‘Come on, Don, break up!’: As Don Henley’s relationships ended, classic Eagles songs emerged

Something clicked for the Eagles in the mid-1970s, as they went from being a popular country-rock act to chart-breaking arena-filling superstars. Many credit lineup changes that included the arrivals of Don Felder and Joe Walsh. Felder has another idea, however.

Felder, who performed on one track from 1974′s On the Border before becoming a full-fledged member of the Eagles, tells FOX411 that the spark for many of their best-known songs at the time came from courtesy of Don Henley’s love life — specifically when things went bad.

“When we were writing songs for the Eagles, Don Henley would be involved in some new love relationship, and he was always excited about them,” Felder says. “But we were all waiting for the day that they would break up. We would be thinking: ‘Come on, Don, break up. Break up, break up! We need a ballad for this record!’ And then it would be over, and he would come out and write this great ballad.”

Felder would play key roles in 1975′s One of These Nights (including a striking arrangement on the title track), 1976′s Hotel California (co-writing “Victim of Love” and the title track), and 1979′s The Long Run (co-writing “Those Shoes”), before reuniting with the Eagles for Hell Freezes Over in 1994. He split with the band in 2001.

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