Randy Meisner, founding member of L.A. rock band the Eagles, dies at 77


Randy Meisner, a founding member of the L.A. rock band the Eagles, who co-wrote and sang lead on the group’s enduring hit “Take It to the Restrict,” died on Wednesday at age 77 attributable to issues from persistent obstructive pulmonary illness, in response to a press release launched on the band’s web site.

“Randy was an integral a part of the Eagles and instrumental within the early success of the band,” the Eagles mentioned Thursday. “His vocal vary was astonishing, as is clear on his signature ballad, ‘Take It to the Restrict.’”

Blessed with a candy, soulful voice and a aptitude for mellow melodies, Meisner helped form the sound of country-rock within the early Nineteen Seventies, first as a member of Poco, then because the bassist for the Eagles, which he co-founded in 1971 alongside Glenn Frey, Don Henley and Bernie Leadon. Meisner was a gradual presence on the group’s basic ‘70s albums, contributing at the least one lead vocal and co-writing credit score on every report by means of 1976’s blockbuster “Lodge California.”

“Take It to the Restrict,” from the band’s breakthrough 1975 LP “One in every of These Nights,” reached No. 4 on the Billboard Scorching 100.

Inside band tensions and unwell well being led Meisner to go away the Eagles upon the conclusion of the supporting tour for “Lodge California.”

Meisner launched a solo profession in 1978, touchdown a soft-rock hit with “Hearts on Fireplace” two years later. After releasing a self-titled album in 1982, he spent the following years biking by means of tasks with fellow country-rock survivors, together with rejoining Poco for its 1989 reunion.

Other than showing with the band at its 1998 induction to the Rock & Roll Corridor of Fame, Meisner by no means reunited with the Eagles.

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The Eagles in 1977, from left, Don Henley, Joe Walsh, Randy Meisner, Glenn Frey and Don Felder.

(Michael Ochs Archives)

The son of a pair of farmers, Randy Meisner was born in Scottsbluff, Neb., on March 8, 1946. After witnessing Elvis Presley on “The Ed Sullivan Present,” he discovered the best way to play guitar however quickly gravitated to R&B music, which led him to choose up the bass, drawing inspiration from Motown particularly.

In his teenagers, he shaped a band referred to as the Drivin’ Dynamics, an R&B combo that performed native dances and launched a Meisner-sung single referred to as “So Fantastic” in 1965. A yr later, the Drivin’ Dynamics had damaged up and Meisner relocated to Los Angeles, the place he turned a part of the folk-rock outfit the Poor. The band launched a number of singles earlier than splitting up in 1968.

Meisner then teamed with Richie Furay and Jim Messina, former members of the groundbreaking Los Angeles folk-rock group Buffalo Springfield, in Poco. On the eve of the discharge of its debut album in 1969, Meisner left the band; his lead vocals had been scrubbed however his vocal harmonies and bass taking part in had been left in place. His alternative in Poco was Timothy B. Schmit; a decade later, Schmit would succeed Meisner within the Eagles.

After Poco, Meisner landed in Rick Nelson’s pioneering country-rock outfit the Stone Canyon Band, which additionally featured a number of of his former Poor colleagues. Aiding Nelson in his country-rock makeover, Meisner performed on the cracking dwell album “In Live performance on the Troubadour, 1969” and “Rudy the Fifth” however departed earlier than the hit single “Backyard Occasion” introduced Nelson again to the highest of the charts.

Annoyed, Meisner returned to Nebraska, the place he labored at a John Deere tractor dealership whereas taking part in bars at evening. Nelson inspired him to return to L.A. Splitting his time between studio classes and his fledgling group Goldrush, Meisner finally was drafted by producer John Boylan to assist Linda Ronstadt in a band that already featured drummer Don Henley and guitarist Glenn Frey. Including Bernie Leadon to the lineup, the group rehearsed on the residence Ronstadt shared with songwriter J.D. Souther, classes that led the musicians to formally type the Eagles.

Signing with Asylum Data, the label launched by David Geffen, the band launched its self-titled debut in 1972, which featured Meisner singing lead on his personal “Take the Satan” and “Tryin.” Over the following few years, the group recurrently featured a Meisner lead vocal on its information, together with such highlights as 1973’s “Sure Sort of Idiot” and 1974’s “Midnight Flyer.” On “Take It to the Restrict,” Meisner returned to his R&B roots, delivering a hovering, soulful efficiency that propelled the one into the Billboard High 10 and onto radio playlists for many years to return.

The “Lodge California” album elevated the Eagles to the entrance ranks of musical acts, spending eight weeks on the prime of the Billboard charts; it will finally promote over 32 million copies worldwide. Because the group hit a industrial peak, although, relations throughout the band started to fray. Months spent on the highway took a selected toll on Meisner. His marriage was strained, he had grown bored with singing “Take It to the Restrict” and he developed an ulcer.

All of this got here to a head at a live performance in Knoxville, Tenn., in 1977, the place he declined to affix the band in an encore. Meisner’s refusal angered Frey, resulting in a bodily altercation. After the incident, Meisner determined to go away the band. As he recounted to Individuals journal in 1981, “I used to be simply bored with the touring. It’s a loopy life that you just dwell at twice the conventional pace. When it bought to the purpose of sanity or cash … I believed I’d somewhat have sanity.”

Per the phrases of his Eagles contract, Meisner owed Elektra yet another report, so he delivered a covers-laden album in 1978, saving his power for 1980’s slick “One Extra Tune.” That album produced a pair of hits — the Kim Carnes duet “Deep Inside My Coronary heart” and “Hearts on Fireplace” — however his time within the highlight was short-lived: He launched his final solo album in 1982.

After spending practically 15 years aside, the Eagles reunited in 1994. Meisner was not concerned. The 1998 Rock & Roll Corridor of Fame induction ceremony proved the final time he would share a stage together with his former band, though they did prolong an invite to him to affix their Historical past of the Eagles tour in 2013. He declined, citing poor well being.

Meisner’s later years had been affected by well being issues, each bodily and psychological. His good friend Jim Newton filed a request to have Meisner positioned below a conservatorship in 2015, however earlier than a ruling may very well be made, Meisner’s spouse, Lana Rae Meisner, died after an unintentional taking pictures at their residence. Meisner filed his personal request for a brief conservatorship after her dying, stating that he was “barely in a position to settle for the sudden and tragic lack of his loving spouse.”

Meisner is survived by his three kids with Jennifer Lee Barton, with whom he was married from 1963 to 1981: Dana Scott Meisner and twin siblings Heather Leigh Meisner and Eric Shane Meisner.

Occasions employees author Christi Carras contributed to this report.


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