Must Don Henley Die?

Don Henley must die!
Put him in the electric chair
Watch him fry!
Don Henley must die
Don’t let him get back together
With Glenn Frey!
Don Henley must die!

– Mojo Nixon

On 7 July 1977, I saw Don Henley sing “Hotel California” at the Tarrant County Convention Center in Fort Worth.

In 1979, Don Henley gave the poet Ed Sanders several pages of his handwritten lyrics for “Hotel California,” after The Eagles hired Ed Sanders to write a biography of The Eagles, on the recommendation of Glenn Frey, who used to hang out with Ed Sanders when Ed Sanders was writing a book about the Manson Family.

On 21 June 1980, I saw Don Henley sing “Hotel California” at the Texxas Jam.

On 10 December 1984, I gave my college roommate Trapper John (now Assistant Music Programmer at SiriusXM) a question to ask Don Henley on the nationally-broadcast radio call-in show Rockline, and as a reward Rockline sent Trapper John a pair of Wayfarer sunglasses like the ones Don Henley sang about in his song “The Boys of Summer.” 

In 2005, Ed Sanders (lead Fug and CounterPunch contributor) sold Don Henley’s rough draft of his lyrics of “Hotel California” for $50,000. 

In October 2012, the publisher of The Texas Observer called me and said “You’ve pissed off Don Henley” because I mentioned Don Henley in an advertisement I wrote for The Texas Observer, which Don Henley gives lots of money to (or did, anyway, before I pissed him off). 

In February 2024, Don Henley testified at a criminal trial that Ed Sanders stole several pages of his handwritten lyrics for “Hotel California,” which is now reputedly valued at over $1,000,000.