“This is not a lifetime career…” says a young and afro-ed Don Henley in archival footage included in the trailer for Showtime’s upcoming Eagles documentary, History Of The Eagles: The Story Of An American Band.   

An equally young Glenn Frey, sporting a generous mustache, replies, “It’s not?” They both laugh.

Decades later, a clean-shaven Frey, looking into the camera says, “Being in The Eagles was a f***in’ blast.” Later in the trailer, the modern day Henley looks back and says, “You just can not have five leaders in a band. It doesn’t work.”  Bassist/singer Timothy B. Schmit notes, “In my experience, all rock and roll bands are on the verge of breaking up at all times.”

Those three statements sum up much of what fans know about the legendary country-rock group; hopes are high that new revelations will be uncovered in the film, which was made with the cooperation of all current and former band members (although one suspects that Frey and Henley had approval of the film’s final cut). 

Showtime is breaking the documentary up into two parts.  Part one, premiering Friday, February 15, will concentrate on the band’s beginnings, their rise to fame and their breakup in 1980. Part two will air the following night, Saturday February 16, and, according to Showtime’s website, “Picks up in the ’80s and charts the popularity of their songs despite the band’s split.”  

history of the eagles Watch The Trailer For The Eagles Documentary 

Other than the decision to reunite in 1994 and to fire guitarist Don Felder in 2001, it would seem that there’d be considerably less drama in the second part. Indeed, part one, covering roughly ten years, is 118 minutes. Part 2 on the other hand, which covers the ’80s through today (it’s interesting to note that the reunion has — so far — lasted nearly twice as long as the band’s original lifetime!), is only 66 minutes. Judging by the trailer, it seems that director Alison Ellwood had to work a bit harder to find drama.  

The trailer shows a clip of the modern day Frey asking the camera, “What if we got together and no one showed up?” It’s hard to imagine, given the many hugely successful reunion tours that had happened by ’94, that anyone would seriously think that an Eagles reunion wouldn’t be a huge success.  Henley later notes, “Maybe we could have that rarest of things in American life: a second act.” An odd statement from a guy whose post-Eagles multi-platinum solo career was the definition of a great second act. 

Regardless, Eagles fans have been waiting for the band to tell their story for a long time; now they have less than two weeks left to wait.  Watch the trailer below. 

Brian Ives, Radio.com


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