The Reason Randy Meisner Left The Eagles
via The Real Music Observer / Youtube
Randy Meisner’s soaring vocals and founding role in The Eagles contributed significantly to the band’s early success. However, the artist decided to part ways with the iconic group in September 1977, and the reason behind his departure might come as a surprise. Despite their achievements, the tensions within the band and Meisner’s personal struggles led to a decision that shaped the future of The Eagles.
The Burden of the Spotlight: Meisner’s Struggle with Anxiety
As The Eagles’ hit “Take It to the Limit” gained popularity, Meisner’s signature high notes became a live performance staple. However, the newfound spotlight brought with it the burden of anxiety for the shy musician. Meisner cherished his role as a background vocalist and preferred to stay out of the limelight. The pressure to stand in the center of the stage and deliver the song’s powerful ad-libs every night during the tour took a toll on him.
In an interview, Meisner revealed:
“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.”
The Breaking Point: A Fractured Relationship and a Defining Moment
The release of “Hotel California” added to the band’s hectic touring life, further straining Meisner’s relationship with his bandmates. The breaking point came during a 1977 concert in Knoxville, Tennessee, when The Eagles were called back for an encore. Meisner, overwhelmed and unwell, refused to return to the stage, leading to a physical altercation with his bandmates.
Recalling the pivotal moment, Meisner stated:
“‘No way,’ I said. I was too sick and generally fed up. I decided I wasn’t going back out.”
The Unraveling of The Eagles: The Final Farewell
The confrontation in Knoxville marked the beginning of the end for Meisner’s tenure with The Eagles. He expressed a growing sense of detachment from the band, feeling like a member rather than an integral part. The once-tight camaraderie started fading as they resorted to traveling separately in individual limousines.
Meisner summed up the situation by saying:
“The whole thing started to end when we started taking separate limos.”
Although Meisner rejoined The Eagles briefly for their Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction in 1998, performing “Hotel California” and “Take It Easy,” he mainly focused on his solo career after his departure from the band.