A compilation of basses played by Randy Meisner throughout his career. Listed alphabetically.
The earliest photos of Randy playing bass show him playing a Fender Jazz
In the photos below, Randy is playing the same Fender Jazz twenty-five years apart (note the scratches above the pickguard).
He is playing a different Fender Jazz below with a maple fingerboard and black block inlays.
1959 Gold Fender Precision
Randy purchased this bass in the mid-late-60s and it became his go-to bass for the next several years.
In 1971, he added an anti-war sticker to the left of the pickguard.
In 2014, Randy’s gold Fender was displayed in the Grammy museum during their exhibit: The Sounds Of Laurel Canyon: 1965-1977.
Below: A selection of other Fender Precisions played by Randy.
Randy played this bass during the Eagles’ tour of Australia and Japan in 1976.
Epiphone Viola Bass
(manufactured by Gibson)
Randy played two different red Hagstroms. The instrument on the left has a white plate over the knobs and switches.
In 2003, Randy recalled that when he was with his ’60s band The Poor, he traded his Mosrite bass for a Hofner:
“I’d very unwisely traded my Mosrite bass for a Hofner violin bass because it ‘looked cooler’…big mistake!…what a horrible instrument, respect to Paul McCartney for being able to play it at all!“
I couldn’t locate a photo of Randy playing a Mosrite.
MUSIC MAN STINGRAY
Manufactured in 1976, Randy played this bass with the distinctive oval pickguard throughout the Fall leg of the Eagles’ 1976 tour.
For most of the Eagles’ 1977 Hotel California tour, Randy played a mapleglo Rickenbacker 4001.
In footage from the documentary The History Of The Eagles, Randy can be seen tuning and playing what appears to be a white Rickenbacker 3001. The footage is from the Hotel California tour (c.March 1977).
Wow! This is a lot of work! Thank You Jessica for putting in the time to give us such a great article! 🌹
I appreciate it, Gwen! Thank you!
Great work. Nice to see all the basses Randy has played. Just a quick note – the Gibson “SG” model bass is actually called an EB-3 (if it had two pickups). Made famous by the late, great legend Jack Bruce during his time playing with Cream in the 1960s. There was also a single pickup version called the EB-0.
Thanks so much for this information. Could it be an EB-0? The image of Randy playing the bass came from some footage and it’s only shown for a few seconds, plus it’s very dark. But I can only make out one pickup near the head. I don’t see another one unless I’m mistaking it for the bridge.
Here is the footage. The closeup of Randy’s bass is at 1:44.
I appreciate your help!
That’s what I’m thinking.
Also, an EB-3 has more knobs (additional Tone & Volume, + rotary pickup selector switch), and those would be visible even in these limited images. So, another vote for EB-O.
In general, the thing that stuck me is the variety of basses Randy used. Many bass players settle on one and stick with it. It looks like Randy was always searching for something different.
Thanks for commenting.
Randy did switch around a lot, especially in the ’70s. However, he seemed to always go back to Fenders, especially Fender Precisions. He also had one Fender Jazz that he played for about 30 years (or longer).
I agree, EB-0. You can see when Randy moves his hand up slightly there is no pickup by the bridge, there is only the one pickup by the neck.
Thanks Manny for catching that error and for all your help!