Don Henley mustn’t die, but a cattle prod might have helped in Vancouver



By Steve Newton

Don Henley really put his foot in his mouth during his second encore at the Coliseum last Friday (August 16). While rambling on about the new environmental book that he edited, the former Eagle mentioned that, with all the work involved, “I’ve been awake since January.”

Gee—great time to tackle a North American tour, sleepyhead.

But no matter how frightening the prospect of a tired Don Henley performing doe-eyed tunes like “Wasted Time” or “New York Minute” might seem to a living, breathing human, very few of the 8,500 folks in attendance appeared to be nodding off.

My two sisters from Chilliwack were in an absolute dither from the get-go, and a stranger on my right sang heartily along to “End of the Innocence”, as if every word were carved in stone. As for myself, by the time Henley and his band crawled into an acoustic version of his latest sentimental ballad, “Heart of the Matter”, I was pondering the possible excitement of the PNE’s agriculture pavilion.

Things picked up considerably, though, when Henley rocked out with “If Dirt Were Dollars”, a tune he dedicated to Elvis Presley and Pee Wee Herman, “Cause they both died sitting down.”

“Boys of Summer”, the finest moment of his solo career, also garnered two thumbs up. And you couldn’t complain much about his choice of encore material, which included “Witchy Woman”, “Desperado”, “Life in the Fast Lane”, and that deathless classic of ’70s guitar-rock, “Hotel California”.

While Henley’s nearly two-hour show surely had its share of slow moments, I would have to say that Mojo Nixon’s assertion that “Don Henley Must Die” is a mite harsh.

A brief nudge with a cattle prod might jolt some life into him, though.

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