Gonna Last Forever (Zion-026)
Budokan, Tokyo, Japan – September 18th, 1979
Disc 1 (45:41): Opening, Hotel California, Already Gone, In The City, Doolin-Dalton, Desperado (reprise), Lyin’ Eyes, I Can’t Tell You Why, Desperado
Disc 2 (60:37): Heartache Tonight, One Of These Nights, Turn To Stone, The Long Run, Life’s Been Good, Life In The Fast Lane, Rocky Mountain Way, Take It Easy, The Best Of My Love
The Eagles were one of the most popular and best selling artists in the seventies. But diverging artistic aspirations at the end of the decade created a toxic environment within the band’s dynamics and lead to their break up for almost fifteen years. Their final hurrah in the seventies began with the release of The Long Run in September 1979 and six dates in Japan, their first visit in more than three years.
Opening night was September 17th in the Budokan. Gonna Last Forever documents the second night of the tour on September 18th utilizing a new, previously uncirculated audience tape. The taper was very close to the stage and the audience are extremely polite and quiet throughout the performance, so it is a very clear and enjoyable recording.
The tape starts off with muted audience noises as the band start their biggest hit “Hotel California.” Playing thier biggest hit as the opening number removes the audience’s expectations early. They follow with the quick tempoed “Already Gone” with its gorgeous harmonies.
“Hello back there” Don Henley says afterwards. “We’d like to do a song from our new album and this gives us an opportunity to introduce you to our new buddy Joe Walsh.” The first new song of the set is “In The City,” a Walsh song on the new album. It might have already been familiar to much of the audience because of its inclusion on The Warriors soundtrack that spring.
Several older songs, “Doolin-Dalton / Desperado (reprise)” and “Lyin’ Eyes” follow to much applause by the audience. Afterwards Henley introduces their new bass player Timothy B. Schmit and says “we stole him from Poco” before “I Can’t Tell You Why” from the new album.
Glen Frey sings “Heartache Tonight” with much enthusiasm. It was their daring new single from the album. With the heavy syncopated banging rhythms, it is the least mellow and laid back tune and stands out from the rest of the show. It is one of the highlights along with the eight minute long “Turn To Stone.” The old and revised Barnstorm song contains some of the show’s best improvisation. Walsh’s longtime henchman Joe Vitale even gets a nice flute solo in the song’s middle section.
The long and relatively somber tune is followed by “The Long Run.” Catchy and upbeat, it’s one of The Eagles’ happiest and sunniest songs.
Afterwards Henley tells the audience that Walsh is running for the President of the USA in the upcoming election and wants to carry Japan! “Life’s Been Good” was going to be the new national anthem. The opening drums are met with some of the loudest applause of the night from the normally quiet audience.
Two more heavier rockers, “Life In The Fast Lane” with Walsh’s nasty guitar riff, and Walsh’s blues jam “Rocky Mountain Way” follow.
The show ends with an extended version of “Take It Easy” and a stark performance of “Best Of My Love.” The acoustic strumming and slide guitar accompanying the vocals makes it sound much more country and western than rock. The audience remain polite and clap along to the song.
Gonna Last Forever is a rare Eagles silver title and an even more rare Zion label product. Not since Screamer released several titles about a decade ago have we really seen one. This is a very nice sounding tape of a very good concert early in their slide into a very long break.