Randy Meisner, one of The Eagles’ original members, has died. The bassist and vocalist, who co-wrote and performed “Take It to the Limit,” died at the age of 77.
Meisner died Wednesday night as a result of complications from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), the band said Thursday.
The band noted in a short statement that Randy was a vital member of the Eagles and instrumental in the early success of the band. His vocal range was incredible, as evidenced by his signature ballad, ‘Take It to the Limit.’
Funeral arrangements are still being finalized, according to the band.
After performing with the country-rock band Poco and Rick Nelson’s Stone Canyon Band, he co-founded The Eagles with Don Henley, Glen Frey, and Bernie Leadon in 1971.
Meisner was mainly the band’s bassist, but he also wrote and sang on some of their great songs. “Take It to the Limit,” released as the third single from the band’s 1975 album One of These Nights, was Meisner’s greatest success with the band.
Meisner quit the band after they completed the album Hotel California in 1976. He opted not to go on tour to promote the album. Meisner stated in 1981 that if he had stayed, he could have tripled his money. But he was just sick of touring. One is living a wild life at double the typical pace. When it came down to a choice between sanity and money, he decided on sanity.
Meisner was allegedly not invited to the Eagles’ reunion in 1994. He did play with the band at their Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony in 1998, and he was asked to join them for their 2013 global tour. He was unable to attend due to his failing health. Meisner said in 2016 that the band helped pay for his medical treatment.
From 1963 until 1981, he was married to Jennifer Lee Barton, with whom he had three daughters, and then to Lana Rae from 1996 until her death in 2016. Lana shot and killed herself by mistake in March 2016. Meisner was not engaged in the shooting, according to authorities.
Meisner reminisced on the band’s career and how their music survived rock critics in a 2016 interview with Rock Cellar Magazine.
It’s just nice to know that today’s kids are listening to it. It’s traditional music. He described the tunes as “good.” The lyrics, as well as the way they were produced and played, are excellent. That’s why they were so exacting and determined to make Hotel California great. They made certain that they got it right.
Meisner’s death comes only weeks after the Eagles’ surviving members revealed preparations for a final tour. Their “Long Goodbye” tour will go off on September 7, 2023. Henley, Vince Gill, and Timothy B. Schmidt, who succeeded Meisner in the Eagles in 1976, are currently on the band’s roster. Deacon Frey, the late Frey’s son, will join them. Frey died in 2016 at the age of 67.
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