Miami River Music Festival, Cincinnati, Ohio, September 21st, 1975

The Eagles were the main attraction at the all-star festival at Edgewater Raceway Park, located about 20 miles northwest of Cincinnati.1 Also on the bill were the Marshall Tucker Band, Fleetwood Mac, and New Riders Of The Purple Sage, among others.

This was one of Bernie Leadon’s last appearances with the band. His final show was a week later on September 28th in Anaheim.

Cleveland Plain Dealer, September 5th, 1975

When the Eagles took the stage in the late afternoon, it was a chilly 62 degrees. Randy wore a red shirt, with white shirt underneath, most likely as a nod to the Cincinnati Reds, who were at the top of their game in 1975, and would win the World Series three weeks later.

According to the Lexington (KY) Herald, the festival was a “moderate success” despite “several hundred gatecrashers, several drug overdoses, a potential drowning and about 20 arrests.” The Eagles, considered to be “this country’s finest rock band,” headlined:

“The Eagles arrived about 2:30–guitarist Bernie Leadon said they were set to play at 3 p.m. (they came on about 3:45 p.m. and played a fine set which included all their big songs). Asked what they planned to do after their set, Leadon replied, ‘Go home.'” 2

The setlist for this concert on the website, Setlists.fm, states that Randy sang “Take It To The Limit.” Since none of the newspaper reviews for the show list the songs that were played, there’s no way to verify this information and Setlists.fm is a far from reliable source. However, according to former Los Angeles Times music critic, Robert Hilburn, Randy did sing the song at the Sunshine Festival in Anaheim on the 28th, so it’s possible he sang it at this show as well. If this is true, these September shows may mark the first live performances of “Take It To the Limit.” 2


NOTES:

1According to the Cleveland Scene, the Eagles were scheduled to perform at another music festival the day before MRMF. The Indian Summer Music Festival was supposed to be a big end-of-summer-wingding on Dragway 42 in Salem, OH, outside of Cleveland, featuring the Eagles, Pure Prairie League, Average White Band, and Ike & Tina Turner. But the event was announced, then cancelled, all within the space of 10 days.

2Setlists.fm also lists “Take It To The Limit” as being performed two months earlier at the Iowa State Fairgrounds on July 27th, 1975 and the Mississippi River Festival on July 29th, but the song is not listed among the songs played in any of the newspaper reviews for those shows, so there is no way to truly verify if this information is correct. I can also find no other review, or reliable source, from 1975, besides the Hilburn review from September 28th, that mentions “Take It To The Limit” being played.



7 comments

      • AFAIK, neither Randy nor Bernie have ever said anything alluding to being hired hands – as I said, they were founding members along with Don and Glenn.

    • Randy and Bernie were never hired hands and in fact, they were always acknowledged by Don and Glenn as cofounding members of the group. The four original Eagles were full-fledged band members, but Don Felder was not a founding member.
      Steuart Smith, the guitarist who unofficially replaced Felder when he got sacked, is a hired hand and he himself openly acknowledges that he is not a full member of The Eagles.

      • Here’s what Randy himself said in an interview in 1995:

        “Don and Glenn were taking over at that point, and all of a sudden it was, `We don’t need you. You’re just a player in the group.’ I wasn’t feeling part of it anymore. So finally, I just left.” (Denver Westword, January 11, 1995)

  1. Wouldn’t it be great if somebody who was at those earlier concerts reads this and can confirm, with proof, that Take It To The Limit was played in the July?

    • It would be. The Mississippi River Festival reviewer goes song by song practically. Unless he somehow didn’t recognize “Take It To The Limit” (One Of These Nights had only been out a month or so & it may not have been played on the radio yet). At many of those summer shows, Randy was singing “Too Many Hands.” Perhaps that was his song from OOTN they had rehearsed at the time. Nevertheless, I think it would have been cool to see TITTL performed with Bernie in the band.

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