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Sundance: Don Henley still mad at ‘conflict journalism’

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(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) Don Henley talks to reporters during the red-carpet premiere of "History of the Eagles, Part 1" at the Eccles Theater, Saturday, January 19, 2013.

First published Jan 19 2013 06:32PM
Updated Jan 21, 2013 08:29AM

At a press conference on Saturday afternoon prior to the premiere screening of "History of the Eagles, Part I," the musicians announced that the two-part documentary about them would air on Showtime on Feb. 15 and 16.

Don Henley said he was looking forward to seeing the final cut of the first half of the documentary at the 9:30 p.m. Eccles Theatre premiere screening. "I hope we like it," he said.

When asked why the documentary was being released now, Henley, now 65, replied: "It’s been 42 years. We need to get it done ... It could all come to a screeching halt."

Glenn Frey, who with Henley formed one of the most successful songwriting partnerships of the 1970s, said they were very happy with the film — although he hadn’t yet seen a final cut either.

The Eagles, who remain one of the biggest selling American bands in history, were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998.

Because the band didn’t consent to many interviews, particularly during its massively successful run in the 1970s — the band broke up in 1980 before reuniting in 1994 — "we have not been over-exposed in the past 42 years," Frey said.

Added Henley, who is noted for his diatribes against tabloid journalism tactics, particularly via his 1982 solo song "Dirty Laundry," said many of the stories published about the band focused on their conflicts. "We call it conflict journalism," he said, which meant that many of the band’s fans didn’t realize how much fun they had when they were performing and touring.

Added guitarist Joe Walsh: "We didn’t hate each other. We didn’t have fist fights."

David Burger

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