Legendary bassist and founding member of the Eagles Randy Meisner passed away on July 26 at the age of 77.
Meisner’s music journey began in the late ’60s, but it was 1971 when he joined forces with Glenn Frey, Don Henley, and Bernie Leadon as bassist and backing high-harmony vocalist, and also both a group member and session musician. He co-wrote the hit song ‘Take It to the Limit’, which he also sang.
Randy’s contributions helped the Eagles soar and cement their status as one of the best-selling bands of all time, but it wasn’t without its struggles, namely his desire to be with his family and tensions amidst band members.
During the gruelling 1976/77 tour supporting Hotel California, Meisner battled ill health and exhaustion from relentless performances spanning over eleven months. Despite his talent, Meisner shied away from the limelight, preferring to be out of the spotlight, even during the iconic performance of his signature ‘Take It to the Limit’ where the band wanted him front and centre.
During a show in Tennessee, Meisner decided to skip the song as an encore as he had stayed up late and caught the flu, and Frey and Meisner then became involved in an angry physical confrontation backstage. After the altercation, Meisner said he was frozen out from the band, later saying, “That was the end. . . I really felt like I was a member of the group, not a part of it.”
Meisner formally threw in the towel in September 1977, citing exhaustion.
He later said of his resignation, “All that stuff and all the arguing amongst the Eagles is over now. Well at least for me.”
Meisner reportedly struggled with periodic alcohol dependence since the late ‘60s, especially during his time with the Eagles, as he tried to deal with his new-found fame. Following a series of minor heart attacks in 2004, he cut back on touring, stopping altogether in 2008.
Meisner died due to complications associated with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in Los Angeles on July 26, 2023
Don Henley, Randy Meisner and Glenn Frey wrote this song. Meisner sang lead, making this one of only three US Top 40 Eagles songs not sung by Don Henley or Glenn Frey, the… pic.twitter.com/ObAg53kuQ3
— Giz ✌🏻❤️🎶 (@MusicMemories4U) July 26, 2023
Meisner leaves behind an indelible mark on countless fans and fellow musos alike.