We will never be here again

August 19, 2016

Jackson-BrowneWe may lose and we may win
but we will never be here again

He was young and impossibly fresh-faced and adorable when he came to our attention in the early 1970s, part of the Laurel Canyon, Calif. band of musicians that defined that certain country-tinged rock. The Eagles, Linda Rondstadt, Joni Mitchell, David Crosby, JD Souther, so many more. Jackson Browne was born a poet, writing beautiful, evocative poems and lyrics even in his teens, long before he had the life experience to back the words up.

Jackson Browne is an old soul.

He’s a deep thinker and his beautiful music reflects that. Those lyrics. Those lyrics!

I’ve loved him and his music for decades and have seen him in concert maybe four or five times in the past 40 years.  I love that he uses his music and his celebrity to support causes he believes in. His benefit concerts have supported environmental organizations, no-nukes, mental health, the homeless and a whole host of progressive causes. So he’s not just Jackson Browne to me.  He’s JACKSON BROWNE.

He’s older now, not the fresh-faced poet, lyricist, songwriter but still a poet, lyricist and songwriter who can hold an audience spellbound in concert.


San Jose.

So when I had the chance to get second row center tickets to a Jackson Browne concert, I grabbed it.

Looking around the venue, the first thing I noticed was the sea of grey hair in the audience. It’s hard to wrap my own strawberry-blonde head around the idea that most of us have been listening to Jackson’s music for almost 50 years.  Fifty years!  And he is almost 68.  How could it be? I remember the 1970s so vividly, could they have been so long ago?

The sisters of the sun
are going to rock me on the water now

And then, he took the stage, that shock of brown hair greying a bit now but with the same magic he’s always had. He opened with Rock Me on the Water, a favorite of mine.


San Jose.

Except for the usual drunks screaming out song requests, it was a mostly quiet respectful crowd, there for the music, because his songs require actually listening to the words and being carried somewhere else by the melody.

Unlike other concerts, I only enjoyed the aroma of fine weed at intermission and wish someone had passed some my way. But then I remembered: we’re in the 21st century now and there’s not much passing going on.

And there are the other realities of our age:  I noticed a guy sitting in front of me had earplugs in. I had them sort of in, too, just a little, because a few years ago I temporarily lost my hearing and I’m not interested in having that experience again.

Then, I heard the guy behind me say, as he removed his own earplugs at intermission, “I’d like to be able to hear when this is over.”  Funny how things change in 50 years.

Doctor, my eyes
Tell me what is wrong
was I unwise
to keep them open for so long?

By mid-concert, Jackson had begun to really rock. No one could sit still when he did the infectious Doctor My Eyes, although most of us remained seated, maybe a nod to our age. Still, there was a lot of chair-dancing in the crowd. A lot.  I thought about getting up to dance, and since I’ve been in physical therapy for hip bursitis I decided not to risk it.

Did you know he wrote the Eagles hit, Take it Easy? and usually asks the crowd to sing it with him, which is way fun.  And of course, at the end, Running on Empty.

By that point I couldn’t sit still, I defy anyone to sit still for that song–the hell with bursitis, I got up–we ALL got up–we were all on our feet singing and dancing and laughing. And when it came to the finale, he gave us another go at Running on Empty and by that point, the entire place was on their feet and rocking–dancing for the sheer joy of it all. I was among them. It was an exhilarating finale, a joyful end to what might have been the best of his concerts, at least to me. Here’s a little bit of it:

So–do you have a favorite Jackson Browne song or lyric?




41 comments on “We will never be here again
  1. Leanne says:

    I don’t have a particular favourite but he is definitely an icon (and such a spunk! to quote my 17 year old self) He just looks so 70s – soulful and sexy……sigh…

  2. Robin herman says:

    Thank you, Thank you for giving us the vicarious experience and for the little live snippet of all that joy.
    Favorite songs? Too difficult. But there are two sad ones that always stop me in my tracks when they come on and I listen hard and deep whatever I’m doing: Song for Adam and Fountain of Sorrow

  3. Alli Smith says:

    ????Open up I’m climbing in . . . I’ll have all of Jackson Browne’s songs in my head for the rest of the day and that’s a good thing. As a child/teen during the 70’s, you took me way back today. I’d love to see Jackson Browne in concert. My 20-something-year-old daughter loves 70’s music and I always tell her that we had “real” music back then.

  4. Nancy Hill says:

    A former boss of mine was from the Winslow area and he knew the “girl in the flatbed Ford.” I used to see a concert Jackson produced every October for the Verde Valley School near Sedona in the 1990s. 2001 took that from us too.

  5. Peggy says:

    I feel the same way about Sting and the Police as you do Jackson Browne. I finally saw the Police in their reunion tour in 2007 when they played Fenway Park. I was in heaven.

    Recently saw Coldplay at Gillette Stadium – and what I noticed about the 60,000+ crowd – young and old, black and white and brown, is that Coldplay fans are really, really nice.

  6. What a great post. I do not have a favorite in mind, but I really do appreciate reading your thoughts and emotions.

  7. You took me right there, Carol. Yes, I love Jackson Browne. But now I’m sad, because he’s old…that’s a lie…I”m sad because I”m old.

  8. He is an icon! My husband loves him and his music.

  9. tara pittman says:

    I need to bring earplugs when I go to concerts. My ears are very sensitive.

  10. Ricki says:

    Thank you, Carol.. I too love JB and have seen him many times in concert..He is and always will be an icon to me.

  11. Oh, I love Rock Me on the Water, Sister would you soothe my fevered brow….true poetry!

  12. Elizabeth O. says:

    I don’t have a favorite but I think he’s pretty awesome. When you watch concerts of old favorites you are reminded of the old times but also struck with the realization that time, indeed, have changed!

  13. Crystal says:

    I don’t have a favourite but I did enjoy seeing how much everyone in the video seemed to of enjoyed themselves

  14. Fountain of Sorrow! Jackson Browne has always been one of my favorites.we saw him a couple of years ago again. He has definitely aged well!

  15. Jenni says:

    I’ve never heard of him, glad you had a great time x

  16. Agent54 says:

    I’ve actually been standing on a corner in Winslow Arizona. Very cool.

  17. MOMINA arif says:

    The lyrics about the doctor are so deep. It actually made a bit sad.

  18. Diane says:

    Definitely Running On Empty. Mmmm. Now it’s stuck happily in my head. Runnin on emptyyy. . .

  19. Oh my gosh! Jackson Brown is one of those artists you forget about, but then you remember and it is amazing!

  20. Rosey says:

    I didn’t know he wrote Take it Easy. I liked Jackson Browne in high school. Somebody’s Baby is my fave. Glad you had a good time (and lol at the earplugs, I can relate).

  21. Aeriane says:

    I love old school rock, but never heard about this writer and singer! Thx I will check this out!

  22. Vyjay says:

    Great music and meaningful lyrics. What sets him apart is the fact that he uses his music to support so many noble causes.

  23. I dont know much about 70s music but I know a good vybe when I hear one and this Guy sounds like a real soulful icon. Thanksfor sharing at the Pit Stop 🙂

  24. Kathy says:

    I don’t know if I really have a favorite song. I love seeing this video though. It’s a great song with some really good lyrics.

  25. Echo says:

    I don’t have a favorite, but I grew up listening to Jackson Browne. My mother made sure that we listened to good music growing up!

  26. Azlin Bloor says:

    That’s a brilliant read, I was right there at the concert with you! I rather enjoy his music too.Sounds like you had an amazing time, and that’s putting it mildly!

  27. I don’t have a favorite, but I think he’s awesome. When you watch concerts of old favorites you are reminded of great things in the past! Loved your post!

  28. Sarah Bailey says:

    I have never heard of Jacksn Browne, but I am so glad that you shared your experience. You have opened me up to a new artist.

  29. Nicole Escat says:

    He sounds like an awesome person! I don’t know about him but when I read this he’s cool and has good music.

  30. Never heard of him but so happy to have read your account of the concert! 🙂

  31. Jamela Porter says:

    This sounds like an amazing concert. I have never heard of him, but I am going to have to check him out.

  32. Taty Pradilla says:

    Taking me back to the day! I remember listening to him when I was younger. This looks like an amazing concert.

  33. Lisa Rios says:

    Such a wonderful post. I love Jackson Browne so much and have a big list of favorites from him. He is such a great icon and thanks for sharing this amazing video with great lyrics.

  34. Mags says:

    Jackson Browne is one of my favorites. You don’t hear lyrics like these anymore.

  35. I feel bad that I’ve never heard of Jackson Browne. You seem to really love him and the concert looks like it was a good one.

  36. May Palacpac says:

    I don’t know who Jackson Browne is, but you got me interested to find his songs online and listen to them.I long for songs written with words that actually mean something. They don’t make them like they used to, you know.

  37. such an icon. i remember my cousin who is much older than me would play Jackson Browne’s music and he would smile. he must have been enjoying that much.

  38. Yikes, Jackson Browne is a bit before my time and I honestly haven’t heard of him before =/

  39. Wildish Jess says:

    I’ve never heard of him so I don’t have a favorite song. I think this may be outside of my musical tastes, lol.

  40. Aw I wish I did have a favorite song by him, so great to read about such a music legend & to hear your passionate words on him. Really EPIC tribute, well done.

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