Randy Meisner, founding member of the Eagles, dies at 77


Randy Meisner, a founding member of the Eagles who added high harmonies to such favorites as “Take It Easy” and “The Best of My Love” and stepped out front for the waltz-time ballad “Take It to the Limit,” has died, the band said on its website Thursday.

Meisner died Wednesday night in Los Angeles of complications from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, the Eagles said in a statement. He was 77.

Called “the sweetest man in the music business” by former bandmate Don Felder, the baby-faced Meisner joined Don Henley, Glenn Frey and Bernie Leadon in the early 1970s to form a quintessential Los Angeles band and one of the most popular acts in history.

Randy Meisner
Randy Meisner performing on March 6, 1981, in Chicago, Illinois. 

Paul Natkin/WireImage

Meisner recorded on some of the Eagles’ most iconic albums, including “Desperado,” “On the Border,” “One of These Nights” and “Hotel California.” He left the band in 1977 but was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with the Eagles 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,'” the band said in its statement.

After leaving the Eagles, he embarked on a solo career and also recorded and toured with several other groups. 

The bassist endured numerous afflictions in recent years and personal tragedy in 2016 when his wife, Lana Rae Meisner, accidentally shot herself and died at the couple’s L.A. home. Police said she was moving a rifle that was stored inside a case in the closet when the gun went off. Officers had been called to the home earlier that day on a domestic violence report. 

Randy Meisner had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and had severe issues with alcohol, according to court records and comments made during a 2015 hearing in which a judge ordered Meisner to receive constant medical care.

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