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Don Felder book spiked over ''legal issues''

The publisher is not releasing the former Eagle’s memoir, ”Heaven and Hell,” because of unspecified ”legal issues”

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Robert C. Mora/WireImage.com

Like the titular hotel described in the band’s most famous song, you can check out of the Eagles, but you can never (entirely) leave. That, at least, would appear to be the lesson for ex-guitarist Don Felder, whose memoir about life in the Eagles’ fast lane was due to hit bookstore shelves on Oct. 1. But EW has exclusively learned that publication of the tome — entitled Heaven And Hell — has been canceled ”due to legal reasons,” according to a spokesperson for Hyperion.

The precise nature of those ”issues” is unclear, but certainly, the advance copy of the book distributed to reviewers by Hyperion does not stint on depictions of ’70s-era debauchery. Indeed, from the very opening paragraph we find Felder, who joined the band in 1974 and actually co-wrote ”Hotel California,” reminiscing about hitting the stage for a show with ”white powder rings around my nostrils.” Later, he recalls witnessing ”the barrage of p—y” that was offered up to the band.

But it is no secret that The Eagles were, in their prime, one of rock’s most committed party bands. What may be irksome to the rockers’ co-leaders Don Henley and Glenn Frey — assuming it is they who are responsible for the legal problems — is Felder’s assessment of the band as being ”short on camaraderie” and the numerous incidents of intra-band squabbling he describes to ram home that point. Many of the problems revolved around financial issues, and it is possible that the problem with the book may lie with Felder’s illumination of what he believed to be an unjust split of profits.

Felder was fired from the Eagles in 2000 and filed a lawsuit against Eagles Ltd. the following year. In his book, the guitarist says that ”a settlement was finally reached” between himself and his ex-bandmates. If the settlement included a non?disclosure clause, then that too may have played a part in the pulling of Heaven And Hell. Meanwhile, the first new studio album from the Eagles in 28 years, a double opus entitled Long Road Out Of Eden, is set for release on Oct. 30, and the band may not have relished having to discuss Felder’s book during interviews. Regardless, it looks like fans of the band will miss out on this firsthand account of just how fast life in the fast lane actually was.

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