To The Limit The Untold Story of the Eagles Hardcover – Oct 1 1998
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From Publishers Weekly
Veteran rock writer Eliot (Down Thunder Road: The Making of Bruce Springsteen) refuses to take it easy on the most commercially successful supergroup of the 1970s in this unauthorized, warts-and-all biography. As dons of the so-called Avocado Mafia, a loose association of singers and songwriters who first came together in Southern California in the late 1960s, the Eagles are, for Eliot, representative figures in a fascinating pop-culture drama. In tough, sometimes lyrical prose, Eliot shows how Don Henley, Glenn Frey, Bernie Leadon and Randy MeisnerAthe original members of the groupAbecame the top-selling and most influential rock band of the Me Decade by combining laid-back attitude with self-consciously eclectic musicianship. Nor did it hurt the group's quest for fame, Eliot makes clear, to have brilliant business and PR men such as David Geffen and Irving Azoff on the side of the Eagles from the beginning. Eliot's a savvy enough storyteller not to let in-depth analysis of the aural and business dimensions of the Eagles' saga get in the way of good dish: the book brims with anecdotes about the band's now-legendary hotel-room demolition sessions, prodigious substance abuse and tireless womanizing. Jackson Browne, Linda Ronstadt and David Crosby join more incongruous notables such as James Cagney, Kenny Rogers and Ronald Reagan's politically contrary daughter, Patti Davis, to make Eliot's account even more engaging. If the writing's purple at times, it's only because the band members' colorful excesses demand such treatment. Photos not seen by PW.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Library Journal
Considering Eliot's previous controversial biographies, including Walt Disney: Hollywood's Dark Prince (LJ 5/1/93) and Down Thunder Road: The Making of Bruce Springsteen (LJ 8/92), it's not surprising that ex-Eagle Don Henley tried to halt publication of this well-researched study of America's biggest band of the 1970s. The artist and the author eventually reached a truce, with the reticent Henley sitting for interviews, and this may explain why some unsavory details (such as Henley's 1980 drug bust) are lightly glossed over. Eliot gives little insight into what made the band tick, but he does provide an excellent contextualization of the early 1970s L.A. rock scene, and he offers fascinating character studies of Eagle compadres Jackson Browne, Linda Ronstadt, and J.D. Souther, as well as music biz barons David Geffen and Irving Azoff. The generous appendix includes extensive notes and a detailed discography. Recommended for popular music collections.
-ALloyd Jansen, Stockton-San Joaquin Cty. P.L., CA
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Top Customer Reviews
1) It is unspeakably boring. I honestly couldn't even finish it; the grind just wore me down.
2) Factual errors. Others have already pointed this out, but it is especially galling to see George Grantham (the superb musician and singer from Poco) referred to as George Lantham. And how 'bout that gig in Hawthorne Beach? Where the heck is that? Somewhere between the City of Hawthorne and Hermosa Beach, perhaps. You get the idea . . . . It would drive you out of your mind if you weren't already bored out of your mind.
Perhaps the fact that Amazon has 62 used copies ("from $2.95") gives you the best indication of this book's overall merit. Proceed at your own risk.
For one thing there are too few quotes from Glenn Frey, who in my opinion really gave the band its heart. Just because Henley began singing almost half of the songs on the last two albums, doesn't mean he should have. I can think of several songs, that Glenn Frey could have sung just as well. I'd also like to have learned more about why Leadon and Meisner quit. Though Eliot did explain it in some detail, there was much missing. It would have been interesting to have heard from Glenn Frey on those issues, as well as from Leadon and Meisner.
The book is heavy in quotes from Henley, but short on quotes from any other band members. Much of the material seems to come from other previously published material, i.e. Rolling Stone reviews, interviews, articles, and much of it comes from Mansion On the Hill, a detracting book written in the early 90s which includes a section on Geffen and Azoff.
While is was interesting reading about Henley's take on Joe Walsh joining the band, I would have really liked reading about Joe's take on joining the band. In my opinion, Walsh's guitar playing saved the Eagles from fading into country-rock mediocraty.
I would have also liked to have learned more about Felder's role in the band.Read more ›
Having read other reviews of this book I would like to expand on how heavily focused it is on Don Henley, to the exclusion of Glenn Frey, who whether the author admits it or not was and is the Eagles' leader and driving force. Frey's solo career was admittedly not as successful as Henley's but it is all but ignored. Some gratuitous comments about their respective physical appearances (again, pro-Henley) are annoying. Even any attempt at analysing why the two of them are both such great singers and songwriters never occurs. The assumption that it was Henley who was responsible for the majority of the Eagles' lyrics is a fatuous cliche that all true Eagles fans have long abandoned, and as for Hotel California being about Henley and no-one else, this should be treated with the contempt it deserves. Then there is the way Henley's arrest in 1980 is totally glossed over, while a similar incident that Frey experienced while shooting a movie is over-emphasised. Frey had a car crash, while Eagles fans know what happened to Henley. Some attempt at balance occurs at the end when the band have reformed, but it is too late to save the book. Avoid.
Most recent customer reviews
very educational about the music industry (at least how it was back in the day), in-depth info on each performer/group that had a hand in the original 4 Eagles meeting!Published 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
If you were part of the Eagles arc of musical greatness over 40 years you will Love this story of the detailed connections between the key people and those who tried to latch on to... Read morePublished 5 months ago by David Aitken
Unfortunately,most of the airwaves of the 70's were assaulted by the mellifluent,pedestrian,nondescript, and light rock sounds of the Eagles. Read morePublished on April 11 2004
It wasn't a bad book; neither was it a great book. I also noticed some of the odd errors and omissions that other reviewers have pointed out. Read morePublished on March 21 2004
I enjoyed this book immensely. What happened to the Eagles happens a lot in pop/rock music.
The writing of the book is superb. Read more
If part of Marc Eliot's intention was to make a case for the greatness of the Eagles in spite of all their professional and personal warts, he needn't have bothered. Read morePublished on May 27 2000
I DID NOT DISCOVER THE EAGLES UNTIL THEIR REUNION. STARTED BUYING THEIR WORK AND WAS INTRIGUED BECAUSE THEY APPEARED TO HAVE MORE THAN ONE LEAD. Read morePublished on May 19 1999
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