Henley is better known as co-founder of the Eagles and, as such, is one of the most successful and well known recording artists of the past forty years.
As co-writer of such hits as Hotel California, Life in the Fast Lane, One of These Nights, Lyin’ Eyes, Boys of Summer and Desperado, Henley has hits, fame and riches beyond almost all of his peers. Rolling Stone magazine voted Henley as the 87th best singer of all time.
In spite of a level of accomplishment that would have had most people resting on their laurels decades ago, this is what Henley said at the listening party for his new album:
‘I’m still foolish enough to think that my best work is ahead of me’
Is he serious?
The man is 67 years old and he thinks he can produce a better song than Hotel California or Desperado (written when he was 25 years old)!
What planet is he on?
At one level, it seems an absurd statement yet, at another level, it’s an incredible insight into what makes a chronic over-achiever tick.
Here’s a man clearly in the final third to quarter of his life and he’s freely aspiring to reach yet-to-experience levels of excellence.
Instead of finding Henley’s words slightly deluded, I find them incredibly inspiring.
Why shouldn’t he think his best work is in front of him? I mean he’s had so much experience and he has so much skill, what’s to prevent him from producing a song or vocal performance that tops all
of his previous accomplishments?
The Rolling Stones (all in their early 70s, except Ronnie Wood), Bob Dylan (74) and Paul McCartney (73) are all still releasing new music.
Here’s to being forever foolish – your best work is ahead of you.