Don Henley

JDA

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May be missing the point He's an artist.
He's a deeper artist. He gives the drum chair over to someone else. His mission in his mind is larger. He's has had something to express. Sure you can see the childlike fun and control he has with the drums. You can tell he enjoys -and cares- hitting a cymbal a certain way..But I think he discovered he has other gifts too.
The bass player (ex-poco) has an excellent vocal ability too.
They all sing that sheeet's amazing.
 
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BennyK

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Like many other iconic 70's bands - Ludwig 3 plies with a 402 .

He switched to TAMA long after the international radio hits .

Henley and Helm were in the convenient position of lead vocalists adapting their drumming to the lyrical parameter and vice versa . Hard to get in your own way when its your hands on the wheel .
 

Treviso1

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Another big Henley fan here (his drumming, sound & songwriting)...Always wondered why he didn't play on more of his solo stuff? For example, he had Porcaro track Dirty Laundry - never quite got that one...You pay arguably the number one studio guy at the time to play a simple beat when you're a professional that has been recording your own drum parts forever?
I honestly think it was because he had ventured out as a solo artist and he didn't wan't to go backwards. The new perception had to be: Don Henley, lead singer, front man, songwriter, NOT sitting at the back of the stage playing the tubs. Bringing Jeff Porcaro to play drums on his album/hit song showed that there was no going back. Think of me as a singer/songwriter, not a drummer. He had some huge hits, so I would say that it worked out just fine.
 

drumstuff66

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I honestly think it was because he had ventured out as a solo artist and he didn't wan't to go backwards. The new perception had to be: Don Henley, lead singer, front man, songwriter, NOT sitting at the back of the stage playing the tubs. Bringing Jeff Porcaro to play drums on his album/hit song showed that there was no going back. Think of me as a singer/songwriter, not a drummer. He had some huge hits, so I would say that it worked out just fine.
Yeah, that makes sense on some level. Conversely, it gets me thinking of Phil Collins, who on his first solo album played his own parts, as well as on other solo albums. Worked out pretty fine for him, too!

Just found it interesting...
 

Johnny D

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Yeah, that makes sense on some level. Conversely, it gets me thinking of Phil Collins, who on his first solo album played his own parts, as well as on other solo albums. Worked out pretty fine for him, too!

Just found it interesting...
Yes it did! But the difference is (and I think Treviso will agree) Phil considers himself a drummer first, whereas Henley considers himself a singer/songwriter first and foremost. Drumming wasn't/isn't as important to him. He'd rather hire great drummers (Jeff, Vinnie, Stan Lynch, Ian Wallace) to play on his songs, and I think it comes down to him having a different means to an end for the song(s).
 

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I think that Don hired Jeff Porcaro for Dirty Laundry because he really brought the fire to that track. Henley is more laid back. Just a theory.

I love DH's drummming, even went out and grabbed a 602 20" Medium Ride for that "Take It To The Limit" sound.



Dan
 

Treviso1

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Yes it did! But the difference is (and I think Treviso will agree) Phil considers himself a drummer first, whereas Henley considers himself a singer/songwriter first and foremost. Drumming wasn't/isn't as important to him. He'd rather hire great drummers (Jeff, Vinnie, Stan Lynch, Ian Wallace) to play on his songs, and I think it comes down to him having a different means to an end for the song(s).
I agree 100%
 

Old Dog

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I'll be honest, I simply didn't think of Don Henley as a drummer for the longest time. I saw their Hell Freezes Over tour in Noblesville, IN back in '93. After that, I was definitely more impressed. I knew him from the Eagles in the 80s, but I was more of a fan of his solo hits (at the time). Boys of Summer, still one of the greatest 80s songs ever!
 

Cauldronics

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Long ago I in my first band, the singer could play drums much like our man Henley here. Smooth, even, well chosen parts with good feel. He meant to show me the kind of feel for the songs he wrote.

At the time, I was a very high energy, chance-taking drummer but years later I drew upon that experience and started to play more for the song. The key is listening musically to what the song calls for and setting aside your ego. Accompany the band and the songs come through.

That doesn't mean there's no room for tasteful playing and great choices. Henley was the master of both.

Almost forgot - that singer from way back when was a righty playing my lefty kit which was frustrating for me then. lol
 

What It Is

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I think I read somewhere that Don is a lefty but plays the righty kit(?). Might explain the unique fills, but definitely not the decision making. Always appreciated his choices on the kit.
 

Johnny D

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I think I read somewhere that Don is a lefty but plays the righty kit(?). Might explain the unique fills, but definitely not the decision making. Always appreciated his choices on the kit.
I don't know... His drummer in the 80s and 90s, the late-great Ian Wallace, was a lefty and Ian had to configure his kit to accommodate Don for "Hotel California" and "Life In The Fast Lane" and it kind of drove Don crazy trying to play his kit ;) But maybe Don is a lefty and can only play a righty kit. I'll ask Stan Lynch or Scott Crago - one of them will know.
 
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rhythmace

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For a while it seemed like I didn't like most DW sets. I really like the ones that Henley plays. Hitting the snare and smaller tom together on the back beat knocks me out too. Ace
P.S. Was Walsh with them from the beginning?
 

rhythmace

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I had a girlfriend that cheated on me a long long time ago. "Plaintiff" Laugh! I play some rhythm guitar and love to play "Lyin Eyes". "How'd it ever get this crazy?" Ace
 

CC Cirillo

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Really talented drummer/singer with an iconic 70’s forward sound that has shaped much of my perspective.

To be clear, though, I never want to hear Hotel California again.

When that song comes on, I want to check out, I want to leave.
 

wflkurt

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Not much else can be said about Don's playing that has not already been said. I knew he was a Ludwig guy in the 70's and as a Ludwig fanatic, I never really noticed his set all that much as I thought he had an octaplus of some sort. It wasn't until I saw the Eagles documentary that I realized that he had a pretty rare 1969 set of Ludwigs. There are very few keystone sets with a mahogany thermogloss. It looks like he had 24,13,16,18 for sizes and the set had a factory rail mount. That is a crazy rare set up and after watching the documentary, it looks like he used it throughout a good chunk of the 70's. Anyone know what ever happened to the set?
 
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What It Is

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I don't know... His drummer in the 80s and 90s, the late-great Ian Wallace, was a lefty and Ian had to configure his kit to accommodate Don for "Hotel California" and "Life In The Fast Lane" and it kind of drove Don crazy trying to play his kit ;) But maybe Don is a lefty and can only play a righty kit. I'll ask Stan Lynch or Scott Crago - one of them will know.
Thanks, John. That's what I remember reading, my apologies for the bad memory. I think it was the Modern Drummer issue somewhere in the '90's(!) and I got confused between Ian's lefty set up and how HE had to turn it around for Don. Ian certainly was something special. Thank you.
 

vivapapajo

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Perfectly stated, Treviso1! I hadn't read your post when I commented and we said essentially the same thing. He has an incredible feel. And great time, too. A naturally gifted drummer.
I always liked what he played on the songs. Somebody made a mention that he thought Mike Botts may have ghosted on some Eagle tracks. You think there's any truth to that?
 

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