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Delilah
04-04-2017, 12:02 PM
I came across this blog by Phil Volk (aka "Fang"), the bassist who replaced Randy in the Stone Canyon Band. It's somewhat of a rambling diatribe against Rick Nelson, but it does give a glimpse into Mr. Nelson's personality and traveling on the road with him. I've wondered about the dispute between him and Randy. From what I've read, Randy voluntarily left the gig on his own, but according to "Fang" this wasn't the case.


[Nelson] mentioned that he was really impressed with my ability to sing difficult songs and play complicated bass lines at the same time. I was very flattered with his comments, but I probably didn't realize that he might have been setting the ground work for replacing his bass player in the Stone Canyon Band and winning me over to his camp, which eventually happened about a year and a half later at the end of December 1969. Rick's bass player at the time was quite a talent in his own right, none other than Randy Miesner, who went from Ricky Nelson to the Eagles. Apparently, Rick let Randy go because of some personality clashes they were having, but it seemed to work out well for Randy, because shortly after that the Eagles began their meteoric rise to superstardom. Unfortunately, Randy only lasted a few years with the Eagles and eventually went off on his own to pursue a solo recording career.
(my emphasis)

Interestingly enough, Mr. Volk had his own run-ins with Rick, and only lasted 7 months with him, despite Rick's admiration of his bass playing (Rick initially thought it would be impossible to replace Randy).

http://www.philfangvolk.com/rickynelson.html

NightMistBlue
04-04-2017, 12:53 PM
Randy has a different take on it, not surprisingly. Was it in the 1988 video interview where he said the reason Rick Nelson called him in latter 1970 to return to L.A. from Nebraska is that the other bass player (Mr. Fang) wasn't satisfactory.

Fang has his dates a little muddled: Randy left the Stone Canyon Band after a dispiriting European tour in April 1970. Randy said he needed a steady income to support his growing family, and music wasn't providing that.

Volk's essay ends up corroborating that, as he says the Johnny Cash Show was one of his first gigs as a member of Rick Nelson's band. That show aired April 29, 1970. Volk later says "a few weeks after being fired from Rick's group I was baptized along with my wife as one of Jehovah's Witnesses, July 17, 1970," so it doesn't appear that he was a member of the Stone Canyon Band for 7 months, more like 3 months.

UndertheWire
04-04-2017, 01:28 PM
In an interview with Rolling STone in 1972:

Randy joined Rick Nelson's Stone Canyon Band, but "I was getting nowhere, just backing someone up," so he went somewhere - back to Nebraska , where he worked for John Deere tractors and played rock & roll at night."

NightMistBlue
04-04-2017, 01:58 PM
He's a complex fellow, isn't he? He seems to have a long-term approach/avoidance thing with wanting to step out more and be a front man vs. wanting to not be in the spotlight and hang back by the amplifiers. Fascinating man.

Delilah
04-04-2017, 02:04 PM
I noticed that the year 1969 wasn't correct as well. In the 1988 interview, Randy says he gave up music for awhile and went back to Nebraska to be with his family. Rick Nelson then called him and said "they needed a bass player"...Randy sounds like he was about to say something else about it but then gives a short explanation, "they weren't playing the right part."

Randy himself seemed a little unsure about that early period. He couldn't quite remember at first that he recorded "She Belongs to Me" with Rick or that he was with Poco before TSCB, lol.

Thanks for that quote, UTW. That's what I remember Randy saying about it.

Edit: good work with those dates, NMB!

UndertheWire
04-04-2017, 02:24 PM
Didn't Randy play with Rick Nelson both before and after his trip back to Nebraska? John Boylan was involved.

Delilah
04-04-2017, 02:50 PM
Yes, that's right, UtW. Randy joins Rick Nelson early in 1969 and leaves the band in April 1970. He goes back to Nebraska and then re-joins TSCB around Jan./Feb. 1971. He records the "Rudy the 5th" album and quits again. He recruits his friend Steve Love to take his place and not leave Nelson in a bind. Sometime after this he plays with Linda Ronstadt's band and works on her album. Then on June 12, 1971, he backs her up with 3 other musicians at a gig played at Disneyland, and the rest is history.

NightMistBlue
04-04-2017, 03:14 PM
He goes back to Nebraska and then re-joins TSCB around Jan./Feb. 1971

Not to nitpick, but it probably would have been September 1970 that Randy re-joined the Stone Canyon Band. Rick had dates in the northeast, as well as two tv appearances soon after.

Going back to Fang for a moment, one thing that rang true - at least according to a bio of Nelson that I read - is that he was a bit of a libertine and would routinely encourage his band members to partake of female companionship that he'd find/arrange for them.

I have no idea what his spiritual outlook was, but being interested in astrology in 1969-70 was pretty much de rigueur one would think.

Delilah
04-04-2017, 03:37 PM
Ok, for some reason I had the impression he spent several months with his twins after they were born (May 1970?).

Btw, UtW, I left out that John Boylan was Rick Nelson's producer when Randy joined up with him.

Reading that Nelson seemed a little resentful of the attention Fang seemed to get, I wonder if that played a role with Randy as well. He probably got a lot of female attention, and that may not sit well with the lead singer/songwriter/star of the show. In the "Live at the Troubadour" album, during the introductions, you can hear someone whistle after Randy is introduced.

NightMistBlue
04-04-2017, 03:47 PM
You have good ears! I don't know of any rivalry but there's so much we don't know.

From what I can gather, Randy spent at most 5 months in Nebraska in 1970 (April to September)*. When he was there, he started a band called Goldrush with Stephen Love, who was attending college in Scotts Bluff. Mr. Love later replaced Randy in the Stone Canyon Band when he left in 1971. He later joined New Riders of the Purple Sage.

*Randy has given at least one account that he moved back to L.A. with Stephen to try to establish Goldrush, so he may have even left before re-joining the Stone Canyon Band.

NightMistBlue
04-05-2017, 12:26 PM
To complicate matters, there was yet another bass player, Tim Cetera, who played on the 1970 album Rick Sings Nelson. I don't know if he was a member of the SCB/played any dates with them.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rick_Sings_Nelson

Delilah
04-05-2017, 02:24 PM
Do you mean Peter Cetera? I completely forgot about him. Perhaps he filled in after Fang was fired and before Rick called Randy in Nebraska and asked him to return.

Not sure about the link you posted re: America. :confused:

EDIT: It appears I got my Cetera bass players mixed up. :oops: Anyway, here's a picture of Tim Cetera performing in TSCB with Rick Nelson. This is from The Andy Williams Show, 1970, to promote "Rick Sings Nelson" (photo from the Tim Cetera Collection via Facebook).

http://i.imgur.com/54ejY3I.jpg

NightMistBlue
04-05-2017, 02:49 PM
Ooh! Thank you for the photo from the Andy Williams Show. That is lovely.

Sorry about the mixed-up link: I've fixed it now. It's just the Wiki entry for the Rick Sings Nelson album showing the credit for Tim Cetera as bassist.

Hmmm. I think I read that Peter Cetera has a brother - maybe Tim is related.

Delilah
04-05-2017, 03:11 PM
You're welcome. Yes they are brothers. Thank you for the link.

So it seems that the bassist Randy mentioned in that 1988 interview (who wasn't "playing the right part") was probably Cetera. Fang apparently didn't record with Rick, just toured with him a short time.

Another (tiny) piece of the Randy puzzle. :cool:

NightMistBlue
04-05-2017, 03:27 PM
We don't know when Rick Sings Nelson was released, do we? Rudy the Fifth (which Randy played on) was released on October 4, 1971. Assuming the previous record kept a similar schedule, the album with Cetera was probably recorded in the summer of '70.

That's so cool about the Cetera brothers! Must see what Tim looks like*. I have a deeper appreciation for Peter as a singer these days; been listening to a lot of Chicago since that documentary came out at the beginning of the year. His voice is incredibly flexible.

* He's cute, as is 3rd Cetera bro Kenny

Delilah
04-05-2017, 05:05 PM
According to this website, it was recorded June 1970 and released September 1970 (it does list Randy as the bassist along with Tim, but that's likely an error since Randy isn't credited by any other sources). The TV appearance was likely soon after.

http://www.lpdiscography.com/?page=album&album=6948

Peter was/is a fine singer and bass player (and songwriter). I guess he still performs. Too bad there was a falling out between him and the band. I suppose Tim looks ok; I really didn't pay much attention when I saw his picture.:?:

NightMistBlue
04-06-2017, 10:43 AM
According to this website, it was recorded June 1970 and released September 1970 (it does list Randy as the bassist along with Tim, but that's likely an error since Randy isn't credited by any other sources). The TV appearance was likely soon after.
http://www.lpdiscography.com/?page=album&album=6948


That's a cool site - thank you. I like their attention to detail. I see for the listing of "Live at the Troubadour" the producer credit goes to someone named Charles Bud Dant. On the original vinyl album, the producer credit went to Rick Nelson and Joe Sutton. In the extensive liner notes to the deluxe reissue of an expanded Live at the Troubadour, it was said that Rick Nelson produced the original album with Randy Meisner.

And this is yet another reason why Randy needs to write his own memoirs :)

Delilah
04-07-2017, 10:09 PM
Going back to Fang for a moment, one thing that rang true - at least according to a bio of Nelson that I read - is that he was a bit of a libertine and would routinely encourage his band members to partake of female companionship that he'd find/arrange for them.


I was listening to "Nighttime Lady" from the Garden Party album and it reminded me of your post and the blog, although it is basically a love song.

"Nighttime lady, artist of the night
Paint your pictures
Of faceless beds of white"

Delilah
04-07-2017, 10:21 PM
Picture time. Allen Kemp, Randy:heart:, Rick Nelson, Pat Shanahan, and Tom Brumley

http://i.imgur.com/3hQ70Iy.jpg

NightMistBlue
04-08-2017, 03:45 PM
Aww! Sweet babyface.

LuvTim
04-08-2017, 03:59 PM
You know, Rick Nelson is a stone cold fox. But when you look at that last photo, it's Randy that jumps out at you. No kidding. Wow. :fainting:

LuvTim
04-08-2017, 04:03 PM
That's a cool site - thank you. I like their attention to detail. I see for the listing of "Live at the Troubadour" the producer credit goes to someone named Charles Bud Dant. On the original vinyl album, the producer credit went to Rick Nelson and Joe Sutton. In the extensive liner notes to the deluxe reissue of an expanded Live at the Troubadour, it was said that Rick Nelson produced the original album with Randy Meisner.

And this is yet another reason why Randy needs to write his own memoirs :)

I totally agree. I'd love to read his memoirs.

Dawn
04-08-2017, 06:03 PM
Me too! I adore Randy and always will.

Delilah
04-09-2017, 07:17 PM
The record sleeve for one of the singles released from the "Rudy the Fifth" album. The picture appears to be from the same photo shoot as the earlier picture I posted. I'm listening to this album for the first time. Wow. Randy, as usual, shines!

http://i.imgur.com/OLsV8AM.jpg

NightMistBlue
04-10-2017, 11:57 AM
They knew they had a good thing and they stuck with it, even when Randy was long gone from the band!

http://i34.photobucket.com/albums/d128/Shenandoah07/GardenPartysleeve_zpsytlwqmgr.jpg

Delilah
04-11-2017, 01:22 PM
That is so odd, to have Randy's picture on the Garden Party record sleeve. Was it laziness or ignorance on the part of the record label, MCA? I think Decca was folding around that time.

You could be right, though, NMB, that they were capitalizing on Randy's success with the Eagles. "Garden Party" and "Witchy Woman" were charting at the same time.

NightMistBlue
04-11-2017, 01:49 PM
I asked Stephen Love about it on Facebook but he didn't give a direct answer. Maybe he didn't want to be rude and directly accuse the record company of using Randy's image to promote the single :) Basically, he didn't have a problem with it and apparently no one else did either, so all was well.

I didn't know that Decca was folding at the time. It could have been an honest mistake then - maybe things on the administrative side were a bit wobbly.

Delilah
04-11-2017, 02:56 PM
Another blog from the 'net, this one by Ian Cooke; it's Part 5 of an interesting 5-part installment about Rick and TSCB.

About why Randy left the band:

March 1970, Rick and the Stone Canyon Band began a tour of 20 military bases in England, Germany and Spain. Why his management thought playing military bases was a sound career move is anyone’s guess. All the hard work the last year had accomplished was wasted on the soldiers who yelled at Rick and his long haired musicians “Where are your mini-skirts?” Returning stateside dejected, Randy Meisner quit the band to go home to his wife in Nebraska and work as a parts manger for a friends John Deere dealership. This was a crucial loss to Rick and the other band members.

Another viewpoint about Phil Volk's stint with Rick Nelson:

With the release of “Easy To Be Free” as the next single, Nelson was offered an appearance on the Johnny Cash Show. Rick needed a quality bassist to replace Meisner and turned to Phil Volk, previously the bassist for Paul Revere and the Raiders. Volk with Drake Levin and Mike Smith had left the Raiders (due to a lack of writing participation) and formed “The Brotherhood” managed by Rick’s uncle Don. Though a talented musician, Volk was unable to perform vocally at the high end register that Meisner was unequaled at. This was noticeable with the band performing “Come On In” and “Easy To Be Free,” where the three part harmony was so important in the quality of this excellent song.

About Tim Cetera, replacement for Randy's replacement:

To replace Volk, Tom Brumley brought in Tim Cetera (brother of “Chicago’s Pete Cetera, who Brumley was teaching steel guitar) and again another excellent musician but not capable of the high end harmony so crucial to the Stone Canyon Band sound. Rick and the band were going into the studio to record their first full Stone Canyon Band studio effort.

Parasites & Sycophants, "Artist Spotlight: Rick Nelson and The Stone Canyon Band", Oct. 10 2007 (http://www.parasitesandsycophants.com/2007/10/10/artist-spotlight-rick-nelson-and-the-stone-canyon-band-chapter-5)

NightMistBlue
04-11-2017, 03:29 PM
Thanks, D.! You find the coolest stuff.

I'd read that the European tour was very discouraging for the whole band, Randy in particular. The liner notes to the expanded version of Live at the Troubadour also say that he needed to earn a steady paycheck to support his young family.

That bit about the Cetera bros is awkwardly worded in the blog: not sure if Mr. Brumley was teaching steel guitar to Tim or Peter. :?

East Texas Girl
04-11-2017, 04:38 PM
Very interesting, thanks Delilah!

Delilah
04-12-2017, 05:17 PM
You're welcome, NMB and ETG. I love discovering and reading new stuff about the Meis! :)