Mike Campbell Says Inspiration for Don Henley’s ‘The Heart of the Matter’ Came on the Toilet
You likely won’t hear Don Henley’s hit song “The Heart of the Matter” the same way after this story.
Heartbreakers/Fleetwood Mac guitarist Mike Campbell co-wrote the song featured on Henley’s 1989 album The End of the Innocence, and in a new interview on The Moment with Brian Koppelman, he reveals inspiration for the song came to him on the toilet.
Campbell said, “There’s a guitar everywhere [in my home.] Everywhere I sit, I can reach over and pick up a guitar. And even, you may want to cut this out. I’m gonna be really honest with you. ‘Heart of the Matter’…I got up. I sat on the toilet first thing in the morning. I had a guitar on the wall, and I was half asleep, and I just went [strums opening chords].”
Campbell added, “The songs, the body stuff all comes out together at the same time. You have to have the instrument nearby, or even driving in the car sometimes you have to pull the car over. ‘Cause, you know, these things come and it’s a gift. It’s magic, and it’s mysterious, and I, for one, can’t just turn the switch on. It turns itself on. And you just have to obey it.”
Let that be a lesson to any musician or other creative type: You should always be prepared for when inspiration strikes, even during a morning number two.