Don Felder was first attracted to music after watching Elvis Presley live on The Ed Sullivan Show.
He acquired his first guitar when he was around 10, which he has stated he exchanged with a friend at the five-and-dime for a handful of cherry bombs.
He was heavily influenced by rock and roll and when he was 15, started his first band, The Continentals, which also had Stephen Stills of Crosby, Stills & Nash fame.
Felder gave Tom Petty guitar lessons for a year and a half at a local music shop, and also learned how to play slide guitar from Duane Allman.
After the band broke up, Felder went to New York with a band called Flow, which released only a single jazz album. While in New York, Felder improved his mastery of the guitar and learned various styles.
After Flow broke up, Felder moved to Boston, where he got a job in a recording studio. There, through his friendship with Leadon, he met the rest of the Eagles in 1971, while they were on their first tour.
In 1972, Felder moved to California where he was hired as guitar player for a tour by David Blue. He helped Blue put together a tour, during which they opened at a few Crosby and Nash shows in November 1973 and in opening the Roxy Theater in Hollywood, California for Neil Young and the Santa Monica Flyers.– Felder replaced David Lindley (who had fallen ill) in the Crosby Nash band.
He would also jam from time to time with the Eagles in their rehearsal space.