28 Jul 2023

Randy Meisner, Eagles co-founder who sang 'Take It to the Limit,' dead at 77

3:20 pm on 28 July 2023
Randy Meisner performing at the Park West in Chicago, Illinois, March 6, 1981. (Photo by Paul Natkin/Getty Images)

Randy Meisner performing at the Park West in Chicago, Illinois, 6 March 1981. Photo: Paul Natkin

Randy Meisner, a co-founder of the Eagles who sang lead on the 1975 hit 'Take It to the Limit', died on Wednesday of complications from lung disease, the band said on its website on Thursday. He was 77.

Meisner, a bass player, joined Glenn Frey, Don Henley and Bernie Leadon in forming the original Eagles lineup in 1971, performing on classic albums such as 'Eagles', 'Desperado', 'On the Border', 'One of These Nights' and 'Hotel California'.

He left the band at the height of its popularity in 1977, shortly after the Hotel California album and single by the same name became huge hits, but he was inducted along with all seven Eagles into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998.

Internal strife led guitarist Leadon to quit the band in 1975, when he was replaced by Joe Walsh, and Meisner quit two years later, replaced by Timothy B. Schmit.

"The whole thing started to end when we started taking separate limos," Meisner told Rolling Stone magazine.

Born on 8 March 1946, in Scotts Bluff, Nebraska, Meisner was also overwhelmed by the pressure, Rolling Stone said, as he resisted his bandmates' requests to take center stage to sing 'Take It to the Limit' in concert.

"I liked to be out of the spotlight," Meisner said, according to Rolling Stone.

"One night in Knoxville, I stayed up late and got the flu. We did two or three encores and Glenn wanted another one. I told them I couldn't do it, and we got into a spat. That was the end."

Years later, Meisner said he asked to sit in with the band for a show in Los Angeles but was denied, he told Rolling Stone in 2008.

"I thought it would be nice to sit in with Timothy B. Schmit and sing 'Take It to the Limit', but they pretty much gave me a 'no' in a round-about way. I can't blame them. They have to keep their band the way it is," Meisner said.

Before the Eagles, he placed bass for Poco, and was also bassist and vocalist with Rick Nelson's Stone Canyon Band.

- Reuters