On April 13th, 1974, the Eagles appeared on Don Kirshner’s Rock Concert on ABC. Joining them were special guests Linda Ronstadt and Jackson Browne. The airing of the show in April coincided with the release of their third LP, On The Border, as well as their 40-city tour, which officially kicked off on March 19th in Calgary, Alberta. The Rock Concert appearance also gave audiences the first glimpse of the band as a quintet, with Don Felder having just joined the band.

Don Kirshner’s Rock Concert debuted in September 1973. The show was produced and hosted by Kirshner, who had been an executive producer on ABC’s successful In Concert series. The taping of the Eagles’ Rock Concert set took place at Santa Monica Civic Auditorium in mid-February 1974. It was filmed in front a live audience, which included Randy’s first wife, Jennifer, and their eldest son, Dana, who was ten-years-old at the time. Jennifer recalled that the filming of the one hour show took a very long time and did not flow like a normal rock concert. Songs were performed more than once and there were long pauses in-between.1

Linda Ronstadt and Jackson Browne, who were touring together in February 1974, left their bands on the East Coast, with the exception of David Lindley, and flew to Los Angeles for the taping.2

The Eagles on Don Kirshner’s Rock Concert.
Photo by Henry Diltz.


The Eagles performed tracks from their first two albums, plus new songs from On The Border.

Peaceful Easy Feeling
Already Gone
Good Day In Hell

Desperado (Linda Ronstadt)
Silver Threads and Golden Needles (Linda Ronstadt)

It Doesn’t Matter Anymore (Linda Ronstadt & Bernie Leadon)
Midnight Flyer
Ol’ 55
Your Bright Baby Blues (Jackson Browne)
Looking Into You (Jackson Browne & David Lindley)
James Dean
Desperado Reprise (Henry Diltz film)
Take It Easy (with Linda Ronstadt and Jackson Browne)

Don Kirshner’s Rock Concert stage pass
(courtesy of Jennifer Meisner)

Randy and Bernie wore Morehead State University shirts for the broadcast. The Eagles played Wetherby Gymnasium at Morehead State, which is located in Morehead, KY, on December 4th, 1973. Randy’s yellow jersey still exists with his family in Scottsbluff, NE.

Don Kirshner’s Rock Concert

Here are the songs in the order they appeared in the show. The full concert is available at the bottom.

“Peaceful Easy Feeling”

Notice at the :57 mark that Randy mouths the words “loud” to a bandmate or someone off-stage to his left. It’s possible he felt his bass was turned up too loud.
The clip includes the show opening.

“Already Gone”

This would have been a new song to the audience at Santa Monica Civic. New member Felder makes a strong debut here.

“Good Day In Hell”

Another showcase for Don Felder from On The Border. Glenn Frey wrote this song about Gram Parsons while Gram was still alive (Parsons died in September 1973). Notice that Randy, who normally plucked his bass with his fingers, used a pick for this song. He would have likely chosen to use a pick because of the tone it would have given him (which you can hear with good speakers or headphones). He would forgo the pick in later live versions of “Good Day In Hell” (see Seattle 1976.) Other songs on which Randy used a pick were “Rocky Mountain Way” in 1975 and “Lovin’ You Every Minute” by Poco.

Linda Ronstadt

Glenn introduces Linda as their “favorite girl singer.” Her set included her hit cover of the Eagles’ “Desperado,” her then-current single, “Silver Threads and Golden Needles,” and Buddy Holly’s “It Doesn’t Matter Anymore,” with Bernie Leadon accompanying on guitar.

“Midnight Flyer”

Randy’s only lead vocal. This was most likely the first time the song had been performed in front of an audience. “Midnight Flyer” would remain a part of the Eagles’ setlists until the end of 1976.

“Twenty One”

Bernie Leadon performs his only lead vocal in this song from Desperado.

“Ol’ 55”

Written by Tom Waits, this song was performed by the Eagles a number of times in late 1973 while the band was trying out songs for On The Border. Although Bernie plays the pedal steel here, the album version features Al Perkins from The Flying Burrito Brothers and Manassas.

Jackson Browne

Browne performed the poignant “Bright Baby Blues” seated with members of the Eagles surrounding him. “Looking Into You” followed, with only David Lindley accompanying on fiddle.
Between songs, at the 6:40 mark, during what was a commercial break, there is a bumper that shows Randy and Glenn talking on stage.

“James Dean”

The Eagles returned to the stage with “James Dean,” another song from On The Border, although originally intended for Desperado.

This song was a favorite of Randy’s to perform, saying it made him feel like he was in the Beatles:

“James Dean’ was another good one…Anything that was jumpin’ I loved to play bass on…We played ‘James Dean’ in Detroit. Every once in a while you get this feeling that you’re the Beatles or something. Everything went right, every song clicked perfectly and the crowd just loved us.” (2006)

Jackson Browne guests on piano.

“Doolin-Dalton”/”Desperado Reprise”

“Doolin-Dalton” was accompanied by a short film @3:50, which shows the band members in a staged gunfight. The film was shot by Henry Diltz during the photo session for the cover of Desperado.
Diltz also took all of the stills of the Eagles’ Rock Concert appearance.

“Take It Easy”

Linda Ronstadt and Jackson Browne join the Eagles for the finale of “Take It Easy” (co-written by Jackson Browne). There’s a nice moment when Glenn and Randy harmonize on the “flatbed Ford” section.

Full Concert

In 1975, Glenn Frey, Don Henley, and Don Felder accompanied Joe Walsh for his appearance on Don Kirshner’s Rock Concert entitled “Joe Walsh & Friends” (also filmed at Santa Monica Civic). Watch it here.


1Correspondence with Jennifer Meisner, April & June 2023.
2 Rolling Stone, March 14th, 1974

Share this post


  1. What a great article Jessica! Lots of new information & so much music. Thank You to Jennifer Meisner for sharing her memories with you & Thank You for putting it all together for our enjoyment!

  2. THANKS to these ladies for sharing this with the fans! Any of the old stories and videos are so special as it takes us back to a great time in music! It seems like we didn’t enjoy it enough back then and at least now we get to appreciate that music so much more.

  3. Great article, I love this concert! Randy completes them so perfectly for me, his voice is amazing & so integral to their sound, it gives it that sparkle. Thank you to Jessica & especially to Jennifer for graciously sharing her memories & precious mementos of Randy’s with us. We’re so appreciative!

  4. Thank you as ever for your impeccable research and presentation of just the kind of information we as Randy’s fans appreciate.

Leave a Reply