Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Jackson Browne and my brother Ken
Two weeks ago my brother Ken and I went to see Jackson Browne in Atlantic City. We had such a fun time. I always love to spend time with my brother and it's as enjoyable as seeing Jackson Browne! Jackson Browne is one of my favorite musical artists and I just love his lyrics and melodies. My bro Ken who is a musician himself, and I have been serious followers of Jackson Browne since we were in high school. Listening to him, always brings us back to those times when life offered so much opportunity and promise even if it was complicated! We drove around at night in our cars and listened to “For Everyman” over and over again! Ahhh…those were some days . Since my brother really loves Jackson Browne, too, and we know he is coming to town, we just have to go to see him. We often joke about the style of clothes he wears which are from the 70’s and we wonder if they are the same clothes he wears now?
Well, his concert in AC was great, as always. He sang some new songs and some of his classic old ones. "Late for the Sky", "Fountain of Sorrow" and "For a Dancer". He also sang "For Everyman" which was so awesome and reminds my brother and I of each other when we hear it. As always, Jackson Browne never disappoints us. The entire evening was so enjoyable and memorable, but maybe not as memorable as the up close chance meeting with him two years ago. My brother and I are always involved in something fun and over the top, and sometimes it can take your breath away and this meeting did just that.
About two years ago my brother Ken and I went to see Jackson Browne at The Tower Theater in Philly (a great concert) and we actually were able to meet him after the show was over. There was a crowd of people waiting on the side of The Tower and we thought that he would be coming out that way to get on his bus. We both said “let’s go check this out?” So we cruised on over to the crowd and waited with the other fans for over an hour. Initially, I thought to myself, "Oh, how cool is this? I'm going to get his autograph and see him up close". I anxiously waited for him to appear from the dark alleyway. But somewhere during the waiting time, my perspective had changed from one of Jackson Browne being a "celebrity" to one of a fellow artist being on the creative journey in his life. I felt that "I no longer wanted his autograph or photo!" What I have always been interested in was what made him tick creatively? How clever is he to write the lyrics he writes? Does his he have a method to his writing and a “bag of tricks”? I never however, thought about wanting to meet him. There we’re lots of women, ooohing and ahhing over him and climbing over each other to just get to touch him and get a photo, so I just looked on. I wasn’t there for that reason. I was surprised by how he looked different than I expected and that he looked a lot smaller in stature and he was soft spoken. I didn't know what to make of the greeting as he walked up to my brother and me. I was struck by thoughts about how it must be having people just wanting something from you all the time because you are a famous person. Since I didn't know why I was there, I just kicked back with my head in my hands and leaned on the barricade that was there to protect him from the fans!. As he approached me, I could only look up at him. I tried to make a connection, eye to eye, artist to artist for just one second, if possible, a moment in time. I was remembering all those years that I had listened to him over and over again with such passion and I never thought that I would be this close to him and have nothing to say! Well, Jackson stared back at me as if he was waiting for me to ask for his autograph or photo and he didn't know what to make of my inability to speak. He lightly tapped me on my forearm and chuckled, being perplexed by my ambivalent attitude. He walked away for a second to take a photo and again he walked back in our direction. Still , I could only look at him and say nothing! While he was walking around the barricade, I had this idea to give him one my cheese business cards that says, " You're the cheese" to see if he would look at my art. I thought that all these years I have listened to his art, and now I wanted to see if he would take some time to see mine. His security guy took it from me and was totally confused since he thought it was a real piece of cheese. I had thoughts that were, “maybe he would check out my website and experience my world, my art, artist to artist. And again, I thought, "Hey, Jackson Browne might be looking at my art" One artist to another artist. "How cool is that?" And as Jackson Browne walked away into the darkness to enter on to his bus, I was left with the feeling of exhilaration and I realized that something really meaningful had just happened to me as a person and as an artist. I realized that the leap from an artist who is no one to one who is some one, is very short distance and at the same time, uncertain. You just gotta take it.