A rare article from 1969 when Poco was still known as Pogo.
From its origins to its continued legacy, the story behind Randy Meisner’s signature song.
This behind-the scenes look at the Eagles’ concert at Mile High Stadium on August 8th, 1976, includes interviews with Randy’s parents, his wife, as well as a rare glimpse of life backstage and on the road.
The Eagles appeared on the third episode of The Helen Reddy Show on July 12th, 1973. Also featured were Mac Davis, Gladys Knight & the Pips, and Cheech and Chong. The Eagles played two songs: “Witchy Woman” and “Tequila Sunrise.” This show marked their U.S. television debut. 1
On the heels of Reddy’s hit, “I Am Woman,” her friend Flip Wilson offered her his primetime NBC time slot while the Flip Wilson Show was on summer hiatus. The eight episodes were billed as Flip Wilson Presents The Helen Reddy Show.
Below are short clips of the Eagles’ performances of “Witchy Woman” and “Tequila Sunrise.”
(Sources: 2018 promo video for Eagles Legacy Box Set. History Of The Eagles documentary, 2013.)
Randy’s wife Jennifer, their 9-year-old son, Dana, and Jennifer’s 13-year-old niece, Bobbi, were present at the taping, which took place a month or two earlier at NBC Studios in Burbank. Below is an article from the Scottsbluff Star-Herald, Randy’s hometown paper, announcing The Helen Reddy Show appearance. Included with the article was a photo of Jennifer posing with a poster from the Eagles’ concert at London’s Royal Festival Hall in March 1973. Many thanks to Jennifer, as well as the Scottsbluff Public Library, for the complete article (Jennifer’s 50-year-old clipping had been cut off after the 3rd paragraph.) Unfortunately, the article is riddled with misspellings, the most glaring is Randy’s last name. Near the bottom, the paper quotes Jennifer as saying the Eagles had finished taping a show with the Ike and Tina Turner Revue. This would have been the 90-minute In Concert special on ABC, which aired August 3rd, 1973. Note: The Eagles’ appearance on The Helen Reddy Show was shown in most areas on July 12th, however, some cities aired the show later in the week, including Scottsbluff.
Since the Eagles were not touring in July 1973, Randy was home and able to watch the show with his family.
1Although the Reddy show marked the Eagles’ U.S. television debut, this was not Randy’s first stint before television audiences. His group, The Poor, appeared on episodes of Ironside and The Name Of The Game in 1968. He also made a number of TV appearances with Rick Nelson & The Stone Canyon Band between 1969 and 1971. In March 1973, the Eagles made two European television appearances on Popgala ’73 and BBC’s In Concert.
An inside look at the Eagles’ appearance on DON KIRSHNER’S ROCK CONCERT in April 1974.
An overview of the Eagles’ first tour of Japan, including the first known live recording of “Take It To The Limit.”
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.
In December 1969, James Taylor began recording his landmark album, SWEET BABY JAMES. Randy Meisner played bass on two tracks on the album. He would later say this experience was one of the highlights of his career.