In the midst of recording, the Eagles take time out to clear their heads with an overnight sail to Santa Cruz Island on Joe Walsh's sailboat, the "So What." They all drive up separately to Santa Barbara, where the boat is docked. It is early afternoon when they sail out of the harbor and Joe has secured "permission to go ashore" on the island. Below deck a serious game of cut-throat Eagles poker begins. During the crossing, they sleep in the sun, take turns at the helm and ride on the tip of the bowsprit. As darkness descends, Joe cooks up a tuna casserole in the galley. Dinner is supplemented with fine French wine and lime-green Hawaiian grass.
The boat is anchored in an island inlet for the night. Several Eagles sleep up on the deck in sleeping bags. The next morning they go ashore in the small motor boat to explore the island, "get legs to land," and climb the rocks to find a clearing. The area is full of plants; cacti and succulents. When they return to the shore, the ocean has started to swell and it is a precarious ride back to the big boat. The voyage back is rough, the sailboat keeling way over. They cut a course, seals and dolphins swimming alongside. Later that night, they drive back to L.A. refreshed and ready for another assault on the studio.
The Eagles are the archetypal California band, musicians who were drawn to L.A. by the lure of both the climate and the then- developing music industry. They had all been around the L.A. rock scene before they collaborated to become "Eagles." Indeed, they were veterans, coming from distinguished backgrounds: Poco, Rick Nelson's Stone Canyon Band, The Flying Burrito Brothers, Dillard and Clark, and Linda Ronstadt's bands. Glenn Frey had already made some demo tapes for David Geffen, whose advice was that maybe he should join a band. But right at that moment Linda Ronstadt hired him for her back-up band. It was two days before rehearsals were supposed to start and the band still needed a drummer. "And here was Henley," says Glenn, "just standing right in the Troubadour. I struck up a conversation with him. I told him my whole trip was just stalled. I had all these songs and couldn't make a record, and I wanted to put together a band but I was going on the road with Linda. Henley said that he was fucked up, too . . . we were both at impasses. So he joined Linda's group, too. The first night of our tour, we decided to start a band. "We had it all planned. We'd watched bands like Poco and the Burrito Brothers lose
Page 2 Page 4