Randy Meisner, Founding Member of the Eagles, Dies at 77

Bassist and vocalist wrote and sang rock hits like “Take It to the Limit”

eagles randy meisner
The Eagles in 1976, with Randy Meisner at center (Getty Images)

Randy Meisner, founding member of the Eagles, has died at the age of 77 due to complications from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary disease, the band announced on its website.

Meisner, seen center in the picture above in 1976 along with Don Henly, Joe Walsh, Glenn Frey and Don Felder, founded the Eagles with Henley, Frey and Bernie Leadon in 1971 and released five albums with the band, including the iconic “Hotel California,” before departing in 1978.

While he mostly played bass and provided backing vocals on the band’s songs, Meisner took center stage with one of the biggest Eagles hits, “Take It to the Limit,” in 1975, with fans quickly embracing the song thanks to Meisner’s high notes.

In the 2013 documentary “History of the Eagles,” Meisner said that the song’s title was about the need to “keep trying before you reach a point in your life where you feel you’ve done everything and seen everything, sort of feeling, you know, part of getting old. And just to take it to the limit one more time, like every day just keep, you know, punching away at it.”

Prior to joining the Eagles, Meisner briefly performed in the late 1960s with Rick Nelson’s Stone Canyon Band and the country rock band Poco with former Buffalo Springfield guitarists Jim Messina and Richie Furay. He also released a trio of solo albums between 1978 and 1982 after leaving the Eagles.

In 1998, Meisner appeared with the Eagles at the band’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony in New York with the six other past and present members of the band.

Meisner’s death comes as the Eagles prepare to embark on what they say will be their farewell tour following Glenn Frey’s death in 2016. Led by Henley, Meisner’s replacement Timothy Schmit, and guitarist Joe Walsh, the band will begin the tour on Sept. 7 with a performance at Madison Square Garden in New York.