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Watch ‘History of the Eagles, Parts 1 & 2′

Sorry if you feel a bit misled. You can’t watch “History of the Eagles, Parts 1 and 2″ right here, right now. But it does debut on Showtime this month and will be running numerous times all February long. And, make no mistake, whether you’re a fan of The Eagles or not….you should watch it!

“History of the Eagles, Part 1″ starts with the story of the early years of the band’s driving forces, guitarist Glen Frey and drummer Don Henley. The artists relive their respective childhoods in Detroit, Michigan and Linden, Texas and how jumping from band to band led them each to California and touring with singer Linda Ronstadt. As Frey tells it, “And Don said to me, ‘I’d much rather be in a band with you’, and I said, ‘Yeah. Me, too.”

The remainder of ‘Part 1′ takes a close up look at the Eagles formation, member changes – there were a few – and huge success the mid 70s and beyond. It also explores the groups extensive drug use, something that would play a major part in their undoing later on.

‘Part 2′ is, unfortunately, much slower and somewhat bloated, regaling the bands triumphant 90s reunion. The interviews with Frey and Henley amount to not much more than more than a couple of middle age men remarking on how much smarter they are at 55 than 25. It does, however, give us the film’s best line from guitarist Joe Walsh, reflecting on his addictions and recovery: “Could Hemingway have written those books sober? Could Hendrix played like that without drugs? I used that excuse for years.”

All said, “History of the Eagles, Part 1″ is riveting. “Part 2″ is, well, more for the hardcore fans. But “History of the Eagles, Parts 1 and 2″ does make me appreciate the depth and complexity of their songs, and make me wish I’d paid a lot more attention to their many classics when they were new. But, then again, I am smarter now than when I was 25.

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