Eagles Founding Member and Bassist Randy Meisner Dies at 77

NETHERLANDS - MAY 11: AHOY Photo of Randy MEISNER and EAGLES, Randy Meisner, performing live onstage
Rob Verhorst/Redferns/Getty Images

The Eagles have confirmed that one of their founding members has passed away. Randy Meisner died at the age of 77 from complications from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The band shared a post about Meisner that said, “The Eagles are sad to report that founding member, bassist, and vocalist, Randy Meisner, passed away last night (July 26) in Los Angeles at age 77, due to complications from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary disease (COPD). As the original bass player for the pioneering country-rock group, Poco, Randy was at the forefront of the musical revolution that began in Los Angeles, in the late 1960s.”

UNSPECIFIED - JANUARY 01: Photo of Glenn FREY and Joe WALSH and Don HENLEY and Don FELDER and EAGLES and Randy MEISNER; L-R: Don Felder, Don Henley, Joe Walsh, Glenn Frey, Randy Meisner - posed, studio, group shot - Hotel California era

RB/Redferns/Getty Images

The statement continued, “In 1971, Randy, along with Glenn Frey, Don Henley, and Bernie Leadon, formed the Eagles and contributed to the band’s albums, Eagles, Desperado, On The Border, One of These Nights, and Hotel California. He was inducted with the Eagles into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998. ‘Randy was an integral part of the Eagles and instrumental in the early success of the band. His vocal range was astonishing, as is evident on his signature ballad, ‘Take It to the Limit,’’ said the Eagles. Prior to Poco, he was bassist and vocalist with Rick Nelson’s Stone Canyon Band. Randy was born on March 8, 1946, in Scottsbluff, Nebraska. Funeral arrangements are pending.”

LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 1: Musician Randy Meisner poses for a portrait in Los Angeles, California on April 1, 1997

Jim Steinfeldt/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Meisner played with the Eagles during their inception along with Don Henley, Glenn Frey, and Bernie Leadon in the ‘70s. Meisner left the band after experiencing illness and marriage troubles during their Hotel California tour. In the summer of 1977, he argued with Frey and left the band soon after. He was replaced with Timothy B. Schmit, who stayed in the band for decades. Meisner opened up about his decision in 1981 and shared, “I could have tripled my money if I’d stayed. But I was just tired of the touring. It’s a crazy life that you live at twice the normal speed. When it got to the point of sanity or money … I thought I’d rather have sanity.”

He went solo after leaving the band and while he never achieved the same kind of success again, he did continue his music career for many years. Meisner played with Randy Meisner & the Silverados and released several solo albums. He was also a part of the all-star band Black Tie. He had three children with his first wife, his high school sweetheart, Jennifer Lee Barton. They divorced in 1981 and he later married Lana Rae in 1996. They remained together until her death in 2016.

Stars We Lost in 2019
Want More?

Stars We Lost in 2019

December 2019

This issue pays tribute to the remarkable stars we loved and lost in 2019 Tim Conway, Doris Day, Valerie Harper and more!

Buy This Issue
More Of This: