Jesse Colin Young opened
The Eagles performed at the Ice Arena at SUNY Geneseo. Leo Kottke opened
Concert preview from Geneseo Lamron newspaper, May 3, 1974:
Photos from SUNY Geneseo’s Oh Ha Daih yearbook
Andrew Gold opened.
Randy handed out water to sweltering fans. His high note on “Take It To The Limit” was compared to opera soprano, Anna Moffo.
“Bassist Randy Meisner gave the crowd a good rush when he took a note in ‘Take It To The Limit’ that Anna Moffo would be proud to call her own. Meisner had a great rapport with the crowd. At least twice he came to the aid of fans sweltering on the front lines of the surging floor crowd with some liquid relief. They appreciated it and showed so by making him come to the mike to take a bow for his high note.”Russ Edmonston, Greensboro Daily News, June 28, 1977
Notice that Randy is playing a black Hagstrom bass. A change from his usual Rickenbacker 4001 from the Hotel California tour. He played the black Hagstrom a few days earlier in Birmingham as well. Find out more about Randy’s basses here.
The Eagles’ second album turns 50.
The Eagles played to 200,000 at the music festival, California Jam, held at the Ontario Motor Speedway outside of Los Angeles. The concert was produced by ABC and simulcast on TV and radio on May 10th, 1974. Jackson Browne filled in on several songs with the band in the absence of Don Felder, whose wife went into labor on the day of the concert.
California Jam from above. Photo by Mark Sullivan.
Two stages were used that were perched on 600 feet of railroad track. As one band played, the other stage was set up for the next act, then rolled onto center stage. The stages can be seen under the striped canopies. The semi-circle of trailers behind the stages were the bands’ dressing rooms.
The Eagles played a 45-minute set (only 20 minutes was televised)
(Not in order of performance)
Take It Easy
Peaceful Easy Feeling
Below is a clip of the Eagles’ intro from the radio simulcast on ABC’s KLOS-FM in Los Angeles:
Heading to the stage:
L-R: Glenn Frey (behind the door), Don Henley, Randy Meisner, Bernie Leadon, and road manager, Richie Fernandez.
Bernie, Randy (blue shirt), Glenn and Don
Randy at Cal Jam.
According to Jennifer Meisner, the eagle on his shirt was hand-embroidered by a fan.
Photo ©Jeffrey Mayer
Photos by Julian Baum
Randy performing “Midnight Flyer” from On The Border, which had just been released:
The footage below includes the five songs that aired in the televised concert on May 10th, 1974:
“Take It Easy”
Post-show interview with Bernie Leadon (San Diego Door, May 14, 1974)
Although Bernie talks mostly about the band’s music and albums up to 1974, he did voice his frustration to interviewer Greg Leonard about the band’s mid-day performance at Cal Jam:
“Bernie had just returned from what he felt was a frustrating performance in the mid-day heat. When I met him he was nursing a glass of champagne trying to relax after the tension of playing outdoors, with no prior soundcheck, before nearly 200,000 people.”
Reviews and further reading.
This was the Eagles’ second-to-last date on the first leg of their 1977 Hotel California tour (they played Cleveland the next two nights). Their next stop was Europe after a three-week break. Jimmy Buffett was the opening act.
The Eagles in Toronto:
Photo ©Doug McClement
Although their musicianship was flawless, many reviews from the Hotel California tour criticized the Eagles for just standing around like statues onstage. It was something that irked Randy, who wanted to move around and have fun. He was in a rock band, after all. The reviews for the Toronto show were no different in this regard. However, the critic for the Globe And Mail complimented Randy for bringing some much-needed humanity to the show, albeit temporarily, with his dazzling performance of “Take It To The Limit”:
“When humanity breaks through, it can often dazzle. Randy Meisner’s vocals were a case in point: he appeared throughout to be only passingly interested in the performance, but then stepped to the front for is impassioned vocal on ‘Take It To The Limit.’ Only then was it apparent that this man’s seeming disinterest actually hid some real emotion. The revelation passed as he returned to his bass.”Paul McGrath, Globe and Mail, March 31, 1977 (see full review below)
Below: Randy dazzles the audience.
Photos © John Rowlands.
At a reception following the show, the Eagles were presented with a platinum record for Hotel California. Below they are photographed at the gathering with representatives from WEA (the international distributor for Asylum) and Toronto radio stations, CHUM & CFTR.
My only question is: Where’s Randy?
This was the third date on the Eagles’ 1977 Hotel California tour. Jimmy Buffett was the opening act.
Although this was the Eagles’ debut at New York City’s Madison Square Garden, the band played Felt Forum, the Garden’s smaller venue, back in 1972. For this sold-out appearance, the Eagles were backed by an orchestra for three songs: “Desperado Reprise,” “Wasted Time,” and “Take It To The Limit.” Three members of the Rolling Stones attended the concert: Mick Jagger, Ron Wood, and Bill Wyman. Wood accompanied the Eagles onstage for their last encore of Chuck Berry’s “Carol.”
An after-show party was given by Elektra/Asylum at the Garden’s Penn Plaza Club.
Praise for Randy:
“The event of the evening came with bassist Randy Meisner’s stunning vocalization of ‘Take It To The Limit’. In addition to sing-along support from the total audience, he received a standing ovation after each chorus.” (Record World, April 23, 1977)
(Compiled from contemporary reviews)
Turn To Stone
Take It To The Limit
New Kid In Town
One Of These Nights
Turn To Stone
Life In the Fast Lane
Victim Of Love
Rocky Mountain Way
Welcome To The Club
Take It Easy
Best Of My Love
Rolling Stone, May 5, 1977
Record World, April 23, 1977
The After-Show Party
Among the guests were Faye Dunaway, Paul Simon, John Belushi, Dan Ackroyd, Linda Ronstadt and J.D. Souther. Although members of the Rolling Stones were present at the concert, they did not attend the post-concert party.
According to Rolling Stone magazine: “The guests dined on Mexican food, but only had one brand of cheap white tequila to wash down their tacos.”
Below: Glenn at the buffet table which included an ice eagle sculpture.
Also on the bill were Linda Ronstadt and Jackson Browne.
Randy performed “Take It To The Limit” at this show in one of his first-ever performances of the song. On a more bittersweet note, this was the last concert to feature the original four members of the Eagles. Bernie Leadon quit the band shortly after the Anaheim show and the Eagles did not perform again for the rest of the year. When they returned to touring in January 1976, the band included Leadon’s replacement, Joe Walsh.
Below is Robert Hilburn’s review of the festival in the Los Angeles Times, September 30th, 1975. This is the first known mention of “Take It To The Limit” in a concert review (second to last paragraph). Randy also performed “Midnight Flyer.”
We take a deep dive into the concerts and footage from the Eagles’ two-night stint at the Capital Centre in 1977.
Spooky Tooth opened.
“Ex-Poco member, Randy Meisner, made his subtle and important mark on the evening by doing his “Certain Kind Of Fool” and “Tryin'”–both numbers of high energy and Poco-like vocals. Meisner’s bass playing is simple, but steady.” -Jim Gerard, Cleveland Scene, May 17, 1973
Learn more about “Certain Kind Of Fool,” co-written and sung by Randy Meisner, from the Eagles’ second studio album, the outlaw-themed DESPERADO.
A compilation of basses played by Randy Meisner throughout his career.
The first major tour date for the Eagles. The band opened for Joe Cocker. They are not mentioned in any ads or reviews for the show.
However, the band was photographed backstage after the show.
The photo below was published in the May 13th, 1972 issue of RPM, a Canadian trade publication. The caption referred to the band as “Eagle,” which is not a misprint since they were also called Eagle at their next two shows in Spokane and Portland (also opening for Joe Cocker). A few months earlier, they were billed as Eagle at Tulagi in Boulder, Colorado.
L-R: Randy, Bernie Leadon, Glenn Frey, Don Boas (with Kinney Services, the international distributor for Warner Bros, later known as WEA), Asylum Records general manager, John Hartmann, and Don Henley.
The Eagles kicked off a ten-day tour of Australia. This was the first show with Joe Walsh in the band.
For this show, Randy wore a shirt for Average White Band’s AWB album. He is also playing a rare Fender Telecaster bass.