How did Eagles (band) get their name?
The Eagles began in early 1971, when Linda Ronstadt and then-manager John Boylan recruited local musicians Glenn Frey and Don Henley for her band. Henley had moved to Los Angeles from Texas with his band Shiloh to record an album produced by Kenny Rogers, and Frey had come from Michigan and formed Longbranch Pennywhistle; they had met in 1970 at The Troubadour in Los Angeles and became acquainted through their mutual record label, Amos Records. Randy Meisner, who had been working with Ricky Nelson's backing band, the Stone Canyon Band, and Bernie Leadon, a veteran of the Flying Burrito Brothers, also later joined Ronstadt's group of performers.
While on the tour, Frey and Henley decided to form a band together and informed Ronstadt of their intention. Frey later credited Ronstadt with suggesting Leadon for the band, and arranging for Leadon to play for her so Frey and Henley could approach him about forming a band together. They also pitched the idea to Meisner and brought him on board.The four were signed in September 1971 to Asylum Records, the new label started by David Geffen, who was introduced to Frey by Jackson Browne. Geffen bought out Frey's and Henley's contracts with Amos Records, and sent the four to Aspen, Colorado to develop as a band.
Having not settled on a band name yet, they performed their first show in October 1971 under the name of Teen King and the Emergencies at a club called The Gallery in Aspen. Don Felder credited Leadon with originating the name of Eagles for the band during a peyote and tequila-influenced group outing in the Mojave Desert, when he recalled reading about the Hopis' reverence for the eagle. Accounts however vary, and J.D. Souther suggested that the idea came when Frey shouted out, "Eagles!" when they saw eagles flying above. Steve Martin, a friend of the band from their early days at The Troubadour, recounts in his autobiography that he suggested that they should be referred to as "the Eagles," but Frey insists that the group's name is simply "Eagles."