“The Eagles broke up. Glenn went off to make a solo album, which I played on – Lee did, as well. Don felt like he had to do something too, and he had to do it right away. He started putting out feelers, and I remember hearing that he was calling people. A lot of guys went up to his house to jam with him. It was obvious that he was looking for somebody to collaborate with.
“I knew he would call me. I knew that the phone would ring and it would be Don. Sure enough, the phone rang and it was Don: ‘Come on up. Let’s jam.’ He told me what he was doing; he was making a solo album, and he was looking for collaborators. I had a sense that I was going to get the gig, because I was writing, and I had a ton of ideas. I was ready. I went to see him, and after a few hours, he looked at me and said, ‘OK, you wanna work on this album with me?’ [Laughs]
“After that, we saw each other every day, and we became very, very good friends. I love him him very much. We threw ideas around, listened to records. He had a lot of ideas, and we had to find ways to make those ideas into songs.
“He never said what he was looking for in a collaborator, but he knew what he wanted to do. I think one of the reasons he picked me was because I had broken into new things. I was interested in new wave, I was interested in punk, I was interested in synths – and I was one of the only cats from the scene who was into that stuff.
“Don didn’t want anything that sounded like the Eagles. He didn’t want acoustic guitars, didn’t want harmonies, didn’t want ‘oohs’ and ‘ahhs’ – nothing that was associated with the Eagles. We kept saying, ‘Yeah, the record ‘s gonna kick ass! It’s gonna have big beats and hard guitars.’ We used to pump each other up like that.
“The synth part to Dirty Laundry? He didn’t say, ‘That’s not me.’ He knew we had to make a ‘me’ – we had to make what Don was now. ‘What does Don do now that he’s not in the Eagles? What does Don do in 1981?’ That was the general idea. He knew that I was the guy to help him do it. He talked about Dirty Laundry from day one. He wanted to take on the local media, which had really raked him over the coals.
“One night, I was at home in my little demo studio, working on tracks, which is how Don liked to work – you’d come in and play him something, and he’d say, ‘Oh, I can write a song to that.’ I played him a primitive demo of what became Dirty Laundry, and he loved it. It sounded new and different. It all went from there.”