This is Part 6 in my ongoing series.

Randy sporting an Average White Band t-shirt,
Brisbane, Australia, January 20, 1976

“I’m probably the only one in the band who loves funky rock & roll, trashy music and R&B.”
Rolling Stone, September 1975


“The best show I’ve ever seen bar none was The Band, who along with Bob Dylan are my favorite artists of all time. I saw them at Filthy McNasty’s, a little funky club in North Hollywood. I don’t go to a lot of concerts but that show still sticks in my brain. They did all their big hits, ‘Up on Cripple Creek,’ ‘Stage Fright,’ ‘The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down’ and  ‘Rag Mama Rag.’ It was all the original members except for Robbie Robertson. The music was so powerful and organic. Every song impressed me. They could do no wrong. They were all about the music and nothing else. I love Garth Hudson’s organ playing, he’s magnificent. Rick Danko was fabulous too and sadly he’s gone, as is Richard Manuel. If Bob Dylan had been there I would have been even happier; I probably would have fainted. (laughs)”1
-Ken Sharp interview, 2006

The Band, 1969.
L-R: Garth Hudson, Levon Helm, Rick Danko, Richard Manuel, and Robbie Robertson

[On seeing Buffalo Springfield play at the Whisky A Go-Go] “When they had that double lead-guitar thing working, good Lord, they were so cool. Neil was a bit aloof. He’s kind of a loner. Stephen was pretty aggressive. But he was damn good. I would run into Mark Volman and Howard Kaylan of The Turtles. They were the funniest guys in the world.2
Canyon of Dreams, Harvey Kubernik, 2008

The original members of Buffalo Springfield, 1966
L-R: Dewey Martin, Richie Furay, Bruce Palmer, Neil Young, and Stephen Stills

“Elvis is actually what started me off. Now I see it’s real hard to become somebody that special. He broke a lot of openings for everybody.”3
-Beatrice Daily Sun, July 24, 1978

6th grade photo, 1957-58
The Elvis influence is apparent.

[Recording the Live In Concert album] was so much fun. Rick Nelson was one of the best people I’ve ever known–really humble and nice. He never played the star. He was way beyond that. He had a feel for the music. Rick and I were Bob Dylan fans. Our cover of ‘She Belongs To Me’ is on that album.
Canyon of Dreams, Harvey Kubernik, 2008

Below: Rick Nelson and The Stone Canyon Band performing “She Belongs To Me” on The Mike Douglas Show, January 1970


“I wasn’t used to the idea of punk rock, but I started listening to some and got used to it…A good song is a good song, and you can do it a lot of different ways.”
Omaha World-Herald, October 14, 1984


“I was in awe of Chris Hillman’s bass playing, still am.  He played some great bass parts although he played with a pick and real direct. A way different style than me but man, I was just amazed at his playing. The Byrds records were so good. I mean even The Beatles loved the Byrds music. It’s the way the band looked and sounded, they just had it going on. I really love ‘Turn, Turn, Turn,’ the 12-string guitar and just the sound of it was so original to me. They had such a distinctive sound with their vocals and melodies.”
-Ken Sharp interview, 2006


“The whole ‘new country’ scene is inspired by the Eagles, The Burrito Brothers, Poco–all those groups. The young record executives in Nashville grew up on the Eagles and Poco music. [Now] they are looking for the ‘new’ Eagles, but they won’t find them.”
Desperados: Roots Of Country Rock, John Einerson, 2000


“Alice Cooper can do what he likes, but doesn’t he step on baby chickens? Is that rock ‘n’ roll?”4
Melody Maker, March 3rd, 1973


Notes:


1 The Band, then known as The Hawks, gained notoriety when they became Bob Dylan’s touring band after he “went electric” in 1965. In the early 1970s, Randy was frequently compared to bass player, Rick Danko:

“Meisner, as a bassist, is perhaps even better than Rick Danko of The Band.” (Elly De Waard, De Volkskrant (Amsterdam), March 12, 1973

“Bassist Randy Meisner has to be one of the most competent men on the instrument since Rick Danko.” (Bob Ross, Tampa Bay Times, June 9, 1973)

2 The Poor opened for Buffalo Springfield at The Whisky A Go-Go in late November 1966. This is probably when Randy first saw them. Randy ended up being in bands with two of the original members of Buffalo Springfield: with Richie Furay in Poco in 1968 and with Dewey Martin in Open Secret with Rick Roberts (later the Roberts-Meisner Band) in 1987.

3 According to Randy’s mother, Emilie: “When he was a little boy, he used to imitate Elvis all the time.” (Scottsbluff Star-Herald, January 11, 1998)

4 The story goes that a fan threw a chicken on stage at an Alice Cooper show in 1969 and that Alice tore it apart on stage (possibly with his teeth). Cooper has said that the real story is that a fan threw a chicken onstage and he threw it back out into the audience thinking it could fly, but it landed on the ground and the audience proceeded to tear it to pieces. A sad fate for the chicken either way.


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