Classic Rock

The Hidden Story Of The Eagles “Hollywood Waltz”

todayMarch 13, 2024 1

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Have you ever wondered about the story behind the Eagles’ lesser-known song, “Hollywood Waltz”? It turns out that the song was not primarily written by any of the band members but instead by an outside collaborator. In this article, we will explore the meaning behind “Hollywood Waltz” and the significant role played by a Tom Petty collaborator in its creation. Join us as we delve into the backstory of this unheralded track.

Tensions and Collaborations Within the Eagles

The Eagles’ fourth LP, “One of These Nights,” released in 1975, marked a turning point for the band’s popularity. The album soared to the top of the charts, thanks to the success of hit singles like “Take It to the Limit,” “Lyin’ Eyes,” and the title track. However, behind the scenes, the band was grappling with internal conflicts and increasing tensions.

Throughout their career, the Eagles had started as a collaboratively driven band, with all four members contributing equally. But as time passed, Glenn Frey and Don Henley emerged as the key songwriting team, overshadowing the contributions of Bernie Leadon and others. Leadon, in particular, became disenchanted with the band’s evolving sound, which moved away from their country rock roots.

 

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“Hollywood Waltz” and the Influence of a Tom Petty Collaborator

One of Leadon’s final contributions to the band was the song “Hollywood Waltz,” co-written with Henley, Frey, and his own brother, Tom Leadon. Interestingly, Tom Leadon had gained recognition as a musician through his collaboration with Tom Petty in the band Mudcrutch. During his time in California, Tom Leadon found inspiration for the song while witnessing acacia trees blooming in Topanga Canyon.

Bernie Leadon remembered his brother’s song when the Eagles were in need of material for “One of These Nights.” Tom Leadon willingly handed over the composition to the band without requiring any approval. In an interview, he explained his decision, saying, “I had enough respect for them as songwriters. They made it into a Hollywood/Southern California thing to fit the concept of the album, kind of philosophically about life in L.A.”

Unveiling the Story Behind “Hollywood Waltz”

The late Tom Leadon used the blooming acacia trees as a metaphor to explore the story of a faded beauty in “Hollywood Waltz.” The song depicts a woman desperate for a meaningful connection in a world that continually disappoints her. While the scene is set in the dreamland of Southern California, the lyrics delve into the individual’s story rather than the glitz and glamour of Hollywood.

The cycle of disappointment repeats in her life, as the lyrics state, “They got what they wanted, they’re packing and leaving, to look for another to love the same way.” However, despite the heartache, the woman remains optimistic and willing to give love another chance. The chorus pleads with her new partner to see her flaws and love her unconditionally.

Musically, “Hollywood Waltz” showcases the Eagles’ signature harmonies and features beautiful steel guitar and mandolin parts played by Bernie Leadon. The song evokes a bittersweet feeling with its poignant lyrics and melodic composition.

Written by: Best Classic Bands Staff

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