From the Drivin’ Dynamics to The Poor
One of the first bands Randy Meisner was a founder of is a band called the Drivin’ Dynamics in Scottsbluff, NE. It was first formed in 1961 as the Dynamics, and they later changed the name to the Drivin’ Dynamics. Sometime in 1966 they competed in a Battle of the Bands contest in Denver.* They did not win, but the Soul Survivors band (of Denver) was there looking for a new bass player and asked Randy to join their band. He did join and moved to Colorado, and the Soul Survivors stayed in Denver for a short time and then moved to California. Since there was already a band called the Soul Survivors in California, they changed their name to the North Serrano Blues Band briefly and then to The Poor.
*In some sources it states that the Drivin’ Dynamics competed at a Battle of the Bands contest in Denver in February 1966. It is believed this month is incorrect. This is what Steve Cassells (Drivin’ Dynamics keyboard player from 1964-66) says:
“That Battle of the Bands couldn’t have been in February ’66, because I was still with them at the time and I would have remembered it. When I left Scottsbluff for Denver (probably May 1966), Randy was still with the Dynamics. It was sometime in the fall of ’66 when I was at the Exodus nightclub in Denver that Randy showed up, and we had a nice visit. He was with The Poor by then and had returned from California for a brief time, I think.”Steve Cassells – keyboard player for the Drivin’ Dynamics from 1964-66
Randy was asked to join the Electric Prunes psychedelic band in early 1968. Kenny Loggins had also been in the band very briefly.
Randy turned down the invitation and instead joined Pogo/Poco and then Rick Nelson’s band.
An excerpt from the Electric Prunes online bio:
“After the call from Rich Fifield, Richard Whetstone, John Herron and Mark Kincaid moved to Los Angeles but bass player Bob Brandenburg didn’t move with them. This meant that a new bass player was required. Randy Meisner, who had been in bands such as The Poor and Ricky Nelson’s Stone Canyon Band, was offered the job but turned down the invitation to join The Electric Prunes. Randy Meisner later went on to be in 70s supergroup The Eagles.”
This is Randy’s part (approx. 6 minutes) of a lengthy Eagles interview with John Tobler for BBC Radio in April 1977 at the InterContinental Hotel in London. John is a British rock music journalist in England and interviewed all the Eagles when they were in London. The entire interview with all the Eagles can be heard on the “British Interviews with the Eagles in the 70s” page.
In this interview Randy talks a little about his journey from the Dynamics all the way to the Eagles, including his short stint as a parts man for a John Deere dealership. The Rusty Young article below also gives a little of Randy’s history with those bands.
Most of the videos mentioned on pg. 2 of the CD insert are posted directly below that page insert. In 1968 The Poor were on two different TV shows. They were on Name of the Game twice and Ironside once. In each of the episodes The Poor was in a band scene.
The radio show interview with Joe Walsh from Nov. 28, 2020 is below on this page, too. Randy tells Joe the story of how he joined the Soul Survivors of Denver.
The Poor CD was released in 2003. Tracks 1-4 of the CD are the Soul Survivors, and tracks 5-13 are The Poor.
Audios and videos on this page:
- John Tobler interview in London – Apr. 19, 1977
- “Come Back Baby” – The Poor with Randy Meisner on lead vocal
- “Name of the Game” TV show aired Nov. 1, 1968
- “Name of the Game” TV show aired Dec. 20, 1968
- “Ironside” TV show aired Nov. 7, 1968
- “Study in Motion #1” – Hell’s Angels on Wheels (original motion picture soundtrack)
- Randy’s interview on Joe Walsh’s Old Fashioned Rock N’ Roll Radio Show of Nov. 28, 2020
The Poor CD front and back
“Come Back Baby” – Randy Meisner, lead vocal
CD insert – pg. 1 (click to enlarge page inserts)
“But through extensive and dangerous detective work in the depths of people’s basements, old tape boxes, guys who used to run local studios, band members and friends, we now have what was once lost forever, the product of those endless hours of pre-production demoing and dreaming…brothers and sisters…the real deal…The Poor!”
CD insert – pg. 2
“Greene and Stone kept moving us from one label to another so that they could collect all the advances! We would be left with some paltry little hand out. I finally woke up to the fact of why all of our singles were coming out on different labels. We had to grovel for food money then!”
“Name of the Game” TV show Season 1, Episode 7
“Shine On, Shine On, Jesse Gil” Episode
Aired Nov. 1, 1968
“Name of the Game” TV show Season 1, Episode 14
“Pineapple Rose” Episode (Don Stroud acts as the singer)
Aired Dec. 20, 1968
“Ironside” TV show Season 2, Episode 8
“Price Tag: Death” Episode
Aired Nov. 7, 1968
The Poor bass drum and Randy’s groovy pants on the Ironside set stage – show aired Nov. 7, 1968
The Poor on the set of Ironside during filming – show aired Nov. 7, 1968
Band members: Randy Naylor, Randy Meisner, Pat Shanahan, and Allen Kemp
Study in Motion #1
written by Chuck Sedacca and Stu Phillips
Hell’s Angels on Wheels (original motion picture soundtrack)
“Study in Motion #1”
CD insert – pg. 3
“Odd frustrations and tensions were starting to surface too I remember…I’d very unwisely traded my Mosrite bass for a Hofner violin bass because it ‘looked cooler’…big mistake!…what a horrible instrument, respect to Paul McCartney for being able to play it at all!…One night in a dressing room somewhere I was complaining about how crap it was when one of the guys (no names after all these years, you know who you are!) grabbed it and manically smashed it to smithereens against the sink!” – (see note below)
Note: Randy’s account above of what happened with his Hofner violin bass conflicts with the photo of him in 1972 with a Hofner violin bass at Westlake School for Girls.
Billboard magazine ad – Mar. 4, 1967
L-R: Pan Shanahan, Randy Naylor, Randy Meisner, John Day, and Allen Kemp
Clockwise from front: Veder Van Doren, John Day, Randy Meisner, Randy Naylor, Allen Kemp, and Pat Shanahan
Clockwise from left front: Veder Van Doren, John Day, Allen Kemp, Randy Naylor, Randy Meisner, and Pat Shanahan
Billboard magazine – Oct. 1, 1966
The Soul Survivors went to a Battle of the Bands contest in Denver to find a new bass player to replace Bob Raymond, and they discover Randy who was there with the Drivin’ Dynamics. They ask him to join their band, and he does.
Excerpt from the book “Desperados: The Roots of Country Rock” pgs. 53-54
Excerpt from the book “Desperados: The Roots of Country Rock” – pgs. 71-72
Joe Walsh’s Old Fashioned Rock N’ Roll Radio Show of Nov. 28, 2020
Randy tells the story of how someone from the Soul Survivors (Gene Chalk) drove to Scottsbluff to invite him to join the band as their new bass player (Randy’s part starts at about 6:05).
Whichever way it happened that Randy was invited to join, it’s good it did because the Soul Survivors and the friendships within the band became a very important part of Randy’s musical history. Joe’s radio show segment with Randy was aired about a month after Randy’s second appearance on Richie Furay’s Back Porch Sessions livestream.
(This is the link to the radio website to hear the entire 2-hour show, which includes music. The interview part starts at 1:43:44.)
John Day, Gene Chalk, and Randy Meisner
1966 in California per John Day’s first wife, Karen C.
Pat Shanahan and Randy
California – 1966
California – 1966
Excerpt from the book “The Eagles FAQ”
“The band changed its name to The Poor, he said, ‘because we were poor’.”
Alliance Times-Herald (Alliance, NE) – July 6, 1983
Rusty ties together the very early connections between himself, Randy, Poco, Soul Survivors, The Poor, Rick Nelson, the Eagles, and a guy named Miles Thomas who seems to know everybody in the music business.
The Courier News (Bridgewater, NJ) – Nov. 9, 2007