Backstage during Farewell 1 tour
|Birth name||Donald Hugh Henley|
July 22, 1947 |
Gilmer, Texas, United States
|Origin||Linden, Texas, United States|
Regal Tip drumsticks
Gibson Electric and Acoustic Guitars
Donald Hugh "Don" Henley (born July 22, 1947) is an American singer-songwriter, producer, and drummer, best known as a founding member of the Eagles before launching a successful solo career. Henley was the drummer and co-lead vocalist for the Eagles from 1971–1980, when the band broke up, and from 1994–2016, when they reunited. Henley sang the lead vocals on Eagles hits such as "Witchy Woman", "Desperado", "Best of My Love", "One of These Nights", "Hotel California", "Victim of Love", "Life in the Fast Lane", "The Long Run" and "Busy Being Fabulous".
After the Eagles broke up in 1980, Henley pursued a solo career and released his debut album I Can't Stand Still, in 1982. He has released four studio albums, two compilation albums, and one live DVD. His solo hits include "Dirty Laundry", "The Boys of Summer", "All She Wants to Do Is Dance", "The Heart of the Matter", "The Last Worthless Evening", "Sunset Grill", "Not Enough Love in the World", "New York Minute" and "The End of the Innocence".
The Eagles have sold over 150 million albums worldwide, won six Grammy Awards, had five No. 1 singles, 17 Top 40 singles, and six No. 1 albums. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998 and are the biggest selling American band in history. As a solo artist, Henley has sold over 10 million albums worldwide, had eight Top 40 singles, won two Grammy Awards and five MTV Video Music Awards. Combined with the Eagles and as a solo artist, Henley has released 25 Top 40 singles on the Billboard Hot 100. He has also released seven studio albums with the Eagles and four as a solo artist. In 2008, he was ranked as the 87th greatest singer of all time by the Rolling Stone magazine.
Henley has also played a founding role in several environmental and political causes, most notably the Walden Woods Project. Since 1994, he has divided his musical activities between the Eagles and his solo career.
Donald Hugh Henley was born in Gilmer, Texas, and he grew up in the small northeast Texas town of Linden. He is the son of Hughlene (McWhorter) and C. J. Henley. He has Irish, Italian, English and Scottish ancestry. Henley attended Linden-Kildare High School where he initially played football, but due to his relatively small build his coach suggested that he quit, and he joined the high school band instead. He first played the trombone, then in the drum section. He initially attended college at Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas. He then attended North Texas State University (renamed in 1988 as the University of North Texas) in Denton, Texas, from 1967 to 1969. Henley left school to spend time with his father, who was dying from heart and arterial disease.
While still at high school in the mid-1960s, Henley formed a band called the Four Speeds with childhood friends Richard Bowden and Jerry Surratt. The band was later called Felicity, then finally Shiloh after changes in band personnel. In 1970, on the advice of fellow Texan Kenny Rogers, he moved to Los Angeles to record an album with Shiloh, while living at the home of Rogers. Rogers produced the band's self-titled album at Larrabee Studios, and Henley would later credit Rogers with helping him after Shiloh broke up. Shortly thereafter, Henley met Glenn Frey. They both became members of Linda Ronstadt's backup band. Touring with her was the catalyst for forming a group. As a result, they, along with Bernie Leadon and Randy Meisner (both also part of Ronstadt's stable of backing musicians), became their own act, the Eagles.
Tenure with the Eagles
The Eagles were formed in September 1971, and released their first studio album in 1972, which contained the hit song "Take It Easy", written by Frey and Jackson Browne. During the band's run, Henley co-wrote (usually with Frey) most of the band's best-known songs.
Henley sang lead vocals on many of the band's popular songs, including "Desperado", "Witchy Woman", "Best of My Love", "One of These Nights", "Hotel California", "The Long Run", "Life in the Fast Lane" and "Wasted Time". The Eagles won numerous Grammy Awards during the 1970s and became one of the world's most successful rock bands of all time. They are also among the top 5 overall best-selling bands of all time in America and the highest selling American band in U.S. history.
The band broke up in 1980, following a difficult tour and personal tensions that arose during the recording of The Long Run. The Eagles subsequently reunited 14 years later in 1994. Henley continues to tour and record with the Eagles. Their latest album, Long Road Out of Eden, was released in 2007.
Following the breakup of the Eagles, Henley embarked on a solo career. He and Stevie Nicks (his girlfriend at the time) had duetted on her Top 10 Pop and Adult Contemporary hit "Leather and Lace", written by Nicks for Waylon Jennings and his wife Jessi Colter, in late 1981. Henley's first solo album, I Can't Stand Still, was a moderate seller. The single "Dirty Laundry" reached No. 3 on Billboard Hot 100 at the beginning of 1983 and earned a Gold-certified single for sales of over a million copies in the US. It was Henley's all-time biggest solo hit single, and also was nominated for a Grammy Award. Henley also contributed "Love Rules" to the 1982 Fast Times at Ridgemont High movie soundtrack.
This was followed in 1984 by the album, Building the Perfect Beast. A single release, "The Boys of Summer", reached No. 5 on the Billboard Hot 100. The music video for the song was directed by Jean-Baptiste Mondino and won several MTV Video Music Awards including Best Video of the Year. Henley also won the Grammy Award for Best Male Rock Vocal Performance for the song. Several other songs on the album, "All She Wants to Do Is Dance" (No. 9 on Hot 100), "Not Enough Love in the World" (No. 34) and "Sunset Grill" (No. 22) also received considerable airplay. He then had a No. 3 album rock chart hit with "Who Owns This Place?" from 1986's The Color of Money soundtrack.
Henley's next album, 1989's The End of the Innocence, was even more successful. The album's title track, a collaboration with Bruce Hornsby, reached No. 8 as a single. "The Heart of the Matter", "The Last Worthless Evening" and "New York Minute" were among other songs that gained radio airplay. Henley again won the Best Male Rock Vocal Performance Grammy Award in 1990 for the album. Also in 1990, Henley made a brief appearance on MTV's Unplugged series.
MusicRadar called Henley one of the greatest singing drummers of all time.
In live shows, Henley plays drums and sings simultaneously on some Eagles songs. On his solo songs and other Eagles songs, he plays electric guitar and simultaneously sings or just sings solo. Occasionally Eagles songs would get drastic rearrangements, such as "Hotel California" with four trombones.
Lawsuits with Geffen Records
Henley spent many years in legal entanglements with the record company Geffen Records. Following years of tension between Henley and the label, the dispute went public and the record company filed a $30-million breach-of-contract suit in the Superior Court after receiving a notice from Henley saying that he was terminating his contract even though he reportedly owed the company two more studio albums and a greatest-hits collection. Henley wanted to sign a publishing deal with EMI that would have been worth a few million dollars. Geffen Records stopped this from happening, which in turn upset Henley.
Geffen Records claimed that Henley was in breach of contract and Henley attempted to get out of his contract in 1993 based on an old statute. Under the statute, a California law enacted over 50 years ago to free actors from long-term studio deals, entertainers cannot be forced to work for any company for more than seven years. Geffen Records did not want Henley signing with any other label, and had an agreement from Sony and EMI that they would not sign Henley. Henley counter-sued Geffen Records claiming that he was "blackballed" by David Geffen, who had made agreements with other record labels not to sign him. Henley eventually became an outspoken advocate for musicians' rights, taking a stand against music labels who he feels refuse to pay bands their due royalties. Henley came to terms with Geffen Records when the Eagles reunion took off and the company eventually took a large chunk of the profit from the reunion album. Glenn Frey was also in legal entanglements with his label, MCA Records (whose parent company had also acquired Geffen). Before the Eagles reunion tour could begin, the band had to file a suit against Elektra Records, which had planned to release a new Eagles Greatest Hits album. The band won that battle.
Henley and Courtney Love testified at a California Senate hearing on that state's contractual laws in Sacramento on September 5, 2001. In 2002 Henley became the head of the Recording Artists' Coalition. The coalition's primary aim was to raise money to mount a legal and political battle against the major record labels. Henley says the group seeks to change the fundamental rules that govern most recording contracts, including copyright ownership, long-term control of intellectual property and unfair accounting practices. This group filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the Napster case, urging District Judge Marilyn Hall Patel not to accept the industry's broad claims of works made for hire authorship.
A long period without a new recording followed, as Henley waited out a dispute with his record company while also participating in a 1994 Eagles reunion tour and live album. During the hiatus, Henley recorded a cover of "Sit Down, You're Rockin' the Boat" for the film Leap of Faith, and provided the background vocals for country star Trisha Yearwood's hit single "Walkaway Joe", and duetted with Patty Smyth on "Sometimes Love Just Ain't Enough", and Roger Waters on "Watching TV" on Waters' Amused to Death album, in 1992. Henley provided the voice of Henry Faust in Randy Newman's Faust, a 1993 musical which was released on compact disc that year.
Inside Job and recent work
In 2000, after 11 years, Henley released another solo album named Inside Job which peaked at 7th in The Billboard 200 and contained the new singles "Taking You Home", "Everything Is Different Now, "Workin' It" and "For My Wedding". He performed songs from the album in a VH1 Storytellers episode during 2000. In 2002 a live DVD entitled Don Henley: Live Inside Job was released. In 2005 Henley opened 10 of Stevie Nicks' concerts on her Two Voices Tour.
Henley performed duets with Kenny Rogers on Rogers' 2006 release Water & Bridges, titled "Calling Me" and on Reba McEntire's 2007 album, Reba: Duets, performing "Break Each Other's Hearts Again".
In a 2007 interview with CNN, while discussing the future of the Eagles, Henley indicated he still has plans for more records: "But we all have some solo plans still. I still have a contract with a major label [Warner] for a couple of solo albums."
On July 18, 2015, Henley started pre-orders of his album, Cass County. The album was released on September 25.
Political and other causes
In 1990, Henley founded the Walden woods project to help protect "Walden Woods" from development. The Thoreau Institute at Walden Woods was started in 1998 to provide for research and education regarding Henry David Thoreau. In 1993, a compilation album titled Common Thread: The Songs of the Eagles was released, with a portion of the royalties from the sales going to the Walden Woods Project. In 2005, he had a fundraiser concert with Elton John and others to buy Brister's Hill, part of Walden Woods, and turn it into a hiking trail.
Henley co-founded the non-profit Caddo Lake Institute in 1993 with Dwight K. Shellman to underwrite ecological education and research. As part of the Caddo Lake Coalition, CLI helps protect the Texas wetland where Henley spent much of his childhood. As a result of the Caddo Lake Institute's success in restoring and protecting Caddo Lake's wetlands, Caddo Lake was included as the 13th site in the United States on the Ramsar Convention's list of significant wetlands. The Ramsar Convention is an intergovernmental treaty that provides a framework for national action and international cooperation for the conservation and wise use of wetlands and their resources.
In 2000, Henley co-founded the Recording Artists' Coalition, a group founded to protect musicians' rights against common music industry business practices. In this role he testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary in 2001 and the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation in 2003.
In a March 2001 interview on Charlie Rose, Henley stated that "rock bands work best as a benevolent dictatorship," with the principal songwriters in a band (in the case of the Eagles, "me and Glenn Frey") being the ones that will likely hold the power.
Henley in a 2008 interview revealed that he contributes to many other worthy charitable causes such as The Race to Erase MS, and the Rhythm and Blues Foundation. He is also a member of the CuriosityStream Advisory Board.
A lifelong supporter of the Democratic Party, Henley has also been a generous donor to political campaigns of Democrats. In 2008, The Washington Post reported Henley had donated over $680,000 to political candidates since 1978.
Several tracks on the 2007 Eagles album Long Road Out of Eden (including the title track, which Henley co-wrote) are sharply critical of the Iraq War and other policies of the Bush administration.
In the late 1970s, Henley briefly dated Fleetwood Mac singer Stevie Nicks as her affair with Mick Fleetwood came to an end. He then began a three-year-long relationship with actress/model and Bond girl Lois Chiles.
Henley called paramedics to his home on November 21, 1980, where a 16-year-old girl was found naked and claiming she had overdosed on quaaludes and cocaine. She was arrested for prostitution, while a 15-year-old girl found in the house was arrested for being under the influence of drugs. He was subsequently charged for contributing to the delinquency of a minor, fined and put on probation. Henley was arrested and pled no contest. He was fined $2,500 and put on two years' probation. Chiles, who was no longer in a relationship with Henley at the time of the incident, later said, "I was shocked to hear about it. He didn't have drugs around the house. It was an accident, I'm sure."
In the early 1980s, Henley was engaged to Battlestar Galactica actress Maren Jensen. His first solo album (I Can't Stand Still) is dedicated to Jensen, who also sings harmony vocals on the song, "Johnny Can't Read." Henley and Jensen separated in 1986.
In 1995, Henley married Sharon Summerall, a former model from Texas who had lived in Paris and studied art history. Performers at the wedding included Bruce Springsteen, Sting, Billy Joel, John Fogerty, Jackson Browne, Donna Lewis, Sheryl Crow, Glenn Frey, and Tony Bennett. Henley later wrote the song "Everything Is Different Now" from the album Inside Job for Sharon. Sharon has been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. They have three children together, two girls and a boy.
He currently resides in Dallas with his wife and three children.
||This section of a biography of a living person does not include any references or sources. (January 2016)|
Henley and Crago use DW Collector's series maple in matte black finish. The drum kit is set up to Henley's configuration on where he is more comfortable in playing and singing. His drum throne has a backrest.
- 6.5x14" custom snare (half Edge model) with African feather veneer
- 9x12" tom
- 10x13" tom
- 16x16" floor tom
- 16x18" floor tom
- 18x22" bass drum
The two also use DW 9000 series hardware including a DW two-leg hi-hat stand. All stands have custom matte black powder-coat finish. Henley uses Regaltip drumsticks with Vic Firth grip tape evne for percussion.
- Gon Bops Alex Acuña series quinto and conga congas
- 5x12", 5x14", and 5x15" DW maple (custom) timbales
- John Deere cowbells
- LP Cyclops tambourines (two mounted models with brass jingles, and one steel-jingle model mounted vertically with custom foam for less attack),
- small and large cowbell, castanet machine,
- 18" Factory Metal Cross Benderz effects cymbal
- Triple-banded LP Soft Shake
Drum kit cymbals are Paiste Formula 602 and Paiste 2002
- 14" hi-hats
- 10" splash
- 16" crash
- 18" crash
- 20" ride (Paiste 2002)
- 18" 602 Classic Sounds Thin crash
- 18" China
- 10" Paiste Twenty series splash
- 16" Paiste Twenty series crash
- Evans ST Dry snare batter and HD 300 bottom
- Evans G2 Coated tom batters and Onyx bottoms
- Evans EQ3 Coated bass drum batter with black DW front head
- Remo coated ambassadors on timbales
- I Can't Stand Still (1982)
- Building the Perfect Beast (1984)
- The End of the Innocence (1989)
- Inside Job (2000)
- Cass County (2015)
- "100 Greatest Singers". Rolling Stone. Retrieved January 2, 2015.
- "Walden Woods". Walden.org. Retrieved June 28, 2010.
- Don Henley at the Internet Movie Database
- "Don Henley Biography".
- Eliot, Marc (2004). To The Limit: The Untold Story Of The Eagles. Da Capo Press. p. 10. ISBN 9780306813986. Retrieved January 21, 2016.
- "Don Henley Biography". Don Henley Online.
- Eliot, Marc (2004). To the Limit: The Untold Story of the Eagles. Da Capo Press. p. 19.
- Frank Hoffmann, ed. (2005). "Encyclopedia of Recorded Sound". Routledge. ISBN 9781135949495.
- "Shiloh - Shiloh (1969 us, amazing country folk rock with "the Eagles" Don Henley, 2014 korean remaster)". RockAsteria.
- "The Story So Far". Billboard: K-4. December 23, 2000.
- Fricke, David (June 22, 2000). "Life in the Slow Lane". Rolling Stone. Retrieved October 5, 2015 – via Library Arizona. (registration required (. ))
- "Eagles - Biography". Billboard. Retrieved March 29, 2013.
- "Awards - Eagles Band".
- Pore-Lee-Dunn Productions. "Best selling records". classicbands.com. Retrieved August 20, 2011.
- Long Road Out of Eden at AllMusic. Retrieved January 21, 2016.
- "Leather And Lace by Stevie Nicks and Don Henley". Songfacts.
- "I Can't Stand Still - Don Henley - Awards". AllMusic.
- "Love Rules - Fast Times at Ridgemont High Soundtrack (Don Henley)".
- "Building the Perfect Beast - Don Henley - Awards". AllMusic.
- "Grammy Award Nominees 1986 - Grammy Award Winners 1986".
- Ruhlmann, William. "The Color of Money - Original Soundtrack - Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic.
- "This Week In Billboard Chart History: Don Henley's 'End Of The Innocence' Begins". Billboard.
- "The End of the Innocence - Don Henley - Awards". AllMusic.
- "1990 Grammy Winners - 1990 Music Awards".
- "MTV Unplugged - Season 1, Episode 9: Don Henley". TV.com.
- "Actual Miles: Henley's Greatest Hits (1995)".
- "The 12 greatest singing drummers ever". MusicRadar.
- "Hotel California". Don Henley - Live: Inside Job. November 21, 2000 – via YouTube.
- Tot, Greg (June 19, 2000). "Earnest Don Henley Gets Serious". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved January 21, 2016.
- Philips, Chuck (September 1, 1993). "Henley Ups the Ante in Geffen Fight : Lawsuit: Singer charges that entertainment impresario conspired with record corporations to blackball him.". Los Angeles Times.
- "MCA Is History – Long-Lived Record Label to be Merged into Geffen". New York Post.
- Rosen, Craig (July 2, 1994). "Eagles Set Gives Azoff, Warner Giant Headache". Billboard. p. 109.
- "Don Henley Honored by Recording Artists Coalition". Gibson.
- "Artists Group Files Brief In Ongoing Napster Case". Billboard.
- Harris, Ron (January 20, 2002). "Don Henley Takes On the Music Industry". Reading Eagle (Reading, PA). Associated Press. Retrieved January 21, 2016.
- "Trisha Yearwood - Walkaway Joe (Trisha Yearwood & Don Henley) Lyrics". MetroLyrics.
- "Sometimes Love Just Ain't Enough by Patty Smyth and Don Henley". Songfacts.
- "Roger Waters Amused To Death SACD". Elusivedisc.com. Retrieved November 2, 2015.
- "Randy Newman's Faust (1993)". Donhenleyonline.com. Retrieved November 2, 2015.
- "Inside Job - Don Henley - Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved November 2, 2015.
- Picture, Bill (July 24, 2005). "Gold Dust Woman". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved January 21, 2016.
- "Calling Me (With Don Henley) 2006 Country - Kenny Rogers". Iomoio.com. Retrieved November 2, 2015.
- "Calling Me - Don Henley,Kenny Rogers - Listen, Appearances, Song Review". AllMusic.
- "Break Each Other's Hearts Again - Don Henley, Reba McEntire - Listen, Appearances, Song Review". AllMusic. Retrieved November 2, 2015.
- "Don Henley: 'Let the chips fall where they may'". CNN. November 19, 2007. Retrieved April 19, 2009.
- "Ronnie Dunn and Alison Krauss Sing On Don Henley Album". Undercover.fm. January 26, 2011. Retrieved September 18, 2013.
- "Eagles Average Setlists". setlist.fm.
- "Brister's Hill | Walden Woods". Walden.org. Archived from the original on September 26, 2010. Retrieved June 28, 2010.
- "About Ramsar". ramsar.org. Retrieved December 3, 2015.
- "Alanis To Testify At U.S. Senate Hearing". MTV. March 31, 2001. Retrieved February 8, 2008.
- "Testimony Of Don Henley". Azoz.com. January 30, 2003. Retrieved July 29, 2011.
- "Don Henley talks about the Eagles' latest album, changes in the industry and more". PopMatters.
- Huxley, Martin. "Don Henley Life Is Still Good". BMI.com.
- "Don Henley Pictures - 16th Annual Race To Erase MS Event - Show". Zimbio.
- "CuriosityStream Advisory Board". Retrieved August 31, 2015.
- Hesse, Monica (February 3, 2008). "Stars Who Don't Have Money on This Race". The Washington Post. Retrieved February 3, 2008.
- Gunderson, Edna (October 30, 2007). "The Eagles raise their voices in harmony after 28 years". USA Today. Retrieved January 21, 2016.
- Brown, Mick (September 8, 2007). "Stevie Nicks: a survivor's story". The Telegraph. Retrieved October 22, 2012.
- Peters, Susan (April 13, 1983). "Lois Chiles Sets the Fur Flying on Dallas as J.r.'s Sexy Temptress, Holly Harwood". People. Retrieved October 22, 2012.
- Loder, Kurt (December 10, 1980). "More charges may be pending in Henley Arrest". Anchorage Daily News. p. 86. Retrieved October 18, 2012.
- "Eagle Arrested". Ottawa Citizen. November 25, 1980. p. 40. Retrieved October 18, 2012.
- McCormick, Neil (November 1, 2007). "The Eagles: we're lucky to be alive". The Telegraph. Retrieved October 18, 2002.
- "Eagles' star fined $2,500 on drug charge". The Miami Herald. Associated Press. February 26, 1981. p. 15. Retrieved October 18, 2012.
- Eliot, Marc (December 2004). To the Limit: The Untold Story of the Eagles. ISBN 9780306813986. Retrieved August 20, 2011.
- Jones, Paul. "Famous people with MS". Mult-sclerosis.org. Retrieved August 20, 2011.
- Breihan, Tom (August 28, 2012). "The 30 Richest Drummers in the World". Stereogum. Retrieved June 11, 2014.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Don Henley.|
- Official website
- Don Henley at the Internet Movie Database
- Walden Woods Project website
- Caddo Lake Institute
- Recording Artists' Coalition website