Despite a year-long campaign by a fan, the Kennedy Center has decided not to include Don Felder, Bernie Leadon, and Randy Meisner as part of the Eagles’ Kennedy Center Honors.
The Eagles were supposed to receive the honor last December but they asked to have it postponed a year while Glenn Frey was going through a medical situation. Shortly after the initial announcement in 2015, fan Brandon Butler started a petition asking the Kennedy Center to included all of the past members of the band who contributed so much to their sound and career to be included in the ceremony.
In August, Butler sent the petition to the Kennedy Center but, unfortunately, he received the following statement back from Deborah Rutter, president of the Center:
The Kennedy Center consulted with the Eagles and through that discussion, it was determined that the four band members who “carried the torch” –Don Henley, the late Glenn Frey, Timothy B. Schmit, and Joe Walsh–will be awarded the Honors. We appreciate that there will be some debate about who constitutes the Eagles. This determination does not discredit the contributions of former band members.
Still, Butler is not giving up completely. He has asked Ms. Rutter to at least consider inviting Felder, Leadon, and Meisner so that they can “feel a sense of pride and accomplishment watching the tributes from their fellow artists.”
I want to send one final message to Don, Bernie, and Randy if they or anyone within their families read this. Please know that 10,000 plus Eagles fans across the globe believe your contributions to the band will not be forgotten.
Regardless of the outcome of this petition, you should feel a sense of accomplishment and pride knowing your contributions are going to be heard by generations to come like “Hotel California”, or “Take It To the Limit”, or “Witchy Woman”. They will be played for years to come. I think that is a lot better than having a medal placed across your chest.
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