As far back as I can remember, I’ve always been one of those people with musical tastes that belong to an older generation. I wrote Paul Simon lyrics on my Keds in junior high. James Taylor and the Beatles and Cat Stevens and Led Zeppelin were (and still are) the word. True, I worshiped (and still worship) R.E.M. and the Cure, but I was mostly into stuff from the 70s. And one of my most adored musicians was Jackson Browne.
Jackson has a message. He’s all about peace and love, hippie style. His lyrics are all writing about the moon and dreaming about the stars and other transcendental stuff. I listened to “The Road” so many times that my cassette tape stopped working from exhaustion. So you can imagine how excited I was to see him perform last night at the Columbus Circle Borders.
Listen here: Jackson Browne – The Road
Whenever I show up for a reading, I’m mad professional about it. When Steve Martin came to the Union Square Barnes & Noble, I arrived at 4:00 for his 7:00 reading. I needed that seat in the second row, right in front of the podium. But here’s the thing. No one told me that, in order to actually see Jackson Browne last night, I had to show up at like 10:00 to get a wristband for his 7:00 show.
Jackson has tons of fans. And a lot of them live here in New York. Since I didn’t have a wristband, I was not allowed in front of the stage. I was banished with the rest of the no wristbands. This meant standing on tiptoes for half and hour, wedged in between CD racks in the World and Folk sections, trying to catch a glimpse of Jackson from around the edge of a sign and a guy’s swaying head. My view looked like this:
You can clearly see Jackson smiling at my determination to remain on tiptoes for the whole show. Good thing I’m 5′ 8″. And great quote by Joan Didion (I feel the same way!). Jackson was signing after and I could not wait to meet him and have him sign my CDs. Then I found out that Jackson was only signing his new CD. And, oh yeah, he’s only signing if you have a wristband.
Heart. In. Pieces.
And not just over my own disappointment. There were dudes with his albums from freaking decades ago. I wished them good luck at getting their albums signed, then took my Running On Empty and Hold Out and dug my way out of the crowd.
Of course I signed some of my books before I left. We should do whatever we can to remain in the happy place.