The untold truth of The Big Lebowski

The “I hate the Eagles, man” line was a blessing and a curse for the film

Despite being a fairly passive, laid-back character, there are a few things one definitely knows about the Dude. He loves bowling and White Russians, and he hates the Eagles. Jeff Bridges himself is much more apathetic, or at least much less apoplectic, about the band than his character, but that didn’t stop him from getting chewed the heck out by Eagles singer/guitarist Glenn Frey several times at parties the two attended. Apparently Bridges and Eagles drummer Don Henley are on much friendlier terms, and the supposed slight hasn’t affected how the two interact.

The line worked out well for the film itself, however. Music producer T Bone Burnett was really interested in ending the movie with Townes Van Zandt’s cover of the Rolling Stones’ “Dead Flowers,” a song that was incredibly tricky to secure, since Van Zandt had died the year before. Turns out the rights to the song were owned by former Rolling Stones manager Allen Klein, who initially demanded $150,000.

The Coens invited him to watch an early cut of the film, and at the Eagles-disparaging line, Klein stood up in the middle of the showing and insisted they could just have the song for free. That’s a way deeper burn against the Eagles than the line itself.