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Fly like an Eagle

MusiCares gala honors Henley

The annual MusiCares dinner and concert got Person of the Year honoree Don Henley to change his mind a bit about some of his back catalog.

“I actually started to like some of these songs again,” he said Friday at the L.A. Convention Center, clearly referring to Keb’ Mo‘s strippeddown and bluesy version of the Eagles’ mid-’70s hit “One of These Nights.”

He might as well have been responding to a few other distinct takes on his solo hits and tunes he wrote as a member of the Eagles.

Michael McDonald‘s rendition of “The Heart of the Matter” had several high-powered music execs buzzing; the Dixie Chicks brought down the house with a stellar “Desperado”; Shawn Colvin fit “End of the Innocence” into a soft, acoustic-guitar based framework; and legendary soul man Sam Moore made “The Long Run” sound like it was written in Memphis in the ’60s.

Event, which helps fund the Recording Academy’s agency for assisting musicians in times of need, raised $4.2 million from ticket sales, donations and items that were auctioned. A customized SUV went for $65,000.

Other performers on the bill were Trisha Yearwood, John Mayer and Seal. After a warm intro from lyricist Bernie Taupin, who compared Henley’s work to Faulkner and Kerouac and noted “work like yours will inspire our kids for years to come,” Henley and his band gave a hearty performance of four classics, “Boys of Summer,”

“Wasted Time,” “Life in the Fast Lane” and “Hotel California,” before leading the crowd of 2,300 in singing “Happy Birthday” to his 9-year-old son.

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