Song of the Week: Don Henley

I know.  I know.  I know what you’re thinking.  You’re thinking:  “Don Henley?  That’s not a song.  That’s a dude.  How can you have a dude as the song of the week?  What the hell is the matter with you?”  Look, if that’s what you’re thinking then, nuts to you!  It’s my blog.  I can do what I want.  It doesn’t have to make sense.  If you don’t like it, go start your own funny blog!

Oh…wait!  Don’t go. Don’t go.  I was just kidding.  I’m sorrysorrysorry.  Stay.  Please, stay.  I’m just a bit cranky lately.  It’s not you.  It’s me.  The boss has been driving me crazy.  Here.  How about I rub your feet?


Anyway…I heard the song “Sunset Grill” on the radio the other day.  And I haven’t been able to stop listening to it.  And once I started listening to that song, then I had little choice but to listen to “Boys of Summer” and “Dirty Laundry”.  And that’s because I ended up downloading Don Henley’s greatest hits.  Which kinda brings us back to why we’re having a song of the week by Don Henley.  Cause I really couldn’t pick out which of the three songs to write about.  I’m listening to all three of these earwigs about the same.  But, enough about me…

Sunset Grill

I wasn’t a big Don Henley fan growing up.  And even less of an Eagles fan.  The Eagles were just a little before my time, and quite frankly, “Hotel California” scared the shit out of me.  But, Sunset Grille happened at the right time for me.  Your friendly neighborhood jman came into musical awareness around 1985.  One of the songs of that year was “Sunset Grill” by…?  Bet you can’t guess.  No!  Not Bruce Springsteen.  Don Henley.  Are you even paying attention here?

Bet you didn’t know that was Courtney Cox!

I don’t know what it is about the song I like so much.  I think it’s the lines: “…Maybe we’ll leave come spring time, meanwhile, have another beer.  What would we do without all these jerks anyway?  Besides, all our friends are here.”  Think we all feel that way about our lives at some point in time.

Boys of Summer

“Boys of Summer” came out in 1984.  It’s on the same album as “Sunset Grill”, BUILDING THE PERFECT BEAST.  But, it came out just before my musical awareness hit.  So, I really didn’t care.  The song didn’t leave much of an impression on me.  So why am I writing about it?  Because the video did.  Even now, I’m trying to narrow down what I like about the video, but I can’t.  The couple running on the beach?  The look of focus on the kid playing the drums.  The frustrated suit? The teenybopper about to get friendly with herself on her bed (whew…yea.  I used that one A LOT back then!).  I think the moment that stands out for me the most is when Henley sings “don’t look back, you can never look back”.  And everyone in the video turns around to look behind them.

embedded by Embedded Video

(sorry bout the commericals.  as the wise man Lando Calrissian said: “it’s not my fault”)

He’s right.  You can never look back.

A few years ago, the Ataris did a pretty righteous cover of “The Boys of Summer”.  If you ask me which is better, I’d gotta go with Don Henley’s, only because that’s what I grew up with.  Otherwise, a real strong argument can be made that the cover is just as good as the original.

Seriously, though, what’s the big farkin’ deal bout a “deadhead sticker on a Cadillac”?  I’m still trying to figure that one out.

Dirty Laundry

The year was 1982. Johnny Carson hosted the 54th Academy Awards, Argentina invaded the Falkland Islands and health warnings on cigarette packs were made mandatory in Hong Kong (thank you Wikipedia!).  I was 11.  The only thing I gave shit one about were Star Wars action figures.  But, after downloading Don’s greatest hits the other day, I’ve been listening to “Dirty Laundry” a plenty.  Could be cause it’s the lead off track.  Or maybe cause the song is even more pertinent today than it was 30 years ago.  “…is the head dead yet?  The boys in the newsroom got a running bet…”

my brother had this set. I hated him for it!

Wait.  Did I say 30 years ago?!?!?  WTF!  I’m getting old!

5 Replies to “Song of the Week: Don Henley”

  1. 140 characters is a b**** sometimes…

    At the time of these songs, I can honestly say I didn’t like Don Henley songs. Dirty Laundry at the skating rink and The Boys of Summer on buses, and those and more of his music everywhere. Of course, plenty of other music was all over the place back then.

    Long story short, who knows why I picked what I liked and didn’t like back then. Part peer pressure, part trying to be original, mostly just being a silly kid. Because every time I hear these songs now, they evoke nothing but good memories, and honestly they’ve aged pretty well. Hell, Pink Floyd seemed like they were so old back then. HA! Anyway, looking back on music from the 80s, it’s easy now to see what really stood the test of time, and I’d include Don Henley on that relatively short list.

    Bonus: since I’ve only recently “unshelved” Amused to Death, I just realized that Henley sings backup vocals on track 11 (Watching TV). Mostly this is just a coincidence, but also it makes me feel old.

    1. funny you should say that. i was watching THE WALL the other day on VH1. it came out in 82. i think i saw it for the first time in 86? 87? i remember thinking exactly that. how old it was. thinking bout it now? it was only made a few years before i saw it! man…being a kid is a license for being stupid. 🙂

      agreed on why i liked most of the crap i liked back then. just because it was there, probably.

      at least i didn’t write about how many cassettes i taped the song “Mickey” on back in 82…

  2. I never got to see any of those videos because my dad was in the Air Force so we grew up overseas. Loved Don Henley & the Eagles though — my dad listened to The Long Run so many times I still know all the words by heart to ever song on that album, lol! It’s fun now when folks post videos to songs I recall from childhood, cuz I’m still seeing most of ’em for the first time. “Boys of Summer”… yeah, first time view today! And I’m 36, so that’s just WRONG! Glad you shared! 🙂

    1. don’t feel so bad. I didn’t see most music videos until the early 2000s myself. We didn’t have cable growing up. My parents were against it. Said it ruined your mind. Whatever. I’m TOTALLY over it and not bitter/angry about it anymore!!!!

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