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Is Don Felder underrated guitarist?

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by JeffMo, Feb 23, 2021.

  1. Rosskolnikov

    Rosskolnikov Designated Cloud Yeller

    The Eagles still play Hotel California as the highlight of their set.
  2. Old Fart At Play

    Old Fart At Play He won't eat it, he hates everything

    Los Angeles
    The question is about his skills as a guitarist, and people are responding about his singing abilities and the qualities of his solo albums... :sigh:
  3. J_D__

    J_D__ Forum Resident

    Huntersville, NC
    The Eagles without Joe Walsh are not a rock band.
    Bluesman Mark and Fullbug like this.
  4. PacificOceanBlue

    PacificOceanBlue Senior Member

    The Southwest
    And 20 other major songs and hits.
  5. Fullbug

    Fullbug Forum Resident

    He had the Heavy Metal thing, and then kind of disappeared to count his money and occasionally emerge to sue Don and Glenn.
  6. BluesOvertookMe

    BluesOvertookMe Forum Resident

    Houston, TX, USA
    I never knew Irving Azoff lived in the Pacific Northwest. :wtf:
    Hey Vinyl Man and Say It Right like this.
  7. Andrew J

    Andrew J Forum Resident

    South East England
    Well I wasn't responding to whether the Eagles were underrated.

    I'd happily never listen to that song again, but if you do a quick Youtube under their name, chances are you'll find more than Just Hotel California on the first page. See what comes up if you put in Don Felder. I'm betting it will be 95% vids of him playing it.
    Record Rotator likes this.
  8. JeffMo

    JeffMo Give The Gift of Music! Thread Starter

    New England
    That may be, but I'm not a guitar player myself and just based on the 1977 concert I watched, it is Felder (not Walsh) playing the solos on most of songs.

    Walsh does play some piano and sings too, so he is the more talented overall musician obviously.
  9. captwillard

    captwillard Forum Resident

    Probably, but the 70’s was full of guitar hero’s. He was a key part of one of the biggest bands...that is all that is important!
    carlwm likes this.
  10. Hall Cat

    Hall Cat Forum Resident

    Chicago, IL USA
    I agree, but I don't care too much about rock
  11. Roberto899

    Roberto899 Forum Resident

    Reading Felders book he doesn't seem like the kind of guy that is into busting off hot riffs. Hotel California aside, most of his playing is laid back. Kind of like the Eagles music. I think his playing fit The Eagles for what they were doing, and in that context, he is really good. Outside of that context, while certainly a capable guitar player with a nice tone, he is kind of average.
    zphage and Record Rotator like this.
  12. BluesOvertookMe

    BluesOvertookMe Forum Resident

    Houston, TX, USA
    1. Interview on his book
    2. Heavy Metal (Takin' a Ride)
    3. Heavy Metal (Takin' a Ride)
    4. Hotel California
    5. A rehearsal clip of the Eagles jamming Witchy Woman with Felder and Walsh - 1977?
    6. Hotel California
    7. interview
    8. interview
    9. commentary
    10. Hotel California
    11. All of You
    12. All of You
    13.American Rock n Roll
    14. guitar solo with the Eagles (not playing Hotel California, BTW)
    15. Heavy metal (Takin' a Ride)

    3/15 = 20%
    samskeyti, carlwm and Andrew J like this.
  13. Jack Lord

    Jack Lord Forum Resident

    Washington, DC
    Is Don Felder underrated guitarist?

    I think anyone familiar with his time with the Eagles knows he is a talented musician. Also a seemingly nice guy who probably got a raw deal.

    But there was not much of a next phase, so there may be legions of latter day music fans who are simply unfamiliar with him. Show them some vintage clips and they would probably be impressed.
  14. Spaghettiows

    Spaghettiows Forum Resident

    Silver Creek, NY
    It might also be worth noting that they also play 3 of 4 Joe Walsh solo or James Gang major/hit songs, or at least they used to. Felder may be a more refined guitarist, but Felder never really had any hits outside of the Eagles. Not that you need to be a great songwriter to be an elite rock guitarist - Eric Clapton comes to mind - but Walsh is certainly ahead of Felder in that category.
    Bluesman Mark likes this.
  15. Hanglow

    Hanglow Forum Resident

    Saratoga New York
  16. Andrew J

    Andrew J Forum Resident

    South East England
    Ok I was wrong. Still, the rest of it at least to my mind, mostly forgettable. If Heavy Metal (Takin' a Ride) is one of his most prominent offerings it's not really adding to the case that he's under rated.
    He was a good guitarist in the right place at the right time, who has done little noteworthy since leaving the band he's most known for.
  17. jwoverho

    jwoverho Senior Member

    Mobile, AL USA
    Great guitarist that added an edge to the Eagles sound that came in handy. He and Walsh made a fine guitar duo.

    He may not have done much since then, but he did help write Hotel California, which insures his place in music history.
  18. Hanglow

    Hanglow Forum Resident

    Saratoga New York
    Don't worry about Don financially.....:righton: the out of court settlement he had,I'm sure helped pay for a
    new roof on his home.......his Mexican reggae tune has forever cemented him in the category of "The last song
    that will be playing just before the Sun comes to the end of it's life".
    Szeppelin75 likes this.
  19. Rosskolnikov

    Rosskolnikov Designated Cloud Yeller

    His last two albums were quite good (significantly better than the one with Takin’ a Ride). But nit astonishingly good. Solid. Good music. Tasteful. Rocking in a few key spots.

    Talented guy but not one of the key 70s dudes. From his book, I get the opinion that he did not like the “to the left” direction that Frey and Henley wanted to take the band around 1979. Not as if Don was far right, but he just wasn’t comfortable with the overt politics. That appeared to start a wedge that never really went away.
    Doggiedogma, Lonesurf and carlwm like this.
  20. Victim Of Love - he co-wrote it and plays great guitar on it.
    If you're looking for something other than Hotel California to judge his talent.
  21. carlwm

    carlwm Forum Resident

    I disagree. Don Felder brought a nice rocky edge to the band and Joe added to it. I think they would have gone that way regardless of personnel because that's what Glenn Frey, in particular, wanted.
  22. carlwm

    carlwm Forum Resident

    Both strong writers, according to my ears, although Joe has released an awful lot more material.
    longdist01 likes this.
  23. JeffMo

    JeffMo Give The Gift of Music! Thread Starter

    New England
    That is exactly the point of my thread and I completely disagree with you. Have you seen live footage from late 70s?
    carlwm likes this.
  24. Mojo7575

    Mojo7575 Forum Resident

    A personnel change needed to happen to achieve that harder edged rock sound Frey was looking for. Leadon was ready to move on and with him left the country side of the band; in came Walsh and now they had two compatible guitarists to conquer the world for a couple of albums.
    Felder probably got the accolades he deserves as a guitarist; his solo albums suck, but then again IMO all solo albums by past & present members of the Eagles suck. They had an incredible run between 1972 and 78 with a couple of acoustic reinventions in 94 - but that was it. Everything since is subpar or repackaged.
    longdist01 and carlwm like this.
  25. rjp

    rjp Senior Member

    i saw him live about 10 years ago.

    he played all eagles songs and 'heavy metal', which was very disappointing to me.

    his guitar playing was (then) and is stellar.

    his songwriting is, to put it nicely, a bit weak. that intro to 'hotel california' is his millions dollar ticket.

    to address the post i quoted. he really is just not a very good singer at all, and his solo show with him on lead vocals and without the harmonies of the eagles was fair to good. the vocals were poor, at best.

    his solo albums are also fair to good, better when he doesn't sing. and his first solo album from years ago is head and shoulders better than his last 2.

    he rally really needs a band badly to show case ho playing ability, maybe call his old buddy stills and join up with him and kenny wayne shepard and make a n electric guitar smorgasbord.

    and BTW, i agree he got real bad deal form the gods (henley and frey)

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