The one musician who turned down joining the Eagles

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The Eagles’ formation was a journey of determination and musical mastery, spearheaded by Glenn Frey and Don Henley. Both had already honed their talents across the U.S. before meeting in California – Frey in Detroit, known for his participation in local bands, and Henley in Texas, drumming for Shiloh. Their paths crossed through Linda Ronstadt’s backing band, where the idea of creating their own group took root.

The pair’s vision was to craft a quintessential California rock sound, blending relatability and catchiness. They were joined by Bernie Leadon, recommended by Ronstadt, and Randy Meisner from Poco. Notably, JD Souther, Frey’s roommate and songwriting partner, declined to join, opting for a different musical path.

Souther, focusing on songwriting’s enduring impact, contributed significantly to the Eagles’ success from the sidelines. He co-wrote key tracks like ‘Victim of Love’ and ‘How Long’, proving his choice to prioritize songwriting over stardom was fruitful.

This narrative of the Eagles’ formation reflects their commitment to excellence and the diverse musical influences that shaped their iconic sound. It also highlights the intricate decisions and partnerships that contribute to a band’s legacy, with Souther’s role exemplifying the unseen yet vital contributions behind the scenes.

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