Drummer Patrick Shanahan, founding member of Denver’s Soul Survivors, their offshoot, The Poor, and later Rick Nelson’s Stone Canyon Band, generously shared his memories with me about his life and career.
This was most likely Randy’s last touring date with The Stone Canyon Band.
The following review in the underground Chicago paper, Earth, provides a partial setlist for one of the Mr. Kelly’s shows.
Hello Mary Lou
Easy To Be Free
She Belongs To Me
Look At Mary
Honky Tonk Woman
Randy’s last name is misspelled in the review as “Meysner.”
From 1969-1971, Randy was a member of Rick Nelson’s Stone Canyon Band. Here we delve into Randy’s history as a founding member of the group.
Randy Meisner first met Glenn Frey & Don Henley when he filled in for Linda Ronstadt’s bassist at a place called Chuck’s Cellar in Los Altos, CA in June 1971.
Below: L-R: Randy Meisner, Rick Nelson, and Allen Kemp
Rick was interviewed the UT/Austin newspaper, The Daily Texan, in the dressing room before the Houston show. Tequila sours were passed around, but Rick declined. The band members were asked what they thought of Rick as a person and performer (no band members were mentioned by name): “A sensitive and fair, understanding and easy-going guy.” The article also included a less-than-positive review of the show. The reviewer felt that Rick exuded no personality and just stood there and sang. He was also criticized for singing too much country and western and not enough of the earlier hits he was known for.
Below: Rick backstage with local Houston rock photographer, Larry Lent.
Watch their performance of Fats Domino’s “I’m Walkin'” filmed by David Nelson at the Bitter End, August 1969.
This was the first song Rick sang on The Adventures Of Ozzie and Harriet back in 1957.
Notice at 1:44 that Randy is playing a red Gibson bass, a switch from his usual gold Fender Precision from this period.
Although we hear pedal steel, there is no steel player on stage. The Stone Canyon Band was only a foursome at this point (Rick Nelson, Randy Meisner, Allen Kemp and Pat Shanahan).
The audio here is from Rick Nelson In Concert, recorded at the Troubadour a couple of months later in October 1969, with Tom Brumley on pedal steel.
Rick Nelson & the Stone Canyon Band performed two nights at JD’s.
The Arizona Republic noted that Rick was “sharing the spotlight” with a “longhaired bass player”:
Here’s Rick and the band performing their cover of Bob Dylan’s “She Belongs To Me” from the Easy To Be Free documentary, directed by David Nelson. At the 1:34 mark, the footage moves from JD’s to their appearance at The Troubadour in Hollywood a week later. The footage is less than perfect. Rick and The Stone Canyon Band’s recorded a cover of “She Belongs To Me” during the summer of 1969. It was released as a single in August to coincide with their tour and became a Top 40 hit.
At the time of the JD’s appearance, the Rick Nelson & The Stone Canyon Band was a four-piece with Randy on bass, Allen Kemp on guitar, and Pat Shanahan on drums. Tom Brumley was added on pedal steel for the Troubadour shows.
Read more about Randy’s tenure as an original member of Rick Nelson & The Stone Canyon Band here:
“Rick Nelson was one of the best people I’ve ever known–really humble and nice. He never played the star. He was way beyond that.” –Randy […]
In December 1969, Randy Meisner appeared as a session musician on the thirteenth album by one of country music’s original outlaws. He also showed off his bass playing chops.
Through interview excerpts, Randy describes his early life and career, up until the formation of the Eagles.
Forty-four years ago this week, the Eagles gave an interview for BBC Radio 1 in London shortly after their arrival to kick off their European tour. Each member is interviewed individually, including Randy who answers questions for a full six minutes.