("Golden Browne" 'When Bruce Springsteen calls you a rock god, you must be doing something right, reports BERNARD ZUEL.' From SMH Metro Apr 8-15,2004)
...[Jackson]Browne declares he doesn't have much time for what passes for music radio in America, but his visit to Australia last year turned him onto our music networks.
"I had a great time listening to Triple J. It was the best, the most exciting time with all kinds of really insightful moments. You'd have to tune into three or four stations simultaneously here to get the same stuff."
The odd thing about Browne's listening habits is not just that you wouldn't expect to hear his songs on the Js, but it's hard to imagine his core audience of comfortable middle-aged women and men tuning in any time.
This may be unfairly stereotyping his audience, but what are they going to do, refuse to do up the last button on their cardigan?
Yet we've all seen how so many people from their 30s on drift away from the passions of their youth: music, politics, testing themselves intellectually, physically, emotionally. Comfort and familiarity become more important than some quest for sensation.
Browne must see that in his audience. Can or should this drift be stopped? Can he do anything about it?
There's a line from Never Stop, a song on his most recent, surprisingly funky, album that says: "But you had some dreams when you were a girl/Some ideas about the world/And you see how some things will never be the same/And how some things never change."
Is that wisdom or resignation?
"There comes a time when people are comforted by the music that accompanied their coming into their own," says Browne.
Unless you consciously try to expand that or you're aware that you have to work harder now you have to know you will have to use unusual means to uncover the beauties, like Patty Griffin, who is one of the finest songwriters.
"It's amazing to find someone that fully formed at this point in my life who's the embodiment of a lot of my ideals.
"That lyric you mentioned is about a very personal interaction and so the question [of stopping the drift] is a very personal one in my life. This is the same question as Bob Dylan's, who said he who's not busy being born is busy dying.
"That was the credo of my generation."
Posted by berko_wills at 12:54 AM NZT
Updated: Wednesday, 21 April 2004 3:58 PM NZT