Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Concert Memories - Jackson Browne

In the winter of 1978, I was supposed to be in graduate school. But I had had enough of college and dropped all my classes except one -- and I barely passed that one. After years of being responsible, I opted to play pool, drink a lot of beer, work at Sears, drink more beer, stay out until the bars closed, drink more beer and then drink more beer. During that time in my life I went to Daytonna Beach for spring break -- deciding to go the night before we left. It was a great time. And we drank a lot of beer there, too.

If you have ever seen Jim Carrey's "Yes Man" movie, well, that pretty much captures my life during that time. If someone said "Let's go get pizza, drink beer and do something completely crazy!" I said "yes!"

Later that same spring I went to Iowa City with a group of friends to a Jackson Browne concert. It was the best concert I ever saw. As I sat in the old Fieldhouse with its big old columns, the smell of marijuana filled the place as soon as the lights went down. Though I drank a lot of beer I never got into marijuana -- one of the few vices I did not experience. Just for the record, I love Iowa City. A lot.

Karla Bonoff was the lead act. She wrote music for Linda Ronstadt and she sounded like Carole King and Linda Rondstadt rolled into one. I had never heard of her before that night. After that night I would never forget her.

After she got a standing ovation, Jackson Browne came out. He was doing his Running on Empty Tour. He was with an all star group of musicans. David Lindley, Russell Kunkel, Danny "Kootch" Kortchmar, Rosemary Butler and others. I remember watching that concert and not being able to believe I was actually seeing it.

Here's "The Load Out and Stay" -- one of Jackson Browne's most memorial works. You will see David Lindley doing the high pitched verison of Stay towards the end of the set -- that always brought down the house. Of course, Rosemary Butler was a mainstay with James Taylor, Bonnie Raitt, the Doobie Brothers, etc. and you see her in this video, too.

Oh, for you kids out there -- that means any one under 40 -- this is what people really looked like in the mid to late 70s. And, yes, we really did wear our hair like this. And, no, not everyone was into disco. Believe me.


Maureen said...

Yeaaa! Russell's back!

Memphis MOJO said...

One of the best concerts I saw was a triple-header that was a fund raiser for Jerry Brown (who was running for president): Linda Rondstadt, Jackson Browne and the Eagles! Now that was a show.

larkspur said...

Glad you're back, Russell!

I was living in Iowa City during that same time period. Working at the Student Health Clinic and paying the bills while my husband finished up his nursing degree. Unfortunately for me, I did not drink enuff beer!

Guess what? I was at Jackson Browne concert. I would have to agree with you that it was the best....Karla Bonoff, wow! The concert, for me, was defined by that one performance of "Stay" (...just a little bit longer...)

Thx for the memories.

Jo said...

Well, look who's back! I thought I would be the first to welcome you back, but I am actually the fourth! *heh*

I have never seen Jackson Browne in person, but I love his music. I think I still have one of his CDs around here somewhere.

It's still not too late to be a "Yes man".

"Let's go get pizza, drink beer and do something completely crazy!"

Country Girl said...

Such a nice surprise to see you in my blogroll again, Russell!

You would have fit in very well with our crowd in 1978. We were always ready for anything and Jackson Browne was my hero (along with Bruce). This is one of my favorite songs he would do at the end of his concerts. Wow! What memories.

I still listen to him. I have his CD's in my car . . .

Mean Mama said...

Woo Hoo!! You're back! I throughly loved this video Russell. I grew up listening to music from the 70's. What happened to the real musicians anyway? Linda Ronstadt is still one of my favorites. When I was in high school I refused to listen to pop music and I listened to all of my Dad's records.

Anonymous said...

Wow! I was at that show. A student at Augustana College, it was a short ride in the back of a van to see my first but certainly not last Jackson Browne show. Great memories!