For decades, the Eagles hated each other. They wouldn’t even ride to the shows in the same limo. But they also knew they were better together than separately. And they respected what each brought to the band. They, like a multi-personality morning show, are codependent.
Winning morning shows don’t have to be best friends, spend holidays together, and be godparents to each others’ kids. Some can’t stand to even have lunch together. In fact, a well-cast radio show probably won’t be besties in real life.
The morning show at a client station broke up. It was a shame because the show was quite good together. But internal issues having nothing to do with listener response caused a breakup.
The team couldn’t figure out how to work together. I explained that strong radio personalities on a team show are codependent and encouraged them to find a way to coexist. It didn’t work out. They couldn’t pull it off for the benefit of the show.
All great shows with dynamic performers must overcome differences. Committing to a For The Show (FTS) attitude helps. That’s how some dysfunctional bands stay together in spite of personal conflicts.
Bands Are Codependent
The Eagles have been together for a half-century. Yes, 50 years! Can you imagine performing (mostly) the same song library night after night? Talk about a grind. It’s easy to assume that a group that has worked this closely for this long would be great friends. But what if the band members don’t get along?
Like The Beatles, Fleetwood Mac, and dozens of other legendary bands, The Eagles have had more than their share of problems.
The band released its first album in Southern California in the early 70s. Their peak years were between 1973 and 1982. Classic songs like One Of These Nights and Hotel California are staples on many stations today.
And the band continues to perform in sold-out arenas, commanding over $1 million dollars a night.
But here’s what many don’t know. For most of their history, they wouldn’t speak to each other outside of performances. They hated each other.
But The Eagles are smart enough to recognize they are much stronger together than individually. None of the solo projects from Don Henley, Glenn Frey, Joe Walsh, and Timothy B. Schmidt has been as successful as the band’s albums.
The Eagles had to find a way to put aside differences and perform together.
The Circle of Fear
Each band member agreed to commit to one another for the benefit of the group. This was hard work so they added a couple of rules:
- No drama. They don’t have to like each other, but they do have to keep those personal problems from being a problem in performing the show. This is similar to the concept of creating a Disneyland approach.
- Band members also committed to The Circle of Fear each night before the show.
Each night, the band meets to review the details of that specific show. They’ve played the same songs together thousands of times, but they recognize that each show is a new performance and this is the night that many fans are seeing them for the first time.
The band spends 30-60 minutes reviewing details. They make sure they know the city, day, and date. Then they review changes in the setlist and talk about new ideas any band member wants to suggest.
This is a professional approach. They learned to “fake it” for 4-5 hours a day. During showtime, problems are set aside. Personal feelings are ignored. They get into a performance “zone”.
The Eagles are more terrified of disappointing fans than carrying out a personal vendetta. They ignore personal problems and internal disputes.
Every team show will have personal issues, some more serious than others. Great shows work through problems. A manager or coach can help sort it out, but at the end of the day, each cast member has to be committed to an FTS (For The Show) mentality.
My client couldn’t keep their show together. It’s sad because if the show doesn’t succeed, each individual fails. Make a commitment to the show and to one another, no matter how distasteful or difficult that may be.
Start with a Circle Of Fear. Insist on a rule to meet together at least 30 minutes before the show begins each day. An hour is better. Go over last-minute details. Review the show prep run sheet. Play a couple of improv games to get on the same page and start working together.
Do whatever it takes so your Circle Of Fear works for your show.