The bassist also performed in Poco and Rick Nelson’s Stone Canyon Band
Randy Meisner, who helped form the Eagles in 1971, has died. He was 77.
According to a statement from the surviving members of the band, the bassist/vocalist lost his battle with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary disease (COPD) the night of July 26th in Los Angeles.
“Randy was an integral part of the Eagles and instrumental in the early success of the band ” the Eagles said in a public statement. “His vocal range was astonishing, as is evident on his signature ballad, ‘Take It to the Limit.”
In addition to “Limit,” which peaked at no. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1975, Meisner also handled lead vocal duties on such deeper Eagles cuts as “Certain Kind of Fool,” “Try and Love Again,” “Take the Devil,” and “Is It True?”
Born in Scottsbluff, Nebraska, Meisner was an original Eagle when the band formed in 1971 along with Glenn Frey, Don Henley and Bernie Leadon, playing a key role on some of their best-selling albums, including Desperado, On the Border, One of These Nights and Hotel California. He left the group in the fall of ’77 following inter-band turmoil with Timothy B. Schmit serving as his replacement to this very day. And while he never participated in any of the Eagles’ reunion tours, Meisner did participate in the band’s induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998.
AUDIO: Eagles “Take It to the Limit”
Before joining the Eagles, Meisner played for a little while in Poco and also served as a member of Rick Nelson’s Stone Canyon Band. Additionally, he played bass on James Taylor’s signature album Sweet Baby James.
Randy also has a number of solo albums to his name as well, many of which were released during that late ’70s and early ’80s where soft rock, New Wave and AOR converged at the local Record World (check out 1980’s One More Song below). He had a cool band called the Silverados and toured a lot with them. Then he joined another group in the mid-’80s called Black Tie that also featured Jimmy Griffin of Bread, scoring a hit on country radio with their version of Buddy Holly’s “Learning the Game.” There was also the Roberts-Meisner Band with Rick Roberts of Firefall, and a reunion with Poco that found him back on the Billboard charts with the band’s 1989 album Legacy and its hit single “Call It Love.”
Meisner’s last public appearance was on October 30, 2020, when he made a remote appearance singing background vocals with Richie Furay and his band on the Poco song “Pickin’ Up the Pieces.”
Prior to that, however, tragedy struck when Meisner’s wife Lana Rae accidentally shot herself with a rifle at the couple’s home. Authorities determined that Meisner had no role in the shooting, as surveillance tapes showed he was in another part of the house at the time, though he was placed under psychiatric hold after threatening suicide from the grief.
One can only hope he found peace before his passing.