The Eagles played the Municipal Auditorium in Nashville on June 23rd, 1977. The day before, the band played a game of softball against radio and record company personnel.
The Eagles onstage in Nashville. Andrew Gold opened.
Review from the Nashville Tennessean.
The day before the concert, the Eagles, aka “The Party Plane,” played a softball game against Elektra-Asylum personnel and local radio celebrities. Randy is in the background in the top right photo.
Playing for the opposing team was slide guitar aficionado, Mac Gayden. Below Gayden recalls (via Facebook) the softball game and mentions that he was initially considered as Bernie Leadon’s replacement before Walsh was added.
In 1976, when the Eagles were recording Hotel California at Criteria Studios in Miami, Gayden was in an adjacent studio at Criteria recording his album, Hymn To The Seeker. Gayden asked Randy to sing background on the song, “Someone Whispered.” It’s an overlooked gem in the Meisner canon of guest appearances. Check it out.
The Eagles appeared on ABC’s In Concert series on August 3rd, 1973. The 90-minute show also included Ike & Tina Turner and Jim Croce, among others.
The show was taped on June 20th, 1973 at UCLA’s Royce Hall.
Below: The Eagles were photographed during a soundcheck. Randy is wearing an unusual knit shirt covered with faces that he purchased at L.B. Murphy’s, a department store in his hometown of Scottsbluff, NE.
Tickets to the taping were free to UCLA students. Several concert segments were filmed in one day.
The Eagles performed “Tequila Sunrise,” Early Bird,” and “Witchy Woman.” Randy wore another shirt with a Scottsbluff connection for the taping: a yellow Frank Implement Company shirt. Frank Implement was a John Deere dealership in Scottsbluff, which was owned by the father of a friend. Randy worked there for a brief time in 1970. His only real job.
In 1974, The Who’s drummer, Keith Moon, hosted an In Concert second anniversary special, which revisited performances from the past two seasons. Below is his introduction to the Eagles segment.
Below are the three songs the Eagles performed on In Concert in 1973. Apologies for the low quality.
“Early Bird” (co-written by Bernie Leadon and Randy Meisner)
Most likely the location of the backstage photo of the band taken by Cameron Crowe’s friend, Gary Elam, which was originally published in San Diego Door in November 1972. Crowe mistakenly recalled in 2015 that the photo was taken at the San Diego Civic Theater. The Eagles did not play there in 1972.
J.D. Souther was also on the bill. The Eagles drew the second largest crowd ever at the festival, which was sponsored by Southern Illinois University/Edwardsville (SIUE), with 29,700 attending. The Who drew the largest in 1971 with 31,000.
The show was not without problems. Festival officials had only planned for a crowd of 12,000, but twice as many showed up. There were traffic jams, fights, and property damage.
Randy backstage before the show
There were more problems behind-the-scenes. The Eagles’ road manager “threw a tantrum” because the food provided to the group was not what they requested:
“The road manager threw a tantrum because the food furnished for the group was cold cuts, not hot fried chicken. He complained about stage security. The group itself couldn’t decide if they wanted a sound check or not.” (Alton Telegraph, July 30, 1975)
Nevertheless, backstage photos show the band’s dining area with what appears to be fried chicken remnants on the table.
They also performed a sound check. Photo by Ken Regan.
During the afternoon of the concert, Ken Regan took a series of photos of the band at the local Holiday Inn as well as backstage at the festival site:
See more photos below:
Mississippi River Festival Setlist (partial) Take It Easy Peaceful, Easy Feeling Outlaw Man Desperado James Dean Witchy Woman Already Gone Best Of My Love
The Eagles appeared at Spring Fest on the campus of Southern Illinois University/Edwardsville (SIUE). Livingston Taylor (James’ brother) opened.
The previous night, Glenn Frey had been arrested following the Eagles’ concert at Mershon Auditorium in Columbus. He was charged with possession of a small amount of marijuana and public intoxication.
Glenn made no mention of the arrest in a backstage interview in Edwardsville. He talked about the difference between “superfans,” who want to get as close to the stage a possible, and music fans, who stay a few rows back because they want to hear the music.
Randy Meisner, Bernie Leadon, Don Henley, and Glenn Frey were photographed in the afternoon prior to their appearance at Spring Fest. Photo by John Milazzo (Focus magazine, October 1974)