This is a post that I am filing under straight up “fangirling.” I pretty much wrote this for my own enjoyment, and not much else. So if you are reading this, I’m impressed that you found it! Hope you enjoy my adolescent-like musings as well….
Today, one of my two favorite musicians of all time, Mr. Randy Meisner, turns 71 years young. Happy Birthday to one of the most if not the most underrated musicians of all time!
1946 was a good year, boy. Something must have been in the water that year…. all across the Earth! Besides Randy, born in Nebraska on March 8, 1946, my other all time favorite musician, the late, great Freddie Mercury, was ALSO born in 1946! Mercury’s birthday is on September 5, and his birthplace was well across the pond in Zanzibar, East Africa. And THEN, a little over a year later, in the Jewish ghettos of Brooklyn, NY, another awesome guy, my father, was also born! Wow.
From 1946-1947, three great men entered the universe, and changed it for the better, that’s fo’ sho.’ 30 years after Randy and Freddie and 29 years after my dad, the sun shone on my future more brightly than ever too, because in July of 1976, my husband Mike was born. Just had to put him in this group because damn, he deserves some love and accolades as well.
Four Fabulous Men (That I Admire Greatly)
Three amazing men born in less than two years’ time, then a fourth three decades later.
How A One-Season Show Led Me to Randy
Almost two years ago, I was laying in bed, taking a break from life, which often includes mindlessly surfing the web. I came across an article about Swingtown, a show that I just loved back in summer 2008. I had pretty much stopped watching TV in the early aughts due to disinterest and disdain for reality shows. So it takes a lot to get me hooked on anything television related, because I usually avoid the boob tube at all costs.
The setting of Swingtown was the 1970s, which is probably what drew me to it. You see, the 70s’ is the era I was supposed to have had my twentysomething year old experiences, rather than the craptastic aughts (blecch). After watching the premiere, I was hooked. Swingtown had a great cast, excellent writing, and portrayed the era accurately, while avoiding falling into caricature territory. Plus, swinging! Amirite? I was curious, and I’ll admit the swinging piece of the show played a part in that. I ain’t gon’ lie.
Wealthy swinging marrieds Grant Show and Lana Parilla, the coolest cats on the show. Werk that ‘stache, Grant.
Unfortunately, the ancient demographic of folks who typically watch CBS didn’t agree with my assessment of the show. Alas, Swingtown lasted only one summer season. Honestly, AMC or Showtime would have been a better home for Swingtown, due to the fact that those networks could have shown a lot more, uh, 1970s-era activities than CBS could or would, such as….. rampant cocaine use, anyone? Tom and Trina Decker were probably the only swingers in the 1970s that had clean noses. Yeah, OK. Swingers = StraightEdge. Riiiiight, CBS.
Anyway, the series finale was pretty decent, and it did tie up loose ends in the show’s plot. So, I guess that’s the positive side of getting a pink slip mid-season.
Swingtown on the Tube, Pain in My Person
I forgot to mention an important detail regarding summer 2008 which is that I was extremely ill. All summer. My Crohn’s Disease came in like a lion, and for the first time ever, refused to leave like a lamb. Or any animal, actually, except perhaps the ones that never, ever go away. My flare up was so bad that I ended up in the hospital for 11 days, leaving Mike at home with 2 year old S10, and eventually, not much of his marbles.
When not needing a hospital-sanctioned IV of Demerol, I recovered at home, the couch acting as my healing nest. I watched more TV that summer than I have in the 9 years since, distracting myself in the hopes of trying to get my mind off of the pain and exhaustion I was experiencing. When I found out Swingtown had been canceled, it was disappointing, to say the least. The show had become something to look forward to; a ray of sunshine during my misery storm.
Who Sang Take It To The Limit?
Find Out In 7 Years!
The series finale of Swingtown was titled Take it to the Limit. That particular song also closed out the final scene of the series, and led into the end credits. I remember thinking to myself man, I really like that song. I wonder who sings it? Maybe I should look that up online.
Alas, I was too tired and weak to get up and walk over to my computer at that time. Also, in 2008, I had a flip phone rather than a smartphone. For those that recall 2008 flip phones, Internet access cost crack prices per minute on them things. So as Swingtown’s final credits rolled, and TITTL concluded, I told myself that I’d look up the artist later on that day after taking a nap…. riiight about now. I then fell asleep, and promptly forgot all about it.
Yes, I Recovered, and Life Rolled On…
Over time, I heard TITTL here and there in my life travels, but I was always too busy to look up who sang it. Whenever I entertained the idea of looking up the artist online, I’d end up thinking that I’d look later on, and then, as usual, I’d forget to. IDK WTF my issue was, as it takes less than one minute to ask a question on-line even before Siri was a thing, but I guess I’m a busy girl.
2015: Back In My Bed
Flash forward 7 years later, and we’re back to Jill laying in bed taking a mom moment of silence. As I mindlessly web surfed, I came across an article regarding Swingtown on my phone browser. As usual, I remembered the song TITTL, and for about the 1,000th time in the past 9 years, I wondered who sang it. This time though, I actually typed into Google: Who sings Take it to the Limit?
Google answers: The Eagles.
My favorite Eagles line-up, right hurr. (L-R): Don Felder, Don Henley, Joe Walsh, Glenn Frey, and Randy Meisner (dreamy sigh).
I was very surprised to learn that TITTL was an Eagles tune!
I’m Really Not A Rock n Roll Dunce
Growing up, my dad was (and is) a big Eagles fan. He owned the Greatest Hits 1971-1975 album (as every Baby Boomer did), and I even remember taping Desperado onto a mix tape in the early ’90s that I made for myself after hearing this dude at music camp sing the Henley ballad. I knew of Hotel California, Take it Easy, and Already Gone…. pretty much all of the Eagles songs that the local classic rock station had been playing since ‘classic rock radio’ became a ‘thing.’
I grew up with Don Henley singing about the ‘Boys of Summer‘ on my mom’s soft rock radio station, Joe Walsh bragging that ‘Life’s Been Good‘ on my dad’s classic rock station, and Glenn Frey’s overpowering saxophone-pop tunes on the Top 40 station in the ’80s. Frey’s signature tune was also heard in the background of that Eddie Murphy movie I am baffled my parents allowed me to watch at age…7? Jeebus.
The heat is on my parents, to tell me why on Earth I was allowed to watch this movie when I was in the second grade? Different times, indeed.
But the dude that sang Take it to the Limit? He didn’t sound like Don Henley, or Joe Walsh, or, how I referenced 1970s Glenn Frey at that time, “The Dude With The Handlebar Mustache.”
I did not make the connection that this guy was the “Heat Is On” guy until 2015. Derp.
A Very Randy Moment
Google also offered me a video option when I searched my query. ‘Twas a 5-minute video from 1977, filmed at the now-defunct Capital Centre in Maryland. A live performance of the Eagles singing TITTL.
Intrigued, I clicked on it to have a listen.
And I was then completely, absolutely, totally, 100% blown away.
That guy, right there? Unbelievable on the mic. And the bass. And the eyes. Swoon.
I became a Randy Meisner fan that day, and the more I discovered about the man, the more fascinated with him I became. I have added a ton of new music to my iTunes library over the past two years, because of him. It’s crazy that I had never heard of Randy Meisner before June, 2015, being that he is so incredibly talented, as well as the fact that I’ve been into classic rock music since I my college days! It’s nice to discover “new” classics, I am learning.
Underrated. Underrated. So Much Underrated.
Randy Meisner is criminally underrated as a singer, songwriter, and bass player. He is truly one of the greats in all 3 of those areas. Find an Eagles bootleg, pre-1978. Listen to the bass. Trust me. You’ll thank me later. Randy released 3 solo albums after leaving the Eagles in 1977 (he had had enough of the crazy) and they are all excellent too! Its a crying shame that only one of the three albums charted in the top 50, at….#50. It also sucks that only 3 of his singles cracked the top 40! WTF? Are people deaf?
Randy Meisner is gifted in ways most musicians dream of being. Few possess half of the talent he does. Plus, he’s freaking hot. Yep, I said it. Sexy AF. Day-um. The second sexiest man on the planet, actually (the first being my husband).
Yes, I became a fan of his late to the party. But damn, I’m glad I’m here.
Happy 71st Birthday, Randy Meisner! This 39 year old fangirl adores ya. Hope you enjoyed the day 🙂