Discuss Don Henley strictly as a Drummer....thoughts??

singleordoubleheads

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So my current band has decided to add Hotel California to the set. I'm a pretty big Eagles fan already, so it's just fine by me. But I never really listened THAT closely to everything he does on that song--it's pretty awesome actually. He purposely (I'm betting) leaves LOTS of space between his notes, and the supporting stuff he does during the guitar duo at the end is--to me--just as important as what Walsh and Felder are doing. I am not singing on it (except for backup), but it's a bit of a challenge to keep that loping, slightly-behind-the-beat feel all thru the song without speeding up, esp on the choruses.

Some of my other favorite Henley drumming moments are...
--the space he leaves, and the suprising power he plays with on Victim of Love
--the pretty awesome cymbal bell work on Too Many Hands
--the suprisingly complex beat on Disco Strangler
--the ultra-slow/extra phat fills he plays on Teenage Jail

I could probably go on and on, but what do you good folks enjoy from DH on the kit?
 

ThomFloor

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Great tasteful drummer, just wish his drums were recorded better on most Eagles records. They really do sound like mud on some tracks, but what was played was awesome. Maybe if they stuck with Glyn Johns after album #2 I wouldn't have this complaint.
Heartache Tonight - sparing, simple, it is actually not that easy to maintain throughout the song.
 

singleordoubleheads

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Great tasteful drummer, just wish his drums were recorded better on most Eagles records. They really do sound like mud on some tracks, but what was played was awesome. Maybe if they stuck with Glyn Johns after album #2 I wouldn't have this complaint.
Heartache Tonight - sparing, simple, it is actually not that easy to maintain throughout the song.
Haha, I forgot to mention we also already do HT, and it is a blast to play, and I love the sparseness in the song, esp in the verses. I also, almost as a joke and to see if anyone else is paying attention, try to play the "almost forgotten" tom/bass rolls at the very end of the song.
 

tommykat1

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Oh yes! Henley is a master of embodying "the notes you don't play are more important than those you do."

Big fan here. He is most decidedly not the best technical drummer out there, but he plays to the song, which, ironically, often includes his own lead vocals not being overwhelmed by the downbeat and backbeat he's playing to the rest of the band's contributions to the whole.
 

singleordoubleheads

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One more thing I forgot to mention is his feel, and I mean the actual physical touch he had/has on the drums and esp the cymbals. There is a certain gentleness, for lack of a better term, than I see and hear from him. Kinda like the polar opposite of say, Dave Grohl, who is obviously great in his own way as well.
 

JazzDrumGuy

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I really like the Eagles. Don's not an amazing drummer, but he sang AND played, and he was great for that band and that era! I can barely play and forget about singing! I think he fit the music well. Hotel CA is one of my fave songs, both as a song and to drum, although it's been years. I've got stories about that song we will NOT get into here!

But as for other songs, I like his playing on Life in the Fast Lane - almost disco like. I also really like his HH work on Those Shoes. I think Take it Easy and Already Gone are two fantastic songs.......and Long Run & Heartache tonight are very fun to play. I saw them in 2005, he had a natural DW kit, although he didn't play the whole show, and it was a great show, especially with Joe Walsh!

And of course, don't forget the epic solo on Seven Bridges Road....... :D
 
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blikum

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He played for the song. No more no less. As simple as those fills are, we all know em. That's the mark of a great drummer. And oh yeah, he's decent singer as well. :) My favorite Henley drum track is I can't tell you why. He plays so restrained that when he finally opens the hi hat toward the end of the song... you're like ah perfect.
 

drummerjohn333

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Very tasty drummer. Any young drummer who is frustrated with their development - should just listen to his drumming. I would hope they would come to learn that you don't need great chops to be an amazing drummer. Henley is one of the best - as if you really try to play with his restraint and feel (not to mention solid meter) it is ALOT more difficult than it sounds. Big respect for Henley as a drummer.
I know - not supposed to discuss his singing on this thread - but if you consider that he also sings while playing that well......WOW - that (his drumming done while singing too) is greatly under-appreciated and he is thus a very under-rated drummer.

If I may sneak this in here - great video on YT - where Billy Joel interviews Don Henley. They have such respect for each other - just lovely to see that such mutual appreciation for multi aspects of their talents.
 

Bonzo442

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Boys of summer, even though there’s over dubs, has such a cool vibe for the drums. great video too showing a young kid playing drums, I’m sure making reference to a young Don practicing
 

p83

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great song drummer, and he has his own sound. you know what they mean if they say they want the drums to ''sound like don henley''.

just saw him this winter at a benefit concert put together by joe walsh, so it was kind of a pick-up band. they played hotel california and henley sang it - and played it too! i think one guitar player was in the eagles touring band as he and walsh nailed the guitar solo at the end. this song is so ingrained in us all by now that we know every little drum fill and lick in it if we want to or not. well, he played every one! the drum part was right off the record, because it all had to be there. playing and singing great at 71.............go don.
 

lrod1707

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Great beatkeeper! As much as I hated the sound of his drums, he was essential to the Eagles. I don't think he's the best or most technical but when you hear his drums, you know it's him. And gotta give credit for singing thru the songs as well.
 

piccupstix

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Another Henley fan here. He had/has a sort of producer's mindset about how to make the drums fit the songs so perfectly, nothing more, nothing less. Respect!
 

Fat Drummer

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In the same way that we often hear that the Beatles would have been a different band without Ringo, then so is Eagles and Don. Im not talking of his writting and vocals, but his actual playing... it would have sounded different with another drummer. Right feel and touch for the songs.
 

BennyK

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He has a very strong grasp of form , a mature awareness of his technical limitations as a drummer and where to maximize the articulation of his pocket .

As lead singer and songwriter for one of the biggest selling bands of the 70's his drummer knew how to stay out of the way .

He knew enough old school R&B and country to keep it hip .

I think Ian Wallace ( lefty!!) played on Boys of Summer .
 
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