Eagles Tease, Praise Irving Azoff During His Rock Hall Induction
Eagles applauded — and playfully roasted — their manager, Irving Azoff, during the music executive's Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction.
"Irving Azoff in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame? … Why not?" the band's drummer and singer Don Henley said in a pre-recorded video during the HBO broadcast tonight. "It wouldn’t be the first time they’ve inducted somebody who couldn’t sing or play an instrument."
"We love him — all the guys in the Eagles love him," added guitarist Joe Walsh in his own segment. "He has a beautiful house that we bought him and a beautiful car that we bought him. It’s a wonderful life that we made possible for him."
Azoff entered the Rock Hall's 2020 class by receiving the Ahmet Ertegun Award for industry professionals along with Jon Landau, Bruce Springsteen's longtime manager and frequent producer.
Between their induction teasing, the Eagles bandmates also celebrated Azoff's impact on the band's career and the industry at large.
"I don’t think there’s anybody in the music business who has made as big of a difference, over as long a span of time, as Irving Azoff," Henley said. "He has been instrumental in bringing about a new order about how things work in terms of recording contracts, in terms of management, in terms of touring, in terms of copyright, in terms of artist rights."
"What I do know is," added Walsh, "if somebody in the entertainment business does something good, Irving has always made it possible for them to be able to do it better."
The duo also looked back on their own 1998 Rock Hall induction, with Henley contextualizing his famous onstage reference to Azoff ("He may be Satan, but he's our Satan"). "The whole 'Satan' comment has been widely misunderstood," the frontman reflected. "What I meant was: If you mistreat one of Irving’s clients, then there will be consequences."
Azoff, in his own newly filmed clips, returned the praise to his clients.
"Everything I learned about the business, I learned managing them," he said. "It’s been an incredible learning experience, to then apply to the other things I’ve done in my career."
He added, "No one has taught me more about the importance of protecting artists rights than Don Henley. We’ve reached a crossroads in the music business today. It’s time for rules to be broken, but they won’t break themselves. If you are a young artist or executive watching this today and I can give you any advice, it’s be brave. Own as much as you can. Depend on no one but yourselves. Protect intellectual property at all costs. Take the long road. Fear nothing and no one. I promise you it will pay off."
The 2020 Rock Hall class also includes the Doobie Brothers, Depeche Mode, T. Rex, Nine Inch Nails, Whitney Houston and the Notorious B.I.G.