Complete List Of Eagles Current And Former Band Members

Eagles Band Members

Feature Photo: Sterling Munksgard / Shutterstock.com

Our Complete List Of Eagles Current And Former Band Members presents a list of musicians who were both official members of the band as well as the group of musicians who just toured with the group.

The Eagles are one of the most iconic American rock bands of all time, known for their harmonious vocals and intricate musicianship that contributed to the sound of 1970s rock and roll. Formed in Los Angeles in 1971, the band initially consisted of Glenn Frey, Don Henley, Bernie Leadon, and Randy Meisner. Over the years, the lineup evolved, but the band’s essence and impact on American music remained undeniable.

The Eagles’ self-titled debut album was released in 1972 and introduced the world to their unique blend of rock, country, and folk. Songs like “Take It Easy” and “Witchy Woman” quickly became anthems of the era, and the album was a commercial success. But it was their next albums that catapulted them into superstardom. “Desperado” (1973) took the band in a conceptual direction, with its themes revolving around the Old West. This was followed by “On The Border” (1974), which featured the hit single “Best of My Love.”

By 1975, the band saw a lineup change with the addition of guitarist Don Felder, who contributed to the heavier sound of their next album, “One of These Nights.” This album included hits like “Lyin’ Eyes” and the title track, earning them their first Grammy Award. In 1976, the Eagles released “Hotel California,” one of the most popular and influential albums in rock history. The title track and “New Kid in Town” are particularly memorable, both garnering Grammy Awards.

Bernie Leadon and Randy Meisner left the band and were replaced by Joe Walsh and Timothy B. Schmit, respectively. The new members brought a harder rock edge to the band’s sound, evident in their next album, “The Long Run” (1979). However, tensions within the band led to its disbandment in 1980.

After a 14-year hiatus, The Eagles reunited in 1994 with the album “Hell Freezes Over,” named after Henley’s famous quip that the band would get back together “when hell freezes over.” The album included four new songs and was a commercial success, spurring a highly profitable tour.

Sadly, co-founder Glenn Frey passed away in 2016, but the band decided to continue touring, with Frey’s son Deacon and country musician Vince Gill filling in. Despite the changes and the controversies that have followed them over the years, the Eagles’ legacy remains intact. Their Greatest Hits (1971-1975) compilation became the best-selling album of the 20th century in the U.S., and they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998.

EAGLES CURRENT AND FORMER MEMBERS

Don Henley

Don Henley, originally from Gilmer, Texas, was one of the founding members of The Eagles, formed in 1971. He primarily served as the drummer and co-lead vocalist of the band. Henley contributed to all of the band’s original albums, from their self-titled debut in 1972 to “Long Road Out of Eden” in 2007. Some of his most iconic songs with The Eagles include “Hotel California,” “Desperado,” “Witchy Woman,” and “The Long Run.” Henley was integral in writing and singing some of the band’s most enduring hits, often collaborating with Glenn Frey.

Outside of The Eagles, Don Henley had a highly successful solo career that kicked off in 1982 with his debut solo album, “I Can’t Stand Still,” featuring the hit single “Dirty Laundry.” His 1984 album “Building the Perfect Beast” and 1989’s “The End of the Innocence” were both commercial and critical successes. Henley has received numerous awards, including several Grammy Awards both as a solo artist and as a member of The Eagles, who were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998.

Glenn Frey

Glenn Frey, hailing from Detroit, Michigan, was another founding member of The Eagles. He played guitar and keyboards and shared lead vocal duties with Don Henley. Frey was part of all the original lineup albums, starting from “Eagles” in 1972 to “Long Road Out of Eden” in 2007. He was the voice behind hits like “Take It Easy,” “Tequila Sunrise,” and “New Kid in Town,” among others. Frey’s songwriting partnership with Don Henley is one of the most celebrated in rock history.

Aside from his work with The Eagles, Glenn Frey also had a successful solo career, particularly in the 1980s. His debut solo album, “No Fun Aloud,” was released in 1982 and included hits like “The One You Love.” He also had a string of soundtrack hits, such as “The Heat Is On” from “Beverly Hills Cop” and “You Belong to the City” from the “Miami Vice” soundtrack. Frey tried his hand at acting as well, with appearances in TV shows and a feature film. He received numerous accolades over his career, including several Grammy Awards and an induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of The Eagles in 1998. Frey passed away in 2016, marking an end to his long and fruitful career.

Bernie Leadon

Bernie Leadon, born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, was one of the original founding members of The Eagles. He was primarily a guitarist and banjo player for the band but also contributed vocals. Leadon played a significant role in the band’s first four albums: “Eagles” (1972), “Desperado” (1973), “On the Border” (1974), and “One of These Nights” (1975). He was particularly influential in shaping the country rock sound of the band’s early years, contributing to songs like “Witchy Woman” and “Take It Easy.” He left the band in 1975, seeking a break from touring and wishing to move in a different musical direction.

Outside of The Eagles, Bernie Leadon had a rich musical career. He was a member of the pioneering country-rock bands Dillard & Clark and the Flying Burrito Brothers before joining The Eagles. After leaving the band, he released several solo albums and collaborated with a variety of musicians in the country and bluegrass genres. He rejoined The Eagles for their “History of the Eagles” tour in 2013.

Randy Meisner

Born in Scottsbluff, Nebraska, Randy Meisner was the original bassist and one of the founding members of The Eagles. Meisner’s falsetto vocals were a defining characteristic of the band’s harmonies. He participated in the first six studio albums, from the debut “Eagles” (1972) up to “Hotel California” (1976). His most famous contribution to The Eagles’ repertoire was the hit song “Take It to the Limit,” which he co-wrote and sang.

Beyond The Eagles, Randy Meisner was a member of the bands Poco and Rick Nelson’s Stone Canyon Band before co-founding The Eagles. After leaving the band in 1977, he pursued a solo career and released several albums, though none achieved the massive success he had experienced with The Eagles.

Don Felder

Don Felder, originally from Gainesville, Florida, joined The Eagles in 1974 as a guitarist. He was brought in during the recording of the band’s third album, “On the Border,” and remained with them until his controversial firing in 2001. Felder contributed to several iconic songs, most notably co-writing “Hotel California,” where his guitar work is prominently featured. He played on all the albums from “On the Border” (1974) through “The Long Run” (1979), as well as the reunion album “Hell Freezes Over” (1994).

In addition to his time with The Eagles, Felder has had an active career as a session musician and solo artist. His most noted solo work is perhaps his 1983 song “Heavy Metal (Takin’ a Ride),” which was featured in the animated film “Heavy Metal.” He has also released solo albums, including “Airborne” in 1983 and “Road to Forever” in 2012. Felder authored an autobiography titled “Heaven and Hell: My Life in The Eagles (1974-2001),” detailing his years with the band.

Joe Walsh

Everyone loves Joe Walsh. The legendary guitarist Joe Walsh was born in Wichita, Kansas. He joined The Eagles in 1975 as a guitarist, keyboardist, and vocalist, effectively replacing Bernie Leadon. He was an essential part of the band’s transition from country-rock to a harder-edged rock sound. Walsh contributed to the band’s later albums like “Hotel California” (1976) and “The Long Run” (1979), and was a key part of the band’s various reunions and tours, including the “Hell Freezes Over” album in 1994.

One of Walsh’s most iconic contributions to The Eagles is the guitar solo in “Hotel California,” which he co-wrote. His energetic stage presence and distinctive guitar work became integral to the band’s sound and live performances.

Outside of The Eagles, Joe Walsh had already achieved fame with the James Gang and as a solo artist before joining the band. Songs like “Rocky Mountain Way” and “Life’s Been Good” are considered rock classics. Walsh has also had a prolific solo career and has been a sought-after session musician. He has released several solo albums, both before and after joining The Eagles, and has collaborated with a wide range of artists from various genres.

Timothy B. Schmit

Timothy B. Schmit, hailing from Oakland, California, became a member of The Eagles in 1977, replacing Randy Meisner as the band’s bassist and vocalist. Schmit’s first album with the band was “The Long Run” (1979), where he sang lead vocals on the song “I Can’t Tell You Why,” which he co-wrote. He also participated in the “Hell Freezes Over” reunion album in 1994 and remained with the band for subsequent tours and projects.

Schmit’s soothing vocals and harmonies enriched the band’s sound, and he became a significant contributor to the band’s later years, including during their long-lasting reunion periods.

Before joining The Eagles, Timothy B. Schmit was a member of the country-rock band Poco, where he had replaced Randy Meisner as well. After The Eagles initially disbanded, Schmit launched a solo career and also worked as a session musician, lending his vocals to hits like “Africa” by Toto and “Fire and Rain” by James Taylor. He has released several solo albums, showcasing his talents as a singer and songwriter separate from his work with The Eagles.

Vince Gill

Vince Gill, born in Norman, Oklahoma, joined The Eagles in 2017 after the passing of Glenn Frey. Gill shares lead vocal and guitar duties, particularly covering songs that were originally sung by Frey. He was officially integrated into the band’s lineup for the “An Evening with the Eagles” tour. His experience in country music, along with his accomplished guitar skills, provided a rich layer to the band’s iconic country-rock sound.

While Vince Gill is a newer member of the band, his music career is incredibly extensive and predates his involvement with The Eagles by decades. Gill is an accomplished country musician, with more than 20 studio albums to his name. He has won 21 Grammy Awards and is a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame. Gill’s country credentials and versatility as a guitarist and vocalist make him a fitting addition to The Eagles’ legacy.

Deacon Frey

Deacon Frey, son of founding Eagles member Glenn Frey, also joined the band in 2017 for the “An Evening with the Eagles” tour, following his father’s death in 2016. Deacon performs rhythm guitar and shares lead vocal duties, especially on songs that were closely associated with his father. His resemblance in both appearance and voice to his late father has been noted as giving a sense of continuity to the band while honoring Glenn Frey’s legacy.

Prior to joining The Eagles, Deacon Frey was not a widely-known musician but had performed with his father on a few occasions. The emotional weight of him stepping in for his late father added a poignant dimension to The Eagles’ concerts and was met with positive reception from fans and critics alike. Joining The Eagles has been Deacon’s major introduction into the professional music scene, and he has been praised for his performances, capturing a balance of nostalgia and fresh energy in the band’s recent tours.

MUSICIANS WHO HAVE TOURED WITH THE EAGLES

Joe Vitale

Joe Vitale, a native of Canton, Ohio, has been a touring musician with The Eagles but was never an official member. He has primarily played drums, keyboards, and has contributed backing vocals. He has an especially close working relationship with Joe Walsh, having performed on several of Walsh’s solo records and tours. He has not played on any official Eagles albums, but his contributions have been more in a live capacity during different touring periods.

Outside of his association with The Eagles, Joe Vitale has had a versatile career as a session musician and has released several solo albums. He has collaborated with a wide array of artists including Crosby, Stills and Nash, Ted Nugent, and Peter Frampton among others. He is also known for his songwriting, notably co-writing Walsh’s hit “Rocky Mountain Way.”

Timothy Drury

Timothy Drury was born in Los Angeles, California, and toured with The Eagles as a keyboardist and backing vocalist. Although he was never an official member, his contributions were mainly seen during live performances, specifically during the ’90s. Drury added texture and depth to the band’s sound with his keyboard playing and has been a part of live album recordings.

Besides The Eagles, Drury has had an extensive career working with other big names in the industry, including Whitesnake and Don Henley in his solo career. He is also a composer and has released his own solo work which often includes multimedia components, like visual arts along with the music.

Al Garth

Al Garth was primarily a session and touring musician for The Eagles, contributing on violin and saxophone. Though not an official member of the band, his musicianship added a different layer of texture to the band’s sound in live settings. He played in various tours but did not feature on any studio albums by The Eagles.

Garth has had a broad career as a session musician, playing in numerous other bands and orchestras across genres. His multi-instrumental skills have made him a versatile and valuable musician in both studio and live settings.

Bill Armstrong

Bill Armstrong is lesser-known compared to other musicians associated with The Eagles and was never an official member of the band. He has served as a trumpet player during live performances, adding to the horn sections during specific tours.

Outside of his association with The Eagles, information about Armstrong’s musical career is relatively limited. He is mostly known as a session musician, contributing to horn sections for various bands and artists.

Chris Mostert

Chris Mostert toured with The Eagles as a saxophonist, although he was never an official member of the band. He contributed his skills primarily in a live setting, enriching the band’s sound during concerts. Like many of the other touring musicians, Mostert did not feature on any of The Eagles’ studio albums.

Mostert has a career as a session musician and has played with other notable acts. His saxophone skills are versatile, making him a sought-after musician for live performances across various genres.

Greg Smith

Greg Smith has had a stint as a touring musician with The Eagles, playing the saxophone and adding depth to their live horn sections. Though he never became an official member of the band, his contributions were focused mainly on live performances.

Aside from his work with The Eagles, Smith has an extensive career as a session musician, contributing his saxophone skills to numerous other artists and bands across a range of genres. His talent has made him a go-to musician for both studio recordings and live performances.

Les Lovitt

Les Lovitt joined The Eagles’ touring ensemble as a trumpet player, but was never an official member. His contributions were primarily made during live performances, augmenting the band’s sound with his trumpet.

Lovitt has had a career as a session and live performance musician, working across various genres. He’s been a part of orchestras and jazz ensembles and has also made contributions to other rock and pop acts as a horn player.

Scott F. Crago

Scott F. Crago has been a longtime contributor to The Eagles as a touring drummer and percussionist. Though not an official member, his role has been vital in recreating the band’s complex studio sounds in a live setting. His drumming skills have been utilized to flesh out the rhythmic complexities of Eagles songs during live performances.

Outside of his work with The Eagles, Crago has had a lucrative career as a session drummer, lending his talents to a wide array of artists in various genres. His skillset has made him a sought-after drummer for both studio recordings and live gigs.

Steuart Smith

Steuart Smith was brought into The Eagles to fill in for Don Felder after his departure. Though not an official member, Smith has been a significant part of the band’s touring lineup since the late 1990s. He contributes primarily as a guitarist and is known for his exceptional skill in recreating the band’s iconic guitar sounds during live performances.

In addition to his work with The Eagles, Smith has an impressive list of credentials as a session musician, and he has worked with a multitude of other artists and bands in a variety of genres.

Will Hollis

Will Hollis served as a keyboardist for The Eagles’ touring lineup. His role was to supplement the band’s live sound, particularly focusing on keys and synthesizers. Hollis’ musicianship was key in helping to emulate the intricate studio productions of The Eagles’ songs in a live concert setting.

Hollis has also had a career outside of The Eagles, serving as a session musician and touring keyboardist for various other artists. His extensive experience makes him a valuable asset in both studio and live settings.

Michael Thompson

Michael Thompson, though not an official member of The Eagles, contributed as a touring musician, specializing in keyboards. His role was especially important in bringing depth and dimension to the band’s live performances, helping to capture the essence of their studio recordings on stage.

Thompson is also an accomplished musician in his own right, having played with a variety of other acts and contributed to numerous studio recordings as a session musician. His versatility has earned him roles in different musical settings, from pop and rock to jazz.

Complete List Of Eagles Current And Former Band Members article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2023

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