Eagles Founding Member and Skilled Musician Randy Meisner Passes Away at 77

Randy Meisner, a founding member of the Eagles, passes at 77. (Credit: ShoutFactoryMusic)

Randall Herman Meisner, a skilled musician and a founding member of the Eagles, died on Wednesday at the age of 77.

The band released a statement which said:

Randy was an integral part of the Eagles and instrumental in the early success of the band. His vocal range was astonishing, as is evident on his signature ballad, “Take It to the Limit.”

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Meisner’s musical career began in 1968 when he joined the band Poco with Richie Furay and Jim Messina. He appeared on their debut album, “Pickin’ Up the Pieces,” but quit the band before it was released owing to a disagreement over his participation in the final mix playback sessions. Despite the fact that his image was deleted from the record cover, his bass parts and backup vocals were included in the final mix.

In 1971, Meisner, Don Henley, Glenn Frey, and Bernie Leadon created the Eagles in Los Angeles. In 1972, the band signed with Asylum Records and released their debut album. Meisner played bass and performed backup vocals with the Eagles and penned, co-authored, and sang lead vocals on several songs, including their first million-selling single, “Take It to the Limit.”

However, Meisner’s stint with the Eagles was not without its difficulties. He left the band to spend more time with his family because of what he described as frequent arguments among members of the band. Meisner suffered from health problems and exhaustion throughout the band’s 1976–77 tour. He also clashed with Glenn Frey over his hallmark song, “Take It to the Limit.” These difficulties finally escalated into a backstage brawl between Frey and Meisner, which resulted in Meisner being kicked out of the band. Frey, another founding member, died on January 18, 2016, at the age of 67.

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In September 1977, Meisner decided to depart the Eagles after the tour’s final engagement. He stated that he was leaving due to weariness. Following his departure, the band hired Timothy B. Schmit, who had previously worked with Meisner in Poco.

Following his departure from the Eagles, Meisner pursued his music career and released solo albums over the years. He also experienced personal obstacles, such as legal issues and addiction issues. In March 2016, Meisner’s wife, Lana Rae Meisner, was shot and killed at the home they shared in Studio City, California. A preliminary investigation into the shooting death at that location revealed the incident was not a homicide and appeared to be accidental.

Following an incident where Meisner allegedly threatened murder-suicide with an AK-47 and pills, he was given a court-ordered 24-hour watch. James Newton, a friend of Meisner’s, filed the paperwork required to obtain a temporary conservatorship over the former Eagles member in the same year, alleging Meisner had bipolar disorder and “suicidal ideations.”

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Despite these problems, Meisner’s contributions to the Eagles and musical brilliance will be recognized the world over. Fans and loved ones will no doubt mourn his passing deeply because he leaves behind a legacy of timeless music.

Here is performing his post-Eagles song “Gotta Get Away”:

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