’t understand this culture oversharing and putting it all on YouTube or Twitter. We were able to remove most of the cringe-worthy stuff. We didn’t want it to be just another movie about sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll. Joe [Walsh] talked more about addiction in the film than we did, but we were all as bad as him—we just didn’t want to talk about it. I started putting that stuff behind me in the late ‘80s. Took me a few years, but I got there. But the movie had an incredibly positive effect on the old career. As our manager is fond of saying, it did more for our career than putting out a new album would have.
Read the rest of the Don Henley interview by John Jorgensen: Don Henley’s Long Run
A sneak preview into his new album: Don Henley Cass County Official Trailer
Find the album on iTunes here: Don Henley Cass County