‘We did all of their songs’: The Eagles’ Timothy B. Schmit on impact of the Kingston Trio

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Long before he was a member of the Eagles, Timothy B. Schmit was heavily influenced by the Kingston Trio, a folk-based sensation in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Later, Schmit had a chance to become friends with founding member Nick Reynolds, a guitarist who provided a key element of their unique vocal sound as well.

Schmit — who recently overcame a cancer scare — served in an early group that fashioned itself after the trio. Tim, Tom and Ron evolved into the New Breed, then the Glad, before Schmit left for Poco in 1970. “We dressed like them, and we did all of their songs,” Schmit tells Radio Free NY. “The Kingston Trio at the time were very big.”

Schmit joined the Eagles in 1977, replacing Randy Meisner — just as he had earlier in Poco. He remains a member of the Eagles, which is in the midst of a huge tour.

In between concert obligations with his main band, Schmit issued the solo effort Expando in 2009 — and his association with the Kingston Trio came full circle when he struck up a friendship with an ailing Reynolds, who was suffering from acute respiratory disease.

“He was pretty ill, and he died,” Schmit says, “but he let me take his guitar. I have his guitar — the same one he played on a lot of the early Kingston Trio hits, a long time ago. I have it at my house, and I got to play it a little bit on my album — so that was really thrilling.”

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