Even old friends surprise each other every once in a while.
Longtime Eagles collaborator JD Souther says he had no idea that the band chose to record “How Long,” a song from his 1972 solo debut, for the group’s Long Road Out of Eden.
JD Souther: “Glenn [Frey]’s wife, Cindy, and I think his son Deacon were watching YouTube and saw an old Eagles concert from Holland. Cindy asked him, ‘Hey Glenn, what’s this song?’ He said, ‘It’s a song of JD’s; we used to play it.’ And she said, ‘Did you ever record it?’ He said, ‘No, JD cut it, so we didn’t.’ That’s just the way it was — just like I didn’t cut ‘New Kid in Town’ after they cut it. We were happy to have our songs dispersed around.
“She said, ‘Well, I think that sounds like a classic Eagles tune.’ Glenn called Don [Henley] … the next thing I knew, [I got a call] that I had the new Eagles single. It was a great surprise; it was a great delight. I thought they made a great record of it. It was a perfect Eagles record.”
Long Road Out of Eden, released in 2007, ended a long gap between studio albums for The Eagles. Souther recently ended his own extended drought with If the World Was You, which concludes with the song “The Secret Handshake of Fate.”
Souther: “We were just making it up as we went along. It was a poem – it was two very long verses.
“I had this idea – I think it was the night after we cut ‘One More Night’ – I just had this thing nagging at me, this little blues figure. I sat at the piano and wrote the last verse and I said, ‘You guys just follow me – do what I do.’ You can hear them chattering at the beginning, and there’s a couple of times where I’m telling people to come in. I couldn’t get Chris [Walters] to look around the top of the grand piano, and you can hear me say – it’s kind of off-mike – ‘What does it take to get Chris Walters to come in here?’ … and he came in with this brilliant left-hand solo.”
— Introduction and interview by Chris M. Junior
JD Souther on tour (schedule subject to change):
* Nov. 4: State Theatre – Falls Church, Va.
* Nov. 5: Sellersville Theater 1894 – Sellersville, Pa.
* Nov. 7: StageOne – Fairfield, Conn.
* Nov. 8: The Stephen Talkhouse – Amagansett, N.Y.
* Nov. 9: Tin Angel – Philadelphia
* Nov. 11: Joe’s Pub – New York
* Nov. 12: Johnny D’s – Somerville, Mass.
* Nov. 13: Iron Horse Music Hall – Northampton, Mass.
* Nov. 18: The Magic Bag – Ferndale, Mich.
* Nov. 19: Nighttown – Cleveland Heights, Ohio
* Nov. 20: Abbey Pub – Chicago
* Nov. 23: Cedar Cultural Center – Minneapolis
* Nov. 25: Soiled Dover Underground – Denver
* Dec. 3: McGonigel’s Mucky Duck – Houston
* Dec. 5: Cactus Cafe – Austin, Texas
* Dec. 6: AllGood Café – Dallas
* Dec. 8: Santa Fe Brewing Company – Santa Fe, N.M.
* Dec. 9: The Rhythm Room – Phoenix
* Dec. 10: Acoustic Music San Diego – San Diego
* Dec. 12: McCabe’s Guitar Shop – Santa Monica, Calif.
* Dec. 13: Noe Valley Ministry – San Francisco
* Dec. 16: Largo – Los Angeles
JD Souther photo by Erick Anderson