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The new Eagles, including bassist Timothy B. Schmit (who contributed to only one of the band's studio albums, 1979's The Long Run), played Los Angeles a few months after the brief chat with Azoff. "Stuff about the reunion was all over the TV all the time, and they were playing `Take It to the Limit' on the radio again," Meisner notes. "And I'm thinking, gee whiz, I wish they'd reunited with the guys who were actually in the group. And then they rerecorded all the old songs on that new CD, just to make sure that Bernie and I wouldn't get a penny of royalties from them."

This conspiracy theory aside, Meisner says he's happy with how things are going for him. He insists that he likes playing small venues because he can meet fans face-to-face, and that he doesn't mind lugging his own amp just like he did in days gone by. He's equally effusive about the music of Meisner, Rich and Swan, and asserts that it's only a matter of time before a record label will bring the configuration to a wider audience. He even allows that the Eagles reunion might bring him a few extra dollars as a result of listeners intrigued by Hell Freezes Over dropping by their CD store and picking up copies of discs Meisner does play on.

Meisner is certain that the original Eagles albums are far better than Hell simply because they arose from creative, rather than financial, motives. "This whole reunion is about money," he says. "I watched that MTV thing, and none of them looked like they were having any fun at all. They just seemed to be going through the motions. Like, `Oh, I guess I can play a couple more songs, because each song means this much more money to me.'"

But when Meisner is asked how much he could have made if he, too, had been invited to the party, he suddenly sounds wistful. "Millions," he mutters. "Millions."

Meisner, Rich and Swan. 8 p.m. Thursday, January 12, Buffalo Rose, 1119 Washington, Golden, $10, 290-TIXS or 279-5190.

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts