by Robert Wilkinson
Yes, this is the third great musician to share this birthday! Continuing our musical feast day, Now that you've had a little time to digest the many videos on the John Lennon and John Entwistle posts, we turn to celebrate the great Jackson Browne, who also shares this birthday. Lots of great performances from this indefatigable social conscience!
This guy has given us some of the most memorable songs in history, including "Take It Easy," "Running on Empty," and "Lives in the Balance," a song with such a powerful message that the video was banned from commercial television during the Reagan years. Today we send a huge 64th birthday salute to a great songwriter and social conscience.
I'm glad that when I was working for ACTV in Austin I could put the original "Lives In The Balance" video into heavy rotation, even though I was challenged by Republicans who took exception to the images of the Central American death squads turned loose on an innocent population by Reagan and his war criminal henchmen, including Elliot Abrams, Don Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney, and others. May the warmongers pass from this Earth as soon as possible.
Jackson is part of the core of a Southern California music scene that has featured such major talents as Linda Ronstadt, the Eagles, David Lindley, Warren Zevon, Bonnie Raitt, Jack Tempchin, Waddy Wachtel, and a whole bunch of other shining lights. They were all over each other's records, and gave the world some pretty amazing tunes ranging through a lot of musical styles.
Okay folks, on with the shew. For your enjoyment, some great songs!
Here's the re-edited music video of "Lives In The Balance," not the same as the original in the 80s, but updated for our times and no less powerful. By all means, look up the lyrics!
Here's "Lives In The Balance," a fantastic live acoustic performance with Jackson joined by Graham Nash, David Crosby, David Lindley, and friends.
"Running On Empty" Live in 1977
Here's "Running On Empty" with Bruce Springsteen
Here is one of the most amazing concerts I've ever had the privilege of attending! A million people assembled to see Jackson and Bruuuuce doing "The Promised Land" in Central Park in June 1982 at the biggest anti-nuke gathering in history. I was there, up close and personal, in charge of a section of the stage front. The Earth literally shook when they broke into this song! Awesome to feel a million people stomp the ground. Awesome to be in the presence of history being made. Awesome to be alive.... (that day killed the nuclear movement for 25 years!) From the same concert, the second song of their duet, Running On Empty - the day the world changed!
Jackson doing his first hit, "Doctor My Eyes"
Here’s a very rare acoustic performance by Jackson set to stills recorded when he was hanging with the Eagles. Their first hit was a tune by my old friend Jack Tempchin called “Peaceful Easy Feeling”
Here’s Jackson in 2008 performing the song he wrote (with Glenn Frey) that was the Eagles' debut single, “Take It Easy”
I found a clip of the Eagles at the 1998 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ceremony doing “Take It Easy”
Here’s the studio version of a 1974 duet by Jackson and Linda Ronstadt doing another song written by Jack Tempchin, “One More Song”
Here's Jackson doing his hit, "Somebody's Baby."
From the Amnesty International Concert / Secret Policeman 's Ball, Jackson performing "For Everyman"
From Soundstage '76, "Rock Me On The Water."
Here’s the original music video for “Tender is the Night
From “Jackson Browne – Going Home,” a great performance of the very beautiful “Shape of A Heart”
From the 2006 Philadelphia Folk Festival, here are Jackson and David in a great acoustic performance of “I’m Alive”
From his performance at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1995, doing Bob Marley's legendary "Redemption Song. (Let it buffer for a few minutes so you can enjoy the whole thing without it stopping part way.)
From the 2009 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame performance with Crosby, Stills, and Nash, here's "The Pretender."
We’ll close this birthday tribute with a fitting set of clips!
Here's Jackson Browne’s performance at his induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame of “Running On Empty” Paradise lost indeed!
For an encore, I found a 1977 Dutch documentary called “Wonderland” that featured such “up and coming stars” as Warren Zevon, Linda Ronstadt, Jackson Browne & Bonnie Raitt. For a look at the LA scene back then, for your enjoyment,
For the second encore, a fitting final live performance. From the BBC in 1978, Jackson Browne doing a really great offering of “The Load Out” and “Stay,” backed by David Lindley, Jim Gordon, the ever-beautiful Rosemary Butler, Craig Doerge, and Bob Glaub.
The official Jackson Browne website
Thanks for all the great tunes and inspiration over the years, Jackson. May you rock on across the waters for a long time!
© Copyright 2012 Robert Wilkinson