Since Randy’s death this past July, more people have been googling his name and wanting to find out more about him. I thought I would compile a few relevant blog posts and pages into one place. Perhaps it would help those who might be new to Randy’s history discover more out more about his life and career. Maybe you want peruse his discography or you saw him with the Eagles back in 1975 and can’t remember the date. My Concert Archive can help with that. Did you know Randy was on James Taylor’s Sweet Baby James album, or his band The Poor opened for Jimi Hendrix during his first tour of America? That’s just the tip of the iceberg. There’s lots more to learn below, as well as on the menu at the very top of the page. I hope by perusing Randy Meisner: A Retrospective, you will learn that Randy was more than just the guy who co-wrote and sang “Take It To The Limit.” He was a gifted singer/songwriter and talented musician. Moreover, as a founding member of such pioneering groups as Poco and Rick Nelson’s Stone Canyon Band, he was instrumental in the early days of the country-rock movement. A “coveted bassist,” noted author Philip Bashe, with a remarkable range and distinctive voice. Lastly, I hope you will discover among these posts and pages that Randy left behind not only his legacy of great music, which has touched millions, but that he was also just a sweet, humble, gentle man. Gone, but not soon forgotten.
March 8th, 1946 – July 25th, 2023
The story of Randy’s early life and career is presented below using his own words.
Some of Randy’s earliest performances, dating back to 1961, are documented in my Concert Archive.
Randy’s high school band, The Dynamics, formed in 1961. Randy remained with them for the next five years.
In 1966, Patrick Shanahan and Allen Kemp from the popular Denver group, The Soul Survivors, went to a Battle of The Bands looking for a replacement for their bassist. Patrick spotted Randy singing “What’s Your Name” with The Dynamics and knew “he would be perfect.” A short time later, Randy was asked to join the band, who was leaving for LA within a few weeks. Randy accepted. The Soul Survivors soon changed their name to The Poor. Read the rest of the story below:
The band that would eventually be known as Poco started out with the moniker, Pogo. Randy was the original bassist for the band that was created by Richie Furay and Jim Messina of Buffalo Springfield. When Pogo played the Troubadour in November 1968, it was, as one reviewer put it, “the sound we’ve all been waiting for.” It’s worth noting that Glenn Frey saw Randy with Pogo at Troubadour and it had a profound effect on him, saying in 1995: “When I saw Randy my tongue just fell right out on the table. I just couldn’t believe that anybody could look, sing, and play cool all at the same time. It was too much for me.”
In 1969, the band was asked to fill out questionnaires for a potential Pogo fan club newsletter. Here are the responses.
Rick Nelson & The Stone Canyon Band
In early 1969, Randy was approached by Rick Nelson and helped him form what would become The Stone Canyon Band, recruiting his former bandmates from The Poor, Patrick Shanahan and Allen Kemp. Randy made two albums with Rick and toured the U.S. and Europe with him. He left in 1971 to help co-found the group that would become the Eagles.
The Eagles were formed in 1971 by Glenn Frey, Don Henley, Bernie Leadon and Randy Meisner. Randy made five albums with the group before departing in 1977. There is quite a bit about the Eagles on my site. I have picked out a few highlights below.
A comprehensive listing of all Eagles performances during Randy’s tenure with the band. Also includes links to ads, reviews, photos and more.
Randy sang lead on the following songs with the Eagles:
“Take The Devil” (written by Randy Meisner)
“Most Of Us Are Sad” (written by Glenn Frey)
“Tryin'” (written by Randy Meisner)
“Certain Kind Of Fool” (co-written by Meisner, Frey, Henley)
“Saturday Night” Randy sang lead on the bridge. (co-written by Meisner, Frey, Henley, Leadon)
“Is It True” (written by Randy Meisner)
“Midnight Flyer” (written by Paul Craft)
“Too Many Hands” (Lyrics by Meisner, Music by Don Felder)
“Take It To The Limit” (co-written by Randy Meisner, Frey and Henley)
“Try And Love Again” (written by Randy Meisner)
“Wait And See” (written by Meisner) This song is not on an album, but a live recording of it exists.
Watch Randy perform some of these songs live here:
The true story of Randy’s exit from the Eagles.
His Own Words
In closing, I’ll give Randy the last word. Here is my five-part series called In His Own Words. These blog posts include compilations of quotes from Randy about different aspects of his career: songwriting, performing, his musical interests, etc.
You can also listen to Randy in this compilation of TV & Radio interviews, spanning over 40 years: