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Eagles documentary debuts on Showtime

For Journal Register Newspapers

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After a decidedly acrimonious dismissal from the Eagles in 2001, you might have thought guitarist Don Felder would have opted not to participate in the "History of the Eagles" documentary project, which premieres this weekend on Showtime.

You would have thought wrong, however.

"I think there's not a lot of bitterness or resentment left in between a lot of those relationships in the band," says Felder, 65, who joined the Eagles in 1974 and co-wrote the iconic "Hotel California." He also published a frank and revealing memoir, "Heaven & Hell," in 2007. "I know they invited (original members) Randy Meisner and Bernie Leadon to be part of it as well, so I know they tried to include everyone.

"And I'm not certain how much control anyone had over the director (Allison Ellwood) in being able to dictate how anyone was portrayed. I felt like it was going to be handed in a fair-handed manner."

"History of the Eagles" -- which was produced by Alex Gibney ("Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room") -- premiered at this year's Sundance Film Festival and is divided into two parts. The first two hours, debuting at 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 15, track the group from before it began -- and features co-founder Glenn Frey talking about his days growing up in Royal Oak, with commentary by good friend Bob Seger -- to its initial 1980 breakup. The second part at 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 16, is an hour-long look at the group's reunion in 1994 right up to the present day.

"We found every bit of footage we can, especially from the 70s," says Frey, 64. "We found Super 8 (film) footage, photographs, interviews and stuff we didn't know we had.

"We wanted a great storyteller, someone who made visual, compelling films. Alex Gibney's work was every bit of that. And he was one of the directors on Martin Scorsese's seven-part series on the blues. He's really good."

"History of the Eagles" will be released on DVD later this year, and the Eagles are planning a 40th anniversary tour with dates to be announced soon.

Also of interest for music fans on TV this weekend is "Beyonce: Life is But a Dream," which premieres at 9 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 16.

Send your thoughts and comments to Gary Graff


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