Randy Meisner obituary


One of many trademark sounds of the Eagles of their heyday was Randy Meisner’s excessive, craving vocal efficiency on the band’s 1975 hit Take It to the Restrict. It was certainly one of a number of songs that Meisner, who has died aged 77, wrote or co-wrote for the group. Previous to his tenure with them, he had been bassist and vocalist with Poco, after which a member of Rick Nelson’s Stone Canyon Band. After leaving the Eagles in 1977 he launched 5 solo albums, in addition to working with the teams Black Tie, Meisner, Swan & Wealthy and the Roberts-Meisner Band.

Nonetheless, he can be greatest remembered for his work with the Eagles (normally billed as “Eagles”), the bestselling American band of the Nineteen Seventies. Meisner turned one of many group’s founding members after he had been recruited into Linda Ronstadt’s backing band. At a Ronstadt gig at Disneyland in California in July 1971, Meisner appeared alongside Glenn Frey, Don Henley and Bernie Leadon – and the quartet fashioned the Eagles later that yr.

Signed to David Geffen’s new Asylum Information, the Eagles launched their debut album in 1972 and instantly loved chart success with their first single, Take It Straightforward (it stalled simply exterior the US Prime 10, however its infectious tune and the group’s refined vocal harmonies made it certainly one of their trademark songs). The album reached No 22 on the American chart and delivered additional hits with Witchy Lady and Peaceable Straightforward Feeling. Meisner composed the tracks Take the Satan and Tryin’, and co-wrote Earlybird with Leadon.

The follow-up, the cowboy-themed Desperado (1973), was initially much less well-liked, however the Prime 20 success of their third album, On the Border (1974) – which yielded the primary Eagles chart-topping single in Better of My Love – pulled Desperado up in its wake, and each albums offered double platinum. Meisner had co-written a few songs on Desperado and penned Is It True? for On the Border; however when he co-wrote and sang lead on Take It to the Restrict, from One in every of These Nights (1975), it introduced him a brand new prominence within the group. The third hit from the chart-topping album, it reached No 4 within the US and No 12 within the UK, and Meisner’s efficiency of the tune turned a daily spotlight at reside exhibits.

5210 - Randy Meisner obituary
Meisner pictured in London, 1973. {Photograph}: Gijsbert Hanekroot/Redferns

The Eagles’ compilation album Their Biggest Hits (1971-75) would develop into the biggest-selling album of the 70s, and the discharge of Resort California in December 1976 discovered the group reaching the summit of their powers. Meisner’s solely writing contribution was Attempt to Love Once more, however that was a invaluable commodity on an album that will promote greater than 30m copies.

Nonetheless, Meisner was discovering it arduous to deal with the group’s intensive touring schedule, in addition to the now whole dominance of Frey and Henley. A self-effacing character, he disliked being given a private highlight for his performances of Take It to the Restrict, and a backstage battle with Frey at a gig in Knoxville, Tennessee, when Meisner claimed he felt too ailing to carry out an encore, sealed his destiny. After the Resort California tour resulted in early 1978, it was introduced that Meisner had stop the band after affected by exhaustion. “These final days on the street had been the worst,” he later stated. “I used to be made an outcast of the band I’d helped begin.” He was changed by Timothy B Schmit, who had additionally taken over from him after he left Poco in 1969.

Meisner was born in Scottsbluff, Nebraska, the second baby of sharecroppers Emilie (nee Haun) and Herman. When he was 10, Randy noticed Elvis Presley on the Ed Sullivan Present on TV, which prompted him to begin studying the guitar. “I didn’t graduate from highschool and didn’t go to school,” he recalled. “I used to be a dropout, and so music was the one factor.”

Whereas nonetheless in his teenagers, Meisner married his childhood sweetheart, Jennifer Barton (they might divorce in 1981), and set about making a dwelling as a musician. He fashioned a band referred to as the Dynamics, then performed with quite a few teams throughout the midwest earlier than being requested to affix the Soul Survivors. They headed for California to hunt their fortune, however discovered the going powerful. The band fell aside and Meisner assembled a brand new outfit, which he aptly named the Poor. They recorded a number of singles for the Loma, York and Decca labels, with out success.

Then Meisner was recruited to the country-rock band Poco being fashioned by the Buffalo Springfield veterans Jim Messina and Richie Furay. Poco instantly signed with Epic Information after their rousing debut on the Troubadour membership in Los Angeles in November 1968, however Meisner turned disillusioned when Messina and Furay handled him as a mere employed hand. After they wouldn’t enable him to attend mixing classes for the band’s debut album, Pickin’ Up the Items (1969), a peeved Meisner promptly stop. Within the portray of the band on the album sleeve, he was changed by a canine.

Nonetheless, Meisner was quickly employed to affix Nelson’s Stone Canyon Band, with whom he appeared on the albums In Live performance on the Troubadour (1969) and Rudy the Fifth (1971). In between, he briefly returned to Nebraska to attempt to save his marriage, and labored in an area John Deere tractor dealership. Again in LA and pondering his profession choices, he was contacted by Ronstadt’s supervisor, John Boylan, who requested him to affix her band.

Meisner’s post-Eagles profession made a strong begin with the album Randy Meisner (1978) and peaked commercially with the LP One Extra Tune (1980), which produced the hits Deep Inside My Coronary heart and Hearts on Hearth. One other album referred to as Randy Meisner (1982) contained robust materials however didn’t promote. With the band Black Tie – which later developed into Meisner, Swan & Wealthy – he had a one-off hit with Studying the Recreation. Within the late 80s he toured with the Roberts-Meisner Band, that includes Rick Roberts, a former member of Firefall. He additionally rejoined Poco for his or her Legacy album and tour (1989-90), and took half within the Eagles’ induction into the Rock and Roll Corridor of Fame in 1998.

He retired from touring after a coronary heart assault in 2004, and suffered intermittently from drug and alcohol addictions. In 2015 he was positioned below court-ordered supervision after he allegedly threatened to commit homicide and kill himself with an AK-47 rifle (he had by then been identified with bipolar dysfunction). In 2016 his second spouse, Lana Rae (nee Graham), whom he had married in 1996, died in an accident with a rifle on the couple’s residence in Studio Metropolis, California.

He had three youngsters, Dana, Heather and Eric, together with his first spouse.


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