Photo Archive: Eagles, HOTEL CALIFORNIA Cover, 1976

Photographers: David Alexander/Norman Seeff

The cover photos of the Beverly Hills Hotel at sunset, taken at Will Rodgers Memorial Park, and the back cover and gatefold, taken in the lobby of the Lido Apartments in Los Angeles, were taken by David Alexander (read more here) . The cover was designed by Kosh and Don Henley.

A poster insert was included with first issues of the album. It showed the band posed on a bed. According to photographer, Norman Seeff, this photo was a composite (multiple photos combined to create one image).

“Soon after commencing this session, the band walked out. I had no idea why at the time. A week later, I showed them a poster design I had created by combining a number of individual shots. They loved it and all was forgiven. It became a poster insert for the HOTEL CALIFORNIA album.”

Norman Seeff

Below are outtakes from this session.

Photo Archive: Eagles, ONE OF THESE NIGHTS Cover, 1975

Photographer: Norman Seeff
Location: Los Angeles, CA

This was the band’s first session with photographer Norman Seeff, a former medical doctor who emigrated to the United States from South Africa in the late 1960s to pursue a career as a rock photographer. One of his first assignments was the cover of the The Band’s Stage Fright.

An image from this 1975 session with Seeff appears on the back cover of the Eagles fourth studio album, One Of These Nights. Seeff described the session in an interview with Rolling Stone in 2013:

“This session for their ONE OF THESE NIGHTS album resulted in some striking images where each member of the band was being themselves in a confident way. Creating a moment with several artists at once can be challenging. When you work with 5 artists, if you don’t create a simultaneous relationship with every single person and someone loses eye contact, then they’re not all present.”


Photo Archive: Eagles, Desperado Cover, December 18th, 1972

Photographer: Henry Diltz
Location: Paramount Ranch, Agoura Hills, CA

Photos from this session were used on the front and back cover of Desperado, released in 1973. Additional photos were published in the Desperado Songbook the same year.

“The original concept was to depict The Eagles ‘gang’ alive on the front cover and dead at the hands of the posse on the back –with pictures of the bank robbery and ensuing shoot-out in which they met their grisly fate displayed across a double spread in the middle. ‘Then, at the last minute, without telling anybody, David Geffen scrapped the centerfold,’ Diltz says. ‘He was always doing stuff like that to save three cents on the production costs.'”

Uncut, May 2007
via Henry Diltz Photography – Facebook

Diltz also filmed the session and a short film showing the band members in a staged gunfight was later shown during the Eagles’ performance of “Doolin-Dalton/Desperado (reprise)” on Don Kirshner’s Rock Concert in 1974.


Photo Archive: Eagles, Joshua Tree National Park, March 20th, 1972

Photographer: Henry Diltz (with assistance from art director, Gary Burden)
Location: Joshua Tree National Park, California
Photo shoot for Eagles debut album cover.

The Eagles wanted the cover of their first album to have a “California” vibe, so Diltz suggested a “secret mountain top” in Joshua Tree National Park “where certain Hollywood actors would take psychedelics.” (Uncut, February 2022)

Bernie Leadon sets the scene:

“We met at the Troubadour at one in the morning and just drank our faces off, smoked all the pot and dope we could find and went out in my Toyota jeep and somebody else’s car and drove off to Joshua Tree. We arrived at four in the morning, before dawn, to the secret spot of all the old time dopers, way out in the back overlooking Palm Springs. They had this old barber’s chair way at the top of the mountain… you could sit there and it was great. We carried some guitars and all the camera equipment in the middle of the night, stumbled up this fucking mountain… made a fire and a camp and began making peyote tea and trying to eat peyote without throwing up… and the peyote was starting to come on and keep us awake… gave you that acid-like speed effect… those pictured are well stoned.”

The Story Of The Eagles: The Long Run by Marc Shapiro, 1995