The Eagles played to a small crowd of 1,500 at the College Of The Holy Cross Fieldhouse in Worcester, MA on November 30th, 1973. 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, opening for Neil Young, 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.
College Of The Holy Cross, November 30, 1973
Silver Dagger (a cappella)
Take It Easy
Train Leaves Here This Morning
Certain Kind Of Fool
Good Day In Hell
Earlybird – Shenandoah Valley Breakdown
Oh, Darlin’, Wait And See
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, according to the review, Glenn “proved himself quite capable on piano [on ‘Ol’ 55′] 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).
For context, and since there was no photo of Randy in Worcester, here are the Eagles performing at their next show in Portland, Maine on December 2nd.
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”
Two rare numbers were performed that night in succession. 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.
The other was a song written and sung by Randy. Glenn introduced it this way:
“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.'”
Without this audience recording, we may not have ever known this song existed. We can only speculate as to why it 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.1
Below is a review of the song by Chris Buxton, former longtime record store owner, DJ, and rock music historian:
“‘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.”
For the best listening experience, I suggest wearing earbuds or headphones.
“Oh Darlin’, Wait And See”
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.”
Listen to the full concert below:
Read the full review of the show here:
The Crusader, College Of the Holy Cross, December 7th, 1973
1 According to Randy’s ex-wife, Jennifer Meisner, a reel-to-reel recording of the song, which Randy made in the studio, still exists.
Thank You Jessica!!!
My pleasure, Gwen!
Wow, what a gem! Thanks Jessica 😊
Lovely stuff! At the end of “Certain Kind Of Fool” has Randy made a mistake and sung “running “ twice.
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.
Jessica, lovely article! Unfortunately, that fieldhouse at Holy Cross was demolished a few years ago.
FYI I can’t seem to hear the audio on my iPhone. Not sure if that’s an iOS thing!
I seem to have fixed the audio!
Glad you fixed it! Sad to hear about the fieldhouse. So many of those old venues are going away.