PHOTOGRAPHER HENRY DILTZ, ALBUM-COVER DESIGNER Gary Burden and the four members of a new band called the Eagles set out from Los Angeles at 2 a.m. on March 20, 1972, arriving three hours later at the area that is now Joshua Tree National Park. The whole crew climbed up what Diltz calls a “secret magic mountain,” reaching the top at daybreak. As the sun rose, they began snapping photos for the group’s upcoming self-titled debut album. “You can see people are a little haggard from staying up all night,” Diltz says. The troupe spent the rest of the day taking peyote and shooting more photos. “We spent the day laughing and communing with nature,” Diltz says with a chuckle. “Just having a great old time.” Diltz recalls that the Eagles—(from left) Bernie Leadon, Don Henley, Randy Meisner and Glenn Frey—were flush with optimism. “They were excited,” he says. “They’d discovered they could make this amazing music, and people were just beginning to realize how good it was.”

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