Eagles Co-founder Randy Meisner Passed Away At 77
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Randy Meisner, a co-founder of the Eagles, passed away at the age of 77 due to complications from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
Meisner, along with Glenn Frey, Don Henley, and Bernie Leadon, started the Eagles in 1971. He played on the group’s first five albums but left the band in September 1977. The group stated in a statement announcing Meisner’s passing:
“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.'”
However, the success of “Take It to the Limit” played a part in his departure from the Eagles. In 2013, he said to Rolling Stone:
“I was always kind of shy. They wanted me to stand in the middle of the stage to sing ‘Take It to the Limit,’ but I liked to be out of the spotlight.”
Meisner’s Departure from the Eagles
Due to the resulting tension, he refused to play the song during the encore at a concert in Knoxville, Tennessee, in June 1977, which resulted in a confrontation with Glenn Frey. Meisner then reportedly made an effort to punch his bandmate in return.
In 2015, Meisner disclosed to Rolling Stone:
“When the tour ended, I left the band. Those last days on the road were the worst. Nobody was talking to me or would hang out after shows or do anything. I was made an outcast of the band I’d helped start.”
The Eagles continued with Timothy B. Schmit as Meisner’s replacement and released one more album, 1979’s The Long Run before initially breaking up in 1980. When the band reunited in 1994, Meisner was not invited to participate.
Nearly two decades later, health issues prevented Meisner from considering a return to the Eagles when the band invited Bernie Leadon back for a guest appearance during their History of the Eagles tour.
Throughout his life, Meisner faced personal challenges, including the tragic accidental death of his second wife in 2016, which deeply affected him. He was married twice, first to Jennifer Lee Barton (1963–1981) and secondly to Lana Rae (1996–her death). After an argument, she killed herself accidentally at the couple’s California home in March 2016.
Meisner was found not guilty in his wife’s passing, which was allegedly brought on by her moving a rifle bag inside a closet while looking for shoes. She was shot in the face by the firearm by mistake. However, he was so upset that, according to TMZ, he was momentarily put on a psychiatric hold.
As of now, funeral arrangements for Randy Meisner are still pending, as reported by the Eagles’ statement.