Synopsis by Mark Deming
Don Henley and Glenn Frey were a pair of journeyman musicians -- the former from Texas, the latter from Michigan -- who had been knocking around the Los Angeles music scene for a few years when they were hired to play in Linda Ronstadt's backing band. In 1971, they teamed up with two fellow members of Ronstadt's band, Randy Mesiner and Bernie Leadon, and signed a record deal with a new label being launched on the West Coast, with no inkling that by the end of the decade, they would be one of the biggest American bands of all time. The Eagles would go on to record two of the biggest selling albums of the 20th Century (Hotel California and Their Greatest Hits 1971-1975), redefine the trademark Los Angeles soft rock sound, and create a body of work that became an apt soundtrack for a nation looking to feel good again after the turmoil of the 1960s. Filmmaker Alison Ellwood offers an in-depth look at the early days of the Eagles and their rise to fame in the documentary History Of The Eagles -- Part One, which combines new interviews with the group's members and their associates, vintage photographs, and rare performance footage to tell the story of a band that came to define their time. Produced for the Showtime premium cable network, History of the Eagles -- Part One received its world premiere at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival; Part Two, not shown at the festival, made its cable premiere the same month as the first film.