Don Henley pulled up a squeaky chair at the studios of Sportsradio KTCK-AM (1310) and KTCK-FM (96.7) The Ticket on Monday and shared new details about his 70th birthday bash in July.
The Dallas resident and co-founder of the Eagles will play American Airlines Center on July 22. So far, we know that the Eagles' Timothy B. Schmit and Joe Walsh will appear along with Stevie Nicks. Henley said Patty Smyth has confirmed and will bring along her husband, tennis great John McEnroe.
Other guests are expected, but Henley said none have officially confirmed.
One big announcement that hadn't been made yet was tipped off by a casual question from host Mike Rhyner, who mentioned that Deacon Frey, the son of Glenn Frey, will replace his late father when the Eagles play the Classic East (New York) and Classic West (Los Angeles) music festivals this summer. Henley, who earlier this year said Deacon Frey would be part of the band then wouldn't, did not say whether the younger Frey would play his AAC show.
"There's going to be an official announcement in a few days, but let's just do it here," Henley told the Hardline's Corby Davidson and Rhyner, confirming the news.
Henley called it "an experiment," but expressed confidence in the younger Frey.
"There's an old system both in Western and Eastern culture called the guild system, where the father is the master and the son is the apprentice," Henley said. "The trade, the craft, the business is handed down from father to son. I think it's the only appropriate way to carry on. I don't think I'd do it otherwise.
"Since it's Glenn's blood, it's his son, I think that's appropriate."
During the Hardline segment, Henley spoke more about Frey, the birth of the Eagles and the state and future of music in general. He also talked about his Whole Foods run-in with Rhyner and a scary meeting with a real eagle.
On finding talent for his band, Henley spoke of Dallas singer-songwriter Chris Holt:
"Chris just stumbled across my path. He was my son's guitar teacher. I got to listening to him one day and, I went 'Damn, this guy's pretty good. In fact, he's real good.' I was recording my last album at the time and I asked him to come over and play a solo on a song, and he just killed it. And I thought 'Well, shoot. Lives right here in town. Gonna save me some money on air fares.'"
On what it's like to tour as he closes in on 70:
"It's fun for about two weeks. And then it becomes work. It all depends on how my voice is doing. It's fun and I enjoy it. I work at it. I try to keep in shape so I can do my best every night. I want the people to get their money's worth.
"Sleep is the main thing. If I don't sleep, I can't sing very well. And I can't have any alcohol on the road. ... These days, alcohol does something to my vocal chords. I like red wine, I collect it. But if I drink one sip, I'm screwed for a month."
On continuing the Eagles without Frey:
"It's my responsibility now to carry out this legacy and keep these songs alive. Apparently, people still want to hear them. I thought we were done when Glenn passed away. And I said as much, but I was in a state of shock at the time. But we've gotten a lot of messages from people all over the world who would like to see things continue."
On the Eagles' unexpected longevity:
"Every morning that I woke up in the '70s, I thought 'this will be it. It's all over after this week.' The timing has lot to do with it. We were just born at the right time, in the post-war Baby Boom generation, which was a big generation. And the coming of age of that generation and all of the social change. It was also the golden age of the music business. We made records at a time when people were still willing to pay for the music — before the internet. It was the right time at the right place."
On that scary Eagles eagle:
"Owen [Wilson] and Luke's mom [Laura Wilson] is a noted photographer. Many years ago, she photographed me for the cover of Texas Monthly holding a giant eagle on my arm. I'll always remember that experience because it was scary. We had a bird wrangler there. The thing must have weighed 14-15 pounds. It's sitting on my arm and I've got no cover. And I have to hold my arm up straight for what seemed like an eternity because she would just keep snapping pictures. And my arm would start to slip down. This thing is looking at me like he's to peck my eyes out. I'm just waiting for this thing to attack me, but he didn't."