Community Concourse
San Diego, CA, July 6th, 1972

Eagles opened for Procol Harum.

San Diego Door, June 8, 1972

Most likely the location of the backstage photo of the band taken by Cameron Crowe’s friend, Gary Elam, which was originally published in San Diego Door in November 1972. Crowe mistakenly recalled in 2015 that the photo was taken at the San Diego Civic Theater. The Eagles did not play there in 1972.

Santa Monica Civic Auditorium
July 2-3, 1972

The Eagles opened for Procol Harum.

Ad for the concert from the Los Angeles Free Press, June 30th, 1972.
Note the order of the band members’ names with Bernie and Randy mentioned first.

Eagles at Santa Monica Civic. Photo by Sam Emerson.

L.A. Times review by Robert Hilburn:

Los Angeles Times, July 4, 1972

Linda Ronstadt and others visit the band backstage. Randy is not pictured. Photos by Sam Emerson.

The Eagles opened for Joe Cocker. They are not mentioned in any ads or reviews for the show.

The Province, March 25, 1972

A photo of the group backstage was published in the May 13th, 1972 issue of RPM, a Canadian trade publication. The caption referred to the band as “Eagle,” which is not a misprint since they were also called Eagle at their next two shows in Spokane and Portland (also opening for Joe Cocker). A few months earlier, they were billed as Eagle at Tulagi in Boulder, Colorado.

L-R: Randy, Bernie Leadon, Glenn Frey, Don Boas (with Kinney Services, the international distributor for Warner Bros, later known as WEA), Asylum Records general manager, John Hartmann, and Don Henley.

Memorial Coliseum, Tuscaloosa, AL
October 1, 1972

The Eagles opened for Yes.

According to the following review, the band was an hour late for the concert because their contract had the wrong start time:

Eagles opened the late afternoon concert after an hour of waiting by the audience. The lead guitarist apologized for the delay saying they had been eating barbecued chicken in Birmingham at 3:30 p.m. when they noticed a poster for the concert that said 4 p.m. Their contract said 5 p.m. Panic ensued and the band hot-rodded it to Tuscaloosa.”

Mobile Register, October 15, 1972

Charlotte Coliseum, Charlotte, NC
October 3rd, 1972

The Eagles opened for Yes.

Charlotte News, October 2nd, 1972

This date marked the end of their two-month long tour opening for Yes. It was an unlikely pairing of country rock and prog rock bands. Before Yes, the band had also toured extensively as an opening act for Jethro Tull and Joe Cocker. Randy remembered: “There was always a question of how we would go down with those kinds of bands but we always seemed to get a good response.” He also remembered that it was the first time anyone in the band had ever toured to that extent and they took full advantage of the perks of being touring rock musicians: “I was married at the time, but I was on the road and away from my wife and I fell off the wagon once or twice. Anybody who has been in my position and says they didn’t is lying. It was very exciting to us because it was the first time any of us had been on the road to that extent and so we were a bunch of innocents. Traveling and touring was all new to us. We just didn’t know.” (The Story Of The Eagles: The Long Run, Marc Shapiro, 1995)

Lead singer Jon Anderson recalled that the Eagles had a surprise for the band after the Charlotte show:

“The last show we did with Eagles -we became friends – I love these guys – they were great – we finished our show – 15,000 people – we get up-stage, backstage, there’s no lights, it’s all dark, and it’s like, ‘What the hell is going on?’ And there were guys with flashlights, like, ‘Come this way, the lights are gonna open up.’ “What happened was: we finished up in the room, and it was so dark, couldn’t see anybody, and then all of a sudden the lights came on, and there was a table set up with the Eagles standing behind with two dozen pies, they threw these cream pies at us, and I joined in, and it was the best time ever.” (Interview with Jon Anderson, Radio Forrest, August 2020)

Photo Archive: Eagles, July 6th, 1972

Photographer: Gary Elam
Location: Backstage at Community Concourse/Golden Hall in San Diego, CA.

This early photo of the band was originally published in November 1972 in an article by Cameron Crowe in the underground magazine The San Diego Door. His friend, Gary Elam, took the photo. Crowe mistakenly recalled in 2015 that the photo was taken at the San Diego Civic Theater when the Eagles opened for Procol Harum, but the venue was actually Community Concourse.

L-R: Glenn Frey, Randy Meisner, Don Henley, and Bernie Leadon.

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 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