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Eagles Founding Member Randy Meisner Passes Away, Aged 77

28 July 2023 | 9:24 am | Mary Varvaris

“Randy was an integral part of the Eagles and instrumental in the early success of the band..."

Randy Meisner

Randy Meisner (Source: YouTube/'Hearts On Fire' music video)

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Eagles founding member Randy Meisner passed away on Wednesday, 26 July, at age 77, due to complications from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary disease (COPD), the band revealed on social media this morning.

Meisner formed the Eagles alongside Glenn Frey, Don Henley, and Bernie Leadon in 1971. He was the bassist and vocalist for the band from their formation until 1977.

Meisner co-wrote and contributed to the Eagles’ first five albums, including their eponymously-titled debut in 1972, Desperado, On The Border, One Of These Nights, and Hotel California. He also co-wrote the band’s first million-selling single, Take It To The Limit, from One Of These Nights.

Meisner left the Eagles in September 1977, citing “exhaustion” via the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, and later telling Smooth Jazz Now, “All that stuff and all the arguing amongst the Eagles is over now. Well, at least for me.”

After the Eagles, Meisner released four solo albums: his self-titled debut in 1978, One More Song in 1980, a second self-titled album in 1982, and in 2001, released an album with Jimmy Griffin and Billy Swan entitled Meisner, Swan & Rich.

Former Eagle Don Felder said about Meisner in his book, Heaven And Hell: My Life In The Eagles (1974-2001), “He was a wonderful Midwestern guy with a great heart and a loving soul.”

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

In the 1960s, Meisner was the bassist for the country-rock pioneers, Poco. Before them, he sang and played bass in Rick Nelson’s Stone Canyon Band.

As well as his music with the Eagles, Poco and his solo work, Meisner was a session musician, playing bass on the tracks Country Road and Blossom on James Taylor’s Sweet Baby James album. In 1967, the band Meisner was playing in, The Poor, opened for The Jimi Hendrix Experience.