‘I was very reluctant’: Don Felder on how Graham Nash talked him into the Eagles

Long before he created that signature riff in “Hotel California,” Don Felder was playing as a sideman in the Crosby and Nash offshoot group created from the ashes of Crosby Stills Nash and Young. And he was perfectly happy there, Felder says.

He couldn’t have known, of course, that first three full-length albums he’d contribute to with the Eagles (One of These Nights, Hotel California and The Long Run) would become touchstones in their discography — selling a whopping 27 million copies in the U.S. alone.

Back in 1973, it seems the blissfully unaware Felder was perfectly content right where he was. Graham Nash, however, knew better.

“I was very reluctant to leave [Crosby and Nash] because I was making $1,500 a week in 1973, which is like $15,000 today,” Felder tells The Houston Press. “And my first son was about to be born. So why would I leave that security to join a band that seemed to be perpetually breaking up? But Graham told me that there was a glass ceiling on being a sideman. And he was right.”

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