College Of The Holy Cross, Worcester, MA
November 30th, 1973

The Eagles played to a small crowd of 1,500 at the Holy Cross Fieldhouse. Singer-songwriter David Buskin opened. Normally, this show would be nothing out of the ordinary. The band had just returned from London, where they’d begun work on their third album, On The Border. They also played a few dates in England and the Netherlands. This show was their first stop on a tour of the East, playing mostly to colleges and universities. Performing for these small college audiences, like the one at Holy Cross, gave the band a chance to work out new material. During this particular show, the band performed five songs that were then-slated for their upcoming album, including one written by Randy, called “Oh Darlin’ Wait And See.” An audience recording of this show exists and I have provided audio for a few songs below.

SETLIST
College Of The Holy Cross, November 30, 1973


Silver Dagger (a cappella)
Take It Easy
Doolin-Dalton/Desperado Reprise
Ol’ 55
Tequila Sunrise
Train Leaves Here This Morning
Certain Kind Of Fool
Good Day In Hell
Twenty-One
Earlybird – Shenandoah Valley Breakdown
Oh, Darlin’, Wait And See
Georgia Peach
Witchy Woman
Tryin’
James Dean
Peaceful Easy Feeling
Chug All Night
Out Of Control

The band started off with “Take It Easy,” complete with a cappella “Silver Dagger” intro. The reviewer for the Holy Cross newspaper, The Crusader, felt that their performance of “Take It Easy” sounded “just like the first time you heard it on your car stereo.” Glenn Frey, “the center of attraction…danced back and forth across the stage, smiling and singing off-mike to listeners in the front rows.”

Early in the show the band performed Tom Waits “Ol’ 55” the first of three new songs that would eventually end up on On The Border. The other two were “Good Day In Hell” and and “James Dean.” It’s quite possible this is first live performance of these songs. It was clear they were still being worked out. Slide guitar had not yet been added to “Good Day In Hell” (Don Felder was not in the band) and “James Dean” seemed unfocused. However, on “Ol’ 55,” Glenn “proved himself quite capable on piano…and aptly dedicated the song to all those “who stay up late trying to get laid.'” Bernie Leadon performed nicely on pedal steel which, as Glenn pointed out, he’d taken up “only six weeks ago.” Glenn explained: “He’s played dobro so he knows the left hand, and he’s played banjo so he knows the right hand. It was just a matter of sitting down with the instrument.”

The Crusader review was accompanied by a photo of Glenn and Bernie The only photo from the show (to my knowledge).

The Crusader, December 7, 1973


For context, and since there was no photo of Randy, here is the band performing three days later in Portland, Maine.

Eagles at the Portland (Maine) Expo, December 2nd, 1973.


During the course of the show, Bernie was described as exuding a “calm professionalism…as he switched effortlessly between guitar and banjo. Don Henley added considerable vocal strength without missing a single drum beat, and stage leader, Randy Meisner stood to the side, calmly surveying the show. Randy’s harmonies, however, were ever-present, and his unobtrusive bass style complemented the other musicians perfectly.”


Randy sang lead on three numbers that night, including “Certain Kind of Fool” (with a slightly different ending) and a fast-paced version of “Tryin’.” Note the audience clapping along on both songs.

“Certain Kind Of Fool”

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“Tryin'”

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“Oh, Darlin’ Wait And See”

Two rare numbers were performed that night in succession. As far as we know, these songs do not exist anywhere else except on this audience recording. One was an R&B-influenced rocker, written by Bernie Leadon, called “Georgia Peach.” I have included it here. Although Bernie sings lead, Randy’s harmonies stand out.

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The other was a rare song, written by Randy. Glenn intros it by saying: “We’re working on a new album called On The Border, and this is a song from that album Randy wrote called ‘Oh Darlin’, Wait and See.'”

This is the only known recording of this lost song and the lone review of the show does not mention that it was played. Therefore, without this recording, we wouldn’t even know of its existence. We can only speculate as to why the song was never included on an album. It’s possible Randy himself wasn’t satisfied with it since he never returned to the song in later years. Nevertheless, we can be grateful for this imperfect recording of it.

“‘Wait And See,’ a well-crafted, obviously well-rehearsed (but seldom performed), lengthy slowburner, features sky high, soulful lead vocal by Randy Meisner, spaced-out pedal steel from Bernie Leadon, soaring choruses, several extended jam sections, and a tidy, Neil Young-style ending. At some point slated for the On The Border LP, it’s a real shame the song was shelved and lost in the mists of time.”

Chris Buxton, former longtime record store owner, DJ, and rock music historian, 2022

Years ago, someone attempted to decipher the lyrics on the Eagles Online Central forum. I have provided them here. The only correction I would make is in the second section. Instead of “And you don’t need to run” it should say “And you don’t need to love me.”

Transcribed by “Whitcap,” Eagles Online Central, May 3rd, 2011

For the best listening experience, I suggest wearing earbuds or headphones.

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Read the full review of the show here:
The Crusader, College Of the Holy Cross, December 7th, 1973


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6 comments

  1. Lovely stuff! At the end of “Certain Kind Of Fool” has Randy made a mistake and sung “running “ twice.

    1. I do hear “wasn’t for the money” first, but I’m terrible at deciphering audio recordings. He also didn’t hold out that last note as long as he usually does.

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