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Don Felder of The Eagles will perform Saturday in Athens on Saturday. (Provided via the Performing Arts and Concert Series)

Eagles’ lead guitarist Don Felder will rock out in Athens

The Eagles were one of the most influential and popular rock groups of their time. Their hit, “Hotel California,” was voted the number one 12-string guitar song in the world by Guitar World magazine, and much of the group’s success is all thanks to the Eagles’ lead guitarist Don Felder. 

Felder will rock out the Templeton-Blackburn Alumni Memorial Auditorium on Saturday as an add-on to the Performing Arts and Concert Series. 

Felder is touring his solo album, Road to Forever, which features a number of recognizable musicians, including Randy Jackson, Steve Lukather and David Paich of Toto, and Tommy Shaw of STYX. 

Andrew Holzaepfel, senior associate director for student activities, met with Felder’s agent at a conference and knew he wanted to bring his big performance to Ohio University. 

“We had heard how well he’d been doing at other venues, so we thought we would bring him in,” Holzaepfel said. “We haven’t done really classic rock like that in a long time so we thought it would be a lot of fun to bring in someone of his stature and connection to a major band like the Eagles.”

A four-time Grammy award winner, a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member, and a New York Times best-selling author, Felder was not only famous for his work with the Eagles, but also for performing and writing with famous artists like the Bee Gees, Alice Cooper, Stevie Nicks and Elton John. 

Holzaepfel thinks the concert will have more Athens residents attending rather than students because of the reputation behind Felder’s name and his popularity in the ‘70s. 

“I feel like it’s going to bring in a very different audience,“ Holzaepfel said. “It won’t be a very student-oriented audience; it’ll be very community heavy. I’m looking forward to having new people in the venue who maybe haven’t been to Memorial Auditorium to see a show and get them in the door and get them used to coming and seeing shows like this.”

Though Holzaepfel is anticipating less of a student turn out, he still encourages students to go see Felder’s performance.

“It’s going to be hits after hits, and people are going to know the songs,”  Holzaepfel said. “Don Felder puts on a really big production-type show, and it’s going to be a really fun night.”

Students are excited to see Felder bridge the gap between generations and bring a rock-heavy concert to OU. 

Hannah Mong, a freshman studying animation, is excited to see Felder’s performance because she grew up listening to him with her parents.

“It’s really cool that we get to experience such a big name from someone that was playing long before we were born, and we get to experience what our parents and other generations were experiencing,” Mong said.

Holzaepfel is particularly excited about the performance because it adds a diversity to the regular Performing Arts and Concert Series.

“The Eagles and the music that Don Felder was involved with, as far as writing and performing, definitely spans generations and generations,” Holzaepfel said. “Everybody can sing these songs, whether you’re a 19-year-old student at OU or a 50-year-old in the community. In some ways, it has a nostalgic feel for both the community members who have seen the Eagles and students who have connected those songs with family and home.”


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