I’m finally getting around to reading Don Felder’s autobiography “Heaven and Hell” and am really enjoying it. I’m just getting to the part where he meets the Eagles and am very much looking forward to being outraged by Don Henley’s douchy-ness and Glenn Frey’s annoying alpha-frat-bro behavior.
I never thought about it much, but “Donald” is not a very rock and roll sounding name. On a scale of 1-10, with 10 being Johnny or Mick, and a 1 being something like Ernie (no offense to Ernie K Doe and Ernie Isley intended), Donald has to come in at about 2 or 3. It feels like a name better suited for an accountant or a municipal clerk, rather than someone playing to sold out crowds and reveling in the accompanying sex and drugs.
The fact that the Eagle had two Donalds in their band might have created a certain disruption to their psychic feng shui that they could never overcome no matter how many units they sold.
On the other hand, Donald Roeser of Blue Oyster Cult had the good sense to change his name to Buck Dharma, and while “Buck” is not the greatest rock name, it certainly ranks higher than Donald, and may have, in some small, intangible way, helped nudge the band closer to the path of creative righteousness.
Anyway, here are some rock and roll Donalds, listed in order of their ability to triumph over what, in retrospect, was a poorly chosen name and a sizable original sin to overcome.
Donald “Duck” Dunn