Eagles founding member, Randy Meisner, died at the age of 77 on Wednesday night in a Los Angeles hospital due to complications from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary disease (COPD). Known mainly as their original bass player, he’s also credited as co-writer and lead vocalist of their hit songs, “Take It to the Limit,” “Try and Love Again,” “Is it True?,” “Take the Devil,” and “Tryin,” recorded and performed alongside bandmates Don Henley, Glenn Frey and Bernie Leadon.
“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’s statement highlights. Meisner stepped away from the band in 1977 due to “exhaustion,” reuniting for one night only in 1998 to perform “Take It Easy” and “Hotel California” in celebration of their induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame — a historical moment in which all seven members performed together. In a 2013 Rolling Stone article, Meisner touched upon his departure from the band saying, “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. One night in Knoxville, I stayed up late and got the flu. We did two or three encores and Glenn wanted another one. I told them I couldn’t do it, and we got into a spat. That was the end. . . I really felt like I was a member of the group, not a part of it. The whole thing started to end when we started taking separate limos.” Following his work with the Eagles, he released three solo albums and joined in on a number of other collaborations. Watch his performance at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame below.