Randy Meisner, a founding member of the legendary rock band Eagles, has passed away at the age of 77. The Eagles made the announcement on Thursday, revealing that Meisner died on Wednesday night in Los Angeles due to complications from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
A key figure in the formation of the Eagles, Meisner joined forces with Don Henley, Glenn Frey, and Bernie Leadon in the early 1970s to create what would become one of the most iconic bands in history. His role as the bassist and vocalist was integral to the group’s early success, and he added high harmonies to some of the band’s most beloved songs, such as “Take It Easy” and “The Best of My Love.” Notably, Meisner took center stage for the waltz-time ballad “Take It to the Limit,” a song that showcased his incredible vocal range.
Born on March 8, 1946, in Scottsbluff, Nebraska, Meisner’s musical journey began as a teenager playing in local bands. In the late 1960s, he became a founding member of the country rock group Poco alongside Richie Furay and Jim Messina. However, Meisner’s decision to leave the band before their debut album’s release led him to cross paths with fellow musicians Don Henley and Glenn Frey, both of whom were performing in Linda Ronstadt’s backing band.
With the blessings of Linda Ronstadt, the trio, along with Bernie Leadon, formed the Eagles and signed with David Geffen’s Asylum Records label. Their self-titled debut album was released in 1972, setting the stage for a remarkable career that evolved from country rock to hard rock, delivering a string of hit singles and albums that captivated audiences worldwide.
As a member of the Eagles, Meisner contributed significantly to the band’s success, but his time with the group was not without challenges. During the Hotel California tour, Meisner experienced homesickness and struggled with the spotlight, ultimately leading to his departure in 1976. He was replaced by Timothy B Schmit, who remained with the Eagles in the decades that followed.
Following his departure from the Eagles, Meisner pursued a solo career but never reached the same level of success as the band. Nonetheless, he managed to achieve moderate success with hits like “Hearts on Fire” and “Deep Inside My Heart.” Additionally, Meisner collaborated with other artists, playing on records for musicians such as Joe Walsh, James Taylor, and Dan Fogelberg.
In his personal life, Meisner faced tragedy in 2016 when his wife, Lana Rae Meisner, passed away in a tragic accident. Despite the challenges, he continued to cherish his musical legacy and the impact the Eagles had on the music industry.
Randy Meisner’s contributions to the Eagles’ sound and success will forever be remembered. He leaves behind a remarkable musical legacy, and his soaring vocals on “Take It to the Limit” will continue to resonate with music lovers for generations to come.
The world mourns the loss of a talented musician, a founding member of the Eagles, and a beloved figure in the music business. Randy Meisner’s memory will live on through the timeless music he helped create and the countless lives he touched through his artistry.