The Cincinnati Enquirer from Cincinnati, Ohio on October 13, 1991 · Page 146
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The Cincinnati Enquirer from Cincinnati, Ohio · Page 146

Cincinnati, Ohio
Issue Date:
Sunday, October 13, 1991
Page 146
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music Don Henley's natural obsession Ex-Eagle comes to the rescue: He's set on saving Thoreau's Walden Woods from development J couldn't define for myself. Emerson's essay on self-reliance also gave me the courage to become a songwriter." Henley fans wish he were writing now. His latest album, the 1989 Grammy-winner The End of the Innocence, was an insightful reflection on the '80s. They've been waiting ever since. Walden, in part, has kept him from the studio a point he doesn't mind making clear to those who suggest that, like many celebrity do-gooders, he's a publicity-seeking dilettante. "Artists always catch flak for getting involved. People think we're doing this to enhance our careers. We're not; it takes time away." As it stands now, he'll begin work on a new album after the first of the year. He's also embarking on a book-signing tour for Heaven is Under Our Feet, for which he row to keep developers out of the LA canyons that are home to him, Marlon Brando, Warren Beatty and others, and who is working to protect Texas' Caddo Lake, where he caught his first fish. Says actress-writer Carrie Fisher, "When you go to his house, he has mail piled up; he's on every mailing list in the world. And he answers every letter or sends checks. He's hilarious." He gets his friends involved, too, Fisher says. "He'll call and say,. You have to send $500 to such-and-such cause.' Or he'll send us material and explain what it is 'They're going to pave paradise and put up a parking lot. And he's so bright, articulate, persuasive and persistent that you just do it" That, apparently, is how Henley corrals stars like fellow ex-Eagle Glenn Frey for concerts. And big-name friends like Fisher, ex-girlfriend Dana Delaney, Michael Doug- r X gathered en- Cehlnec0nf 55?5 oversy Emm.. . 1 "oreau anW d., Vluthors cmerson, "'oonistGWo -at Lit las and Meryl Streep for advisory and fund-raising duties. Henley long has had high-profile friends. In fact, he also has a permanent, infamous place in presidential politics as owner of the Aspen house in which Democratic candidate Gary Hart met Donna Rice. This incident nearly gives him apoplexy when mentioned, since, as he explains, the press put his house under siege even though he didn't intro-duce Hart to Rice. "I don't know who did. are give i n the videos for his eloquent, lovesick songs, 44-year-old former Eagle Don Henley always is slickly groomed and cool i the videos are shot in shadowy Gary was with his wife." In earlier lives, Henley was the drummer for the Eagles and writer of such era-defining songs Colo., when he could be resting? He's here because he's a man obsessed with "saving" Walden Woods a patch of Massachusetts that inspired Henry David Thoreau and now is slated for office development. And because he's doing his part in a benefit trade-off gig that such musicians as Billy Joel and Paul Simon have going with each other. Henley had to put in an appearance here, at Joel's concert for the Nature Conservancy, to get Joel to perform at three Madison Square Garden concerts on Oct. 21, 22 and 24 to raise money for Walden. (Also on the bill: Bonnie Raitt) His friends are not surprised at the fervor with which Henley speaks of Walden. This, after all, is the man who organized Mulholland Tomor black and white. But on this day in stormy Montauk, out on New York's Long Island, Henley comes in from the rain looking like a disheveled mountain man blue work shirt and jeans, frizzing brown-gray hair and beard. His raspy voice, so effective in songs like Sunset Grill and The End of the Innocence, sounds so tortured that you want to make him a cup of tea. The voice is done in by the pressure of a five-month concert tour. "My doctor told me not to talk," he croaks. So why is he? What's he even doing here, on the opposite end of the country from his homes in LA and Aspen, as Hotel California and Life in the Fast Lane. In a roundabout way, it was Walden that inspired him. While Henley was growing up in Linden, Texas, his schoolteacher mother taught him to love reading; his farmer father imparted a love of the land. Those loves connected in an appreciation of Thoreau and his crony Ralph Waldo Emerson. "Their works articulated things about nature and spirituality that I vironmental essays by the likes of Jack Nicholson and Paula Abdul. What Henley really wants is to go home, "sleep in my own bed and go for a hamburger at the Sunset Grill." Still, he keeps plugging away. "Artists have a forum. You should use celebrity. It's not just for getting a good table." By Laurie Werner 12 USA WEEKEND Ckiotxr ll-U, 1991 Photograph by Gwendolen Cates, Outline

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