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Don Henley Slams Bush & Iraq War In Thailand

Don Henley Slams Bush & Iraq War In Thailand


by Richard S. Ehrlich

BANGKOK, Thailand -- Don Henley, lead singer of the American rock band, "The Eagles," said America's war in Iraq "was not necessary" and he does not like U.S. President George Bush.

"I didn't like him [Bush] when he was governor, and I don't like him now. I support the troops, but I don't support the people who sent them there [to Iraq] because it wasn't necessary," Mr. Henley said.

The Eagles's singer and drummer made the comments on Wednesday (Oct. 13) in a brief recorded interview while signing autographs ahead of the band's two concerts in Bangkok scheduled for Oct. 15 and 16.

Asked if he supported President Bush and America's war in Iraq, Mr. Henley, 57, replied: "No, I do not."

He said a recent Eagles song titled, "Hole in the World," now meant there was "definitely" a hole in the world because of the U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq.

The song, written in response to the Sept. 11, 2001 attack on the World Trade Center and Pentagon, includes the chorus:

"There's a hole in the world tonight.
There's a cloud of fear and sorrow.
There's a hole in the world tonight.
Don't let there be a hole in the world tomorrow."

Unlike some other American bands -- such as the Dixie Chicks and Santana -- the Eagles will not give a speech about the president or the war during their concerts overseas.

"We'll do 'Hole in the World,' that will be about the extent of our expression. I don't think people came here to hear polemics," Mr. Henley said.

"We all voted before we left" at the start of their "Farewell 1" tour of Asia and Australia, he added.

"I voted for John Kerry, who is a friend of mine and has been for many years."

Two of the most well-known events in the lives of the Eagles and Mr. Bush coincided in 1976, the year when the album "Hotel California" was released and when Mr. Bush was convicted for drunk driving.

Asked if it was possible that Mr. Bush may have been listening to the Eagles while driving under the influence, Mr. Henley chuckled and said, "I have no idea. That would be really stretching it. It's not impossible."

The Eagles meanwhile are currently writing a song about U.S. National Security Adviser Condoleeza Rice.

"We started writing a song about her, but we haven't finished it yet," he said.

"It's just kind of cute. It's just fun, tongue in cheek. It's sort of like 'Her Majesty is a very nice girl,' on the Beatles' album. Do you remember that? Just a little spoof at the end there. I don't know if it will get on a record," Mr. Henley said.

The song "neither" supports nor criticizes Ms. Rice, and just spoofs her, he said.

The singer-drummer was born in Gilmer, Texas, and as a youngster was influenced by Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis, Fats Domino, Bobby Freeman, Chuck Willis, Bobby Blue Bland, the Grand Ole Opry, Hank Williams, Patsy Cline and others.

The Eagles's music has been described as a blend of country, folk, rhythm and blues, and rock. The band won four Grammy awards.

Each of Eagles's two concerts in Bangkok will be three hours long to allow them to play virtually all their songs.

Ticket prices in Bangkok range from the equivalent of 50 to 210 U.S. dollars each -- unusually expensive for concerts in Thailand.

After Bangkok, the Eagles are scheduled to perform in Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan and Australia.

***** -ENDS- *****

Richard S. Ehrlich, a freelance journalist who has reported news from Asia for the past 26 years, is co-author of the non-fiction book, "HELLO MY BIG BIG HONEY!" -- Love Letters to Bangkok Bar Girls and Their Revealing Interviews. His web page is www.geocities.com/glossograph/


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