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| 17 December 2023 | 1 Reply

Hachette Australia
May 2023
Paperback, Rrp $34.99
Reviewed by Shane Pinnegar

Gold standard rock writer (amongst many other things over a storied career) Mick Wall eschews the traditional rock and roll bio tropes of meticulously detailed dates and times and quotes and, well, formality in general, to present the remarkable story of the (no definitive article) Eagles, one of the most successful bands of all time.

Wall’s tone is less historian or even journalist, presenting more as a fellow carouser sitting around the campfire or bar, telling this story as if he was relating the tale of a group of friends on a big night out.

Don Henley, Glenn Frey, Randy Meisner, Bernie Leadon, Don Felder, Joe Walsh and to a lesser degree Timothy B Schmidt and a clutch of session chums had more than a big night out, of course – theirs was a big decade. One of the biggest. A bazillion records sold, two bazillion audience members (softly) rocked, three bazillion bucks worth of coke snorted, four bazillion bucks worth of Lear jets chartered, and who knows how many people used up and stomped on and discarded and pissed off along the way.

Yessiree, the Eagles are the subject of a great many anecdotes, and Wall has the skinny on What Really Happened, thanks to his Access All Areas pass in the industry.

It all makes for a fascinating story, minutely researched and told in a relatable, engaging, and downright entertaining fashion, with no punches pulled and no fucks given for fallout, because – in his own words – nowadays Mick Wall writes for one person and one person only. You, the reader. Has done ever since Axl Rose threw a hissy fit at him in the song Get In The Ring, even though the so-called “lies” Axl was pissed off about were recorded on an interview tape, so y’know.

If you want the day-by-day meticulously detailed sort of bio which will have you rattling off souless facts and figures like a forensic rock n’ roll career accountant, you’ll have to look elsewhere – Dark Desert Highway is a page-turning saga of pure entertainment and far more engaging because of it.

Category: Book Reviews

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Editor, 100% ROCK MAGAZINE

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