Randall Herman Meisner died at the age of 77 on Wednesday. He was a talented musician and founding member of The Eagles.
The band issued a statement that said:
Randy was a key member of the Eagles and played a major role in their early success. As is evident in his signature ballad “Take It To The Limit,” Randy’s vocal range was astounding.
Meisner began his musical career in 1968 when he formed the band Poco along with Richie Furay & Jim Messina. He was featured on the debut album “Pickin’ Up the Pieces” but left the band prior to its release due to a disagreement about his participation in the final mixing sessions. Although his picture was removed from the cover of the album, his bass part and backup vocals made it into the final mix.
The Eagles were formed in Los Angeles by Meisner along with Don Henley and Glenn Frey. The band released its debut album in 1972 after signing with Asylum Records. Meisner sang backup vocals, played bass, and wrote songs with the Eagles. He also co-wrote and wrote several songs including the Eagles’ first million-selling song, “Take It to the Limit.”
Meisner’s time with the Eagles wasn’t without difficulties. He quit the band in order to spend more quality time with his wife and children because of frequent arguments between band members, which he called “a lot of arguing”. Meisner was exhausted and had health issues during the 1976-77 band tour. Meisner also had a disagreement with Glenn Frey about his signature song “Take It To The Limit.” This conflict culminated in a brawl on stage between Frey and Meisner that led to Meisner’s expulsion from the band. Frey, a founding member of the band, died at age 67 on January 18, 2016.
Meisner left the Eagles in September 1977 after the final concert of the tour. He claimed that he left due to fatigue. After his departure, Timothy B. Schmit was hired, who previously worked with Meisner at Poco.
Meisner continued his solo career after leaving the Eagles. He also faced personal challenges, including legal problems and addiction issues. Lana Rae Meisner was killed by a gunshot in March 2016 at their shared home in Studio City, California. CBS LA reported that a preliminary investigation revealed the shooting death in Studio City, California was not a murder and appeared to have been an accident.
After an incident in which Meisner allegedly attempted to commit murder-suicide using an AK-47, pills, and a cigarette, he received a 24-hour court order. James Newton, Meisner’s friend, filed paperwork to get a temporary conservatorship for the former Eagles player in the same calendar year. He claimed Meisner suffered from bipolar disorder and had “suicidal ideas.”
Meisner will be remembered for his contributions to the Eagles, and for his musical brilliance around the globe. His fans and loved ones are sure to be deeply saddened by his death because he has left behind a legacy that is timeless.
Here’s a video of his post-Eagles hit “Gotta Get Away”.