Billing itself as America's number-one Eagles tribute band, the Long Run is a group of South Florida musicians whose obvious love of all things Eagles is dedicated to the sole purpose of replicating the sound of music's most successful chart-topping rock outfit of all time. Having made that their mission, they insist that they will, in fact, "please the toughest of Eagles fans" and that "You won't hear an Eagles tribute band this great 'til 'Hell Freezes Over.'"
Clearly the members of the band are experienced in this area, having tallied time with a number of original classic combos, among them the Platters, the Flamingos, and the Shirelles, as well more current (relatively speaking) artists like Trisha Yearwood, Gary U.S. Bonds, Roger McGuinn of the Byrds, and Julio Iglesias Jr.
With that pedigree in mind, New Times reached out to Reggie Fecteaua, the leader of this particular flock of Eagles, to get his thoughts on what makes these tributes compare to the real deal.
How did you come up with this idea to begin with?
Well, we all played in different tribute bands before -- Led Zeppelin, Frankie Valli, Beach Boys -- and we all had pretty nice careers. But we wanted to do something that would appeal to a wider generation. And since we all love rock, country, and, yes, mellow music, we decided to pay tribute to the Eagles. It meant great melodies, great harmonies, and, most importantly, great songs.
What tribute band had you performed with before?
I was fortunate to be part of a world touring Beatles tribute show in the '90s that averaged 200 shows a year for five years.
How did you guys first join forces?
Some of us had played together before in tribute bands. It was just like magic... Everybody joined without hesitating. We were all kinda fed up with the bar scene. After all, we're not kids anymore.
Do you do the songs lick for lick? Is there any room for improvisation? Any opportunity to add an individual touch?
We play the songs lick per lick, no tracks, all live. Guitarists Del Mize and John Tillman get their chance to shine on some songs, and let me tell you, when I say shine, they still give us the shivers when they play.
Is this strictly an Eagles cover band per se?
Yes, strictly Eagles, but we do play solo performances from Joe Walsh, Don Henley, and Glenn Frey.
Where have you performed this show previously?
In theaters, fairs, casinos, festivals, corporate functions; you name it, we've done it! We are talking right now about performing in Guatemala in April and in Canada next summer. We're producing our own shows across the country, some of which include a double tribute show with Turnstiles, the Billy Joel tribute band.
Why would one come to see your show as opposed to catching a concert by the actual Eagles?
Well, you don't have to mortgage your house to enjoy the music. One of the comments that we consistently receive from people is that: if you closed your eyes, you would think you were listening to the Eagles. But that comment is typically followed by, "but you guys have so much energy on the stage and look like you are having so much fun, and it gets passed on to the audience." They seem to feel like the band really cares about the audience and gives it their all, and the audience has a great time because of it.
Have any of the Eagles actually caught the show or commented on it?
We're still waiting. We've sent each of them an invite to our shows hoping that one of them will eventually decide to stop by. We think they would have a good time. But we also understand that they must be asked every day to stop by and see or play with a band, and so I'm sure that their time with family and friends is very precious. If it happens, that would be wonderful. If not, we'll just continue to put on the best possible show for the people who know and love the Eagles, but also continue to introduce new generations to their wonderful music.
So no actual endorsement as of yet then?
We were contacted about playing with Don Felder for the 2013 Florida Music Awards. Unfortunately, the show was postponed and moved to February 2014. We don't know if Don will be performing, but if he is, we hope he will reach out to us again.
So it's all Eagles, all the time. Birds of a feather, so to speak?
We love playing the music of the Eagles, and there is so much that we haven't had a chance to share with our audiences. It's not uncommon for us to play for almost three hours and still have so much more good music that hasn't been played. Maybe someone will hire us for a nonstop weekend tribute to the Eagles...
The Eagles were also known to have their personal flare-ups. We take it that you don't mimic those ego clashes, right?
One of the things that makes the Long Run so special is that we are like a family. We are best of friends, and we have a lot of respect for each other. In addition, our spouses are an important part of the band, and when we travel, our spouses are usually with us and supporting us. We each have a variety of experiences that we bring to the table, and we use those experiences to make the band better each day; it's all part of life's journey. We believe that the camaraderie that we share with each other is felt by our audiences and an integral part of why our fans are so supportive.
The Long Run performs at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, November 9, at the Eissey Campus Theater, 11051 Campus Drive, Palm Beach Gardens. Tickets cost $35 (orchestra) and $30 (balcony). Call 561-207-5900.