"About the time that I started to leave, the band was peaking, or beginning to peak, and so the summer that I left, we were finally headlining baseball stadiums. And I split. Then the Greatest Hits got released after I left the band—sold like seven or eight million units—and then the last album did the same thing. It's been odd—it's like having a family, in a way. It's like leaving a fraternity or something."
"Raven hair and ruby lips,
Sparks fly from her finger tips,
Echoed voices in the night.
She's a restless spirit on an endless flight.
Woo-hoo, witchy woman,
See how high she flies."
(From: "Witchy Woman.")
The whole conception of the Eagles through the first two albums was very stylized, intricately tied in with the imagery of the album covers; the desert cacti and peyote-eyed guys, and then the mean looking desperados clutching their guns and money bags. For the One Of These Nights and Greatest Hits album covers an even more powerful imagery was at work. The source was Texas artist Boyd Elder, a mystic and other-worldly character, who created art works of great intensity and energy out of the skulls of wild animals, embellishing them with intricate, hypnotic, brightly painted patterns and a variety of feathers and horsetails.
Boyd had known the Eagles since their formative days and early on they had played at the opening of his art show in Venice. They shared his mystical interests, were deeply into the Casteneda Don Juan books, and dug his art pieces and the mystico-religious concept of art he calls El Chingadero. The Eagles' One Of These Nights album cover blazes with the colors and energy of a Boyd cow-skull piece. The original, having the same name, now hangs in Glenn Frey's house.
Another powerful skull, this time an intricately painted eagle skull of Elder's, adorns the Eagles' Their Greatest Hits, 1971-1975 album set off by his dazzling electric lighting lettering. His two covers for them stand as successful results of cover art working in tandem with the music, going a long way to further establish the Eagles' imagery and mystique.
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