Remembering Eagles Founding Member and ‘Take It to the Limit’ Singer Randy Meisner

Randy Meisner died July 26, 2023, due to complications from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. He was 77.

Jackie Kolgraf
July 28, 2023

Bassist, singer, and songwriter Randy Meisner, founding member of the Eagles, died July 26, 2023, due to complications from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. He was 77.

Earle Bailey pays tribute to Randy Meisner during the Head Trips show on Deep Tracks

The band shared a touching note about Meisner’s passing on their website. “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,” it reads. “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.”

The Eagles added, “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.'”

Randy was born on March 8, 1946, in Scottsbluff, Nebraska. Before Poco, he played bass and sang in Rick Nelson’s Stone Canyon Band.

“Take It to the Limit” was released as the third single from the Eagles’ 1975 album One of These Nights. After the band recorded Hotel California in 1976, Meisner departed, uncomfortable with the spotlight and wanting a calmer pace of life away from the road. He rejoined the band just once, for their 1998 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony performance of “Hotel California” and “Take It Easy.”

Meisner also put out solo records, including Randy Meisner in 1978 and One More Song in 1980. Randy Meisner & the Silverados toured in the early ’80s. In 1985, he joined the all-star band Black Tie with Jimmy Griffin and Billy Swan. Then, from 1987 to 1989, Meisner and former Firefall singer-songwriter Rick Roberts formed the Roberts-Meisner Band. Meisner later reunited with Poco for the Legacy album and tour from 1989 to 1990. He was asked to rejoin the Eagles on tour in 2013 but declined for health reasons.

Just a few weeks prior to Meisner’s passing, the Eagles (currently consisting of Don Henley, Vince Gill, Timothy B. Schmidt, and Glenn Frey’s son Deacon) announced plans for their Long Goodbye Tour.