When we think “Greatest guitarists of all time”, Don Felder, former lead guitarist of the Eagles, has to be up there. This exceptionally talented artist performs guitar licks with flair, making his 1998 entry into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with the Eagles truly deserved.
Despite the band’s breakdown in 1980, Felder has, and still does, share his incredible talents worldwide. His phenomenal performance of “Hotel California” featuring Styx (an American Rock band best known for their songs “The Grand Illusion” and “Rockin’ The Paradise”) is just one of many great shows Felder has given.
The 2015 “Live From Las Vegas” performance saw Don introduce the song with his iconic double-neck guitar. Those first few notes captivated the crowd before Felder and Tommy Shaw from Styx delivered the timeless lyrics. Fans cheered as the pair played some incredible riffs, each one holding their own on stage.
Followers were equally impressed on Styx’s Youtube channel. The video, from 6 years ago, has had more than 6 million views, making it one of their most popular to date. One fan commented “What a phenomenal version of the song, Felder and Shaw’s voices were so harmonious!! Shivers down the spine and neck-hair on end!! Brilliant!!”
Credit for writing the Eagles song is shared between Don Felder for the music and Don Henley, along with the late Glenn Frey for the lyrics. It’s won multiple awards, such as the “Grammy Award for Record of the Year” back in 1978, as well as being voted “The best guitar solo of all time” by the readers of Guitarist in 1998.
“Hotel California” hit number 1 in the charts of 1977, the year it was first released, in the Canadian Top Singles and US Billboard Hot 100. It’s sold more than 32 million copies worldwide and has been certified 26× Platinum in the US.
It has since been covered by multiple artists, including Gipsy Kings (with a flamenco version), Marilyn Manson, Nancy Sinatra and Frank Ocean (who Don Henley, founding member of the Eagles, later threatened a lawsuit against for copyright infringement). More than 160 musicians have performed the song (2204 times in total as of the end of 2021) and it was ranked 49th greatest song of all time by the Rolling Stone magazine.
Felder, who made his mark in the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum in 2016, has worked with some incredible names over the years. He’s made appearances on albums for Diana Ross, Barbra Streisand, and the late Andy Gibb (younger brother to Barry, Robin and Maurice Gibb, better known as the Bee Gees).
More recently, in 2019, Felder released his third solo album, “American Rock ‘n’ Roll“ (following “Airborne” in 1983 and “Road to Forever” in 2012 ), which he self-produced with drummer and percussionist Robin DiMaggio. The Rock and Roll guitar hero has tour dates set for later this year and will be headlining for RAFBRAI in July along with American Rock band, Sugar Ray.
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