Eagles Articles

Lookout Management / Geffen-Roberts (1971-1974)

Eliot Roberts started Lookout Management in 1967. In 1969. he brought in his friend David Geffen to help sort out some messy problems with Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young. It was at this point that Geffen got the idea for Asylum Records, a label designed to be more "artist friendly" and less corporate. It would be the label that would give the Eagles their start.

Geffen was a friend of Jackson Browne, and Browne was his first client on Asylum. He got Geffen to sign Glenn, but he told Glenn he needed a band to be marketable (he decided Glenn's Longbranch Pennywhistle cohort JD Souther was best as a solo act). The band Glenn got together was the Eagles. They showed up at Geffen's door and Bernie pitched the band to him, ending with a "Here we are. Do you want us or don't you?" Geffen said yes.

Asylum Records and Lookout Management went hand in hand - in fact, the agency was called Geffen-Roberts, and they even had offices in the same building. While Geffen was not officially part of the Eagles' management, the two men basically worked as a team, which could cause conflict of interest occasionally.

That ended when Geffen sold the label to Warner Brothers / Elektra in 1973. The band had no idea he was going to do it, and then once they gound out, were not too happy. Suddenly the overseas promoters didn't care about them anymore, since they knew Warner would be handling them. The Eagles naturally resented this, and felt Geffen had sold out figuratively as well as literally despite the fact that he continued to be their representative at the label.

Roberts, now working on his own as their manager, couldn't seem to handle things nearly as well. However, he was the first to give Don and Glenn higher percentiles of the publishing when before it had been split equally. Still, his company was partially blamed for Desperado's failure to become a hit. The Eagles felt that Roberts no longer cared about them. They were more Geffen's baby, and Roberts had all the money he needed with the merger, so he wasn't too eager to hustle and bustle to get things going for them.

In 1974, Roberts' nerves were shot and he'd had enough. He dumped everybody except Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, and JD Souther. The Eagles wound up with a guy on Robert's management team named Irving Azoff, and were the first act managed by his new company Front Line.

Read an article about David Geffen's rise which also discusses some of his involvement with the Eagles here.