Randy Meisner, Billy Swan and Charlie Rich, Jr. started touring and recording as Meisner, Rich & Swan in 1992. Due to a CD labeling mishap, they changed their name to Meisner, Swan & Rich. Who better to tell the story than Charlie Rich, Jr.
“We were all excited when the CD was about to be released. Then we saw the album cover. It’s not a big deal now, but then it was. See, we had been touring all over the world as Meisner, Rich & Swan. Well, we had the artwork for the CD done by a great company in Japan. Problem is, they really didn’t have the English thing down that well. Great artwork, poor translation skills. Instead of Meisner, Rich & Swan, it ended up Meisner, Swan & Rich. The artwork looked cool, that we just changed our name.”Charlie Rich, Jr.
Sonic Past Music Label ©2001 ~Produced by Randy Meisner, Billy Swan and Charlie Rich, Jr.
Meisner, Swan & Rich
The trio toured extensively in the 1990s with Randy Meisner on bass, Charlie Rich, Jr. on keyboards, Billy Swan on rhythm guitar, Vern Monnett on steel guitar and lead guitar and John Molo on drums. They continued working the West Coast for a few months and then did a European tour with Mark Craney on drums, because John Molo was out with Bruce Hornsby at the time.
Sources: Discogs and Charlie Rich, Jr.
June 17-18, 1992 ~ Dos Gringos ~ Temecula, California
The band was billed as Meisner, Rich & Swan. Charlie Rich, Jr. stated on his website that this was the first show that they performed together.
May 17, 1993 ~ B.B. O’Briens ~ Palm Desert, California
The band was billed as The Randy Meisner Band with Allan Rich & Billy Swan ~ Note: Charlie Rich, Jr. started his career as Allan Rich. Read about it here.
The European Tour
June 19-20, 1993 ~ Country Cavalcade Festival ~ Karis-Karjaa [Helsinki], Finland
Meisner, Swan & Rich performed along with The Desert Rose Band, founded by Chris Hillman of the Byrds and the Flying Burrito Brothers fame.
“This was a bit of Old Home week for Randy, because Tom Brumley was playing steel for the Desert Rose Band. Randy chose Tom to be part of Rick Nelson’s Stone Canyon Band. Tom both endorsed and for a while owned the ZB Custom pedal steel guitar company. My Uncle had a music store in Globe, Arizona, and sponsored a Pedal Steel clinic and show that Tom headlined. I was 11 years old the first time I met Tom. He and I had breakfast together at the Helsinki hotel, and after reminding him about meeting him as a kid, and 30 years after the fact, he remembered me. (Billy Swan made a big deal about letting me know because he knew how much I idolized Tom.)”Vern Monnett
June 22, 1993 ~ The Paradiso ~ Amsterdam, Netherlands
Backstage Before The Show
Backstage and Show Photos Courtesy of Peter van Leeuwen
The Paradiso ~ Not the night of the Meisner, Swan & Rich performance, but a photo to show the size of the venue.
Peter van Leeuwen’s Memories of Randy And The Two Meisner, Swan & Rich Shows at The Paradiso in Amsterdam and Noorderligt in Tiburg.)
“In Amsterdam, Paradiso is the place to play. Very popular with big names. I had met Randy intensively before in 1989 in Holland (Poco promo tour Legacy) and in 1990 in New York area (Legacy tour). So, we knew each other, and Randy, being such a humble person, took all the time for me before both shows (Amsterdam and Tilburg). In Amsterdam, I interviewed Randy, mainly about Poco… We talked about his new band, and he promised me I would like them as much as I did Poco. Well, they sure gave a great show, and I was very impressed by the band. The crowd was great, and of course, the ‘hits’ (Help and Limit)* were very well received. Personally, I think “One More Song” was the most impressive song. In Tilburg, the crowd was very close and they really blew the roof off. And had to do some more encores. As you can see I was backstage with the guys and, as always, musicians are just like human beings…we had a lot of fun.”Peter van Leeuwen
*”I Can Help and “Take It To The Limit”
June 23, 1993 ~ Noorderligt ~ Tiburg, Netherlands
Vern Monnett indicated that among the European tour dates above, there were also dates in Copenhagen and in the Austrian Alps.
Aug. 19, 1993 ~ Metro Washington Park Zoo ~ Portland, Oregon
(Photos by Alan W. Dutton)
April 2, 1994 ~ Wise Guys ~ Pasadena, California
Randy Meisner, bass; Charlie Rich, Jr., keyboards; Billy Swan, acoustic guitar; Vern Monnett, electric guitar; and Ron Grinel, drums.
Video by Stephen Duncan
Jan. 10-11, 1995 ~ Oregon Trail Lounge ~ Gering, Nebraska
June 30, 1995 ~ The Palomino Club ~ West Hollywood, California
Click on Randy’s picture to see the Palomino Club gig.
Jan. 19, 1996 ~ Dee Events Center/Webster State University ~ Ogden, Utah
(Meisner, Rich & Swan open for Collin Raye)
Here Collin joins Randy in singing “Take It To The Limit” and “Lyin’ Eyes”
Randy was very active during his time with Meisner, Swan & Rich and worked on other projects with Billy and/or Charlie and members of their band.
Oct. 9, 1993 ~ “Ojai Day” ~ Ojai, California
Roger Varian and Friends with Randy Meisner ~ “Take It To The Limit”
1994 ~ The Roger Varian Sessions
The album that came out as a result of these sessions was
Shadows In Time by Roger Varian ~ AIM Records/Varian Communications ~ 1994
“Roger is a cool songwriter that hired me to do some steel sessions. When he heard of my connection to Meisner, Swan & Rich, he asked me to see if the guys would be interested in doing some background vocals. They agreed and had a great time with him. As a side note, Roger had David Crosby sing backgrounds on another track I played on.”Vern Monnett
Note: Ron Grinel was also involved in this project.
Meisner, Swan & Rich, Circa 1994
April 19, 2005 ~ National Association of Broadcasters ~ Las Vegas, Nevada
This was an annual trade show. Charlie Rich, Jr.’s band performed in 2005. Randy and Billy Swan were guests along with Vern Monnett, Augie Meyers (Sir Douglas Quintet) and Chad Watson.
These pictures were taken the day before the show (April 18, 2005) according to Charlie Rich, Jr.
Meisner, Swan & Rich
Signing Autographs After The Show ~ The Las Vegas Hilton
Ten tracks were released on a eponymous CD in April 2000 in Japan, 2001 by Varese in the US and 2002 by Rev-Ola in the UK.
The same ten songs were reissued in 2006 under the title, The Eagle, The Dove and The Gold on the Sonic Past Music label.
Then again, the same ten songs were reissued in Europe in 2008 under the title, The Eagle, The Dove and The Gold on the Sonic Past Music Label.
In 2006, a 3-song EP was released as Black Tie Two (Randy, Billy Swan, Jimmy Griffin and Charlie Rich, Jr.) with a version of the classic Christmas carol “Away in a Manger”, which had been released to country radio as a Christmas single in the late 1980s. It also included the 1992 Meisner, Swan & Rich songs “I’m Sure of You” and “Listen to the Radio”.
Charlie Rich, Jr.’s Memories of Randy
Read more about Meisner, Swan & Rich’s appearances:
* June 17-18, 1992 ~ Dos Gringos ~ Temecula, California ~ (Billed as Meisner, Rich & Swan. Charlie Rich, Jr. stated on his website that this was the first show that they performed together.) The Californian (Temecula, CA) Article, June 16, 1992 ~ Ad June 17, 1992
* Aug. 20, 1992 ~ The Strand ~ Redondo Beach, California ~ (Billed as Randy Meisner, Rich & Swan. Jim Messina also performed.) LA Weekly ~ Aug. 14-20, 1992
* Aug. 27, 1992 ~ Belly Up Tavern ~ Solana Beach, California ~ (Billed as Randy Meisner, Alan Rich and Billy Swan. Opened for Jimmy Messina and His Acoustic Band.) Los Angeles Times ~ July 29, 1992
* Oct. 18, 1992 ~ The Coach House ~ San Juan Capistrano, California ~ (Billed as the Randy Meisner Band. Co-billed with Jim Messina and his band.) Los Angeles Times ~ Oct. 18, 1992
* Nov. 19, 1992 ~ Doc Ricketts’ Lab ~ Monterrey, California ~ (The trio that would later become Meisner, Swan & Rich are billed as Kindred Spirits.) Carmel Pine Cone ~ Nov. 19, 1992
* Nov. 21, 1992 ~ Konocti Harbor Resort & Spa ~ Clear Lake, California ~ (Billed as the Randy Meisner Band. Co-billed with Jim Messina & his band.) Santa Rosa Democrat ~ Nov. 20, 1992
* May 17, 1993 ~ BB O’Briens ~ Palm Desert, California ~ (Billed as The Randy Meisner Band with Allan Rich [aka Charlie Rich, Jr.] & Billy Swan.) Desert Sun (Palm Desert, CA) May 14, 1993
* June 5, 1993 ~ Tooele County Arts Festival ~ Tooele, Utah ~ (Billed as Kindred Spirits.) Tooele Transcript Bulletin ~ June 3, 1993
* June 19-20, 1993 ~ Country Cavalcade Festival ~ Karis-Karjaa [Helsinki], Finland ~ Poster courtesy of Vern Monnett
* June 22, 1993 ~ The Paradiso ~ Amsterdam, Netherlands ~ Algemeen Dagblad, June 18, 1993
* June 23, 1993 ~ Noorderligt ~ Tiburg, Netherlands ~ Algemeen Dagblad, June 18, 1993
* July 3, 1991 ~ Clearwater Beach ~ Clearwater, Florida ~ (Billed as Meisner, Rich & Swan. Co-billed with Jim Messina and his band. Meisner & Messina also performed together.) Tampa Bay Times (St. Petersburg, FL) July 2, 1993
* Aug. 14, 1993 ~ Washington County Fair ~ St. George, Utah ~ (Billed as Meisner, Rich & Swan. Also on the bill: Virgin River Band.) The Daily Spectrum (Saint George, Utah) Aug. 8, 1993
* Aug. 19, 1993 ~ Metro Washington Park Zoo ~ Portland, Oregon Statesman Journal (Salem, Oregon) Aug. 13, 1993
* Oct. 16, 1993 ~ Rosalie Bicentennial Gardens ~ Natchez, Mississippi ~ (Great Mississippi River Balloon Race) Clarion Ledger (Jackson, Mississippi) Oct. 14, 1993
* April 2, 1994 ~ Wise Guys ~ Pasadena, California ~ Los Angeles Times, March 10, 1994
* April 9, 1994 ~ Cox Center/Dixie State University ~ St. George, Utah ~ (Also on the bill: Diamond Rio and BlackHawk.) Daily Spectrum (St. George, Utah) April 7, 1994
* May 21, 1994 ~ Faneuil Hall Marketplace ~ Boston, Massachusetts ~ (Music Festival For The Earth) Boston Phoenix, May 13, 1994
* June 12, 1994 ~ Anderson’s Fifth Estate ~ Scottsdale, Arizona ~ Arizona Republic, June 12, 1994
* Jan. 10-11, 1995 ~ Oregon Trail Lounge ~ Gering, Nebraska ~ Oregon Trail Lounge Poster, Jan. 10-11, 1995
* May 12, 1995 ~ The Palomino ~ North Hollywood, California ~ (Billed as Meisner, Rich & Swan) LA Weekly, May 11, 1995
* June 30, 1995 ~ The Palomino ~ North Hollywood, California ~ LA Weekly, July 6, 1995
* Sept. 18, 1995 ~ Derby Dinner Playhouse ~ Louisville, Kentucky ~ (Billed as Randy Meisner and friends Billy Swan & Allan Rich) Courier-Journal, July 9, 1995
* Sept. 23, 1995 ~ Pepperdine University ~ Malibu, California ~ The Graphic Weekly (student newspaper) Sept. 28, 1995
* Jan. 19, 1996 ~ Dee Events Center/Webster State University ~ Ogden, Utah ~ (Opened for Collin Raye) The Signpost (Ogden, Utah) Jan. 22, 1996
* April 6, 1996 ~ The Coach House ~ San Juan Capistrano, California ~ (Billed as Meisner, Rich & Swan) Los Angeles Times, April 4, 1996
* Dec. 31, 1996 ~ Lake of the Torches Casino ~ Green Bay, Wisconsin ~ Green Bay Press-Gazette (Green Bay, Wisconsin) Dec. 26, 1996
Special Thanks To:
Vern Monnett for his personal photos, memories and leads for the Meisner, Swan & Rich European Tour.
Peter van Leeuwen for his memories and personal photos of Meisner, Swan & Rich’s appearance at The Paradiso on June 22, 1993.