A petition has been started on change.org to ask the Kennedy Center to allow Don Felder, Bernie Leadon and Randy Meisner to be recognized at the Kennedy Center Honors for the Eagles.
The band was recently selected for the prestigious honor which will include a major cultural event in December where current members Don Henley, Glenn Frey, Joe Walsh and Timothy B. Schmidt will watch a number of stars sing and speak about their career.
Brandon Butler of Hornell, NY didn’t feel this was right, considering the contributions that Felder, Leadon and Meisner made to the history of the group, and he started the petition to try and convince the Kennedy Center that they were making a major error:
The former members of the band have helped make contributions to American Culture by means of their guitar and bass playing. Several songs are well known based upon the vocals, and the guitar and bass playing of Felder, Leadon, and Meisner including “Witchy Woman”, “Hotel California”, “One Of These Nights”, “Take It To the Limit” among many others. Not only do the current members deserve to be honored for their contributions to the band that we all come to know and love, it is fitting and appropriate that the former members of the group deserve the same honor, no matter the bitterness. differences, or angst that the current members have against them. Please consider allowing them to be honored.
So far, 2,000 have signed the petition which only has an initial goal of 2,500, including Randy Meisner’s former wife, Jennifer, who said:
I was married to Randy from 1963 until 1981, he was an integral part of the formation of the group along with founding member Bernie Leadon , then came Don Felder ….the original eagles are responsible for the most recognised and played sings of the band’s career. [sic]
The Eagles formed as Linda Ronstadt’s backing band when she was touring in 1971 behind the album Silk Purse. Her manager recruited Glenn Frey and Don Henley while Randy Meisner of Rick Nelson’s band and Bernie Leadon of the Flying Burrito Brothers joined soon after. Felder joined in 1974, Walsh in 1975 and Schmidt in 1977.
Relations with the three ex-members have been strained over the years. Leadon left in 1975 after the release of One of These Nights, not happy with the direction the band was taking with their sound. He has performed at some shows over the last two years as a guest.
Meissner left after the band’s Hotel California tour due to his and Frey’s arguing over their set list. Meisner had been ill during the near year-long trek and was refusing to sing Take It To the Limit because his voice was limited while Frey kept demanding that he do the song.
Felder was with the group until 2001 when he was fired, although animosity had been building for years. Felder sued the band for wrongful termination. The suit was settled out of court.
To sign the petition, go to change.org.
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