Jackson Browne, who helped put the Route 66 town of Winslow, Ariz., on the musical map by co-writing the Eagles’ big hit “Take It Easy,” finally got a chance last weekend to perform in that town nearly 40 years after writing that tune.
Browne was on the Station to Station tour, a rolling music-and-arts revue. The train made a stop in Winslow on Saturday night. Station to Station also had shows in the Route 66 towns of Chicago, Santa Fe, Los Angeles, and Barstow, Calif.
The Arizona Journal reported about Jackson talking about Winslow and the song during his Winslow show:
Browne stood before an audience of approximately 200 performing his latest songs, as well as classics such as Running On Empty and Take It Easy. In between songs he spoke about being in Winslow many times before, but always in the middle of the night. “I would be sleeping on my tour bus and be woken up by my band members so that they could get a picture of me by the statue, but I’ve never been here during the day,” he said. “It’s a real pleasure to be in Winslow, it’s a dream come true, really.”
He also laid to rest any debate over who penned the hit song Take It Easy, now such an integral part of the identity of Winslow. He explained that he wrote the song after his car broke down in Flagstaff, and several more times after that before he was offered a ride by some travelers in a panel van. He began writing the song and wrote it over an extended period of time.
“It was about the whole Southwest experience,” he explained. He was making an album that didn’t have room for the song, so Glenn Frey of the Eagles persuaded him to give the song to them. “I just want you know I wrote standin’ on the corner, and I want to thank Glenn Frey for his contribution of Ford, Lord … girl, Ford, Lord,” he said jokingly.
There is video of this moment of the show, but the audio quality is bad:
Photos and other media from the Winslow stop can be found on the Station to Station website here. More from the website’s Winslow report:
“I’ve always had a feeling for Arizona because of this trip I took when I was 8 or 9 and visited the Hopi reservation,” Jackson Browne said in the lobby of the historic La Posada hotel a few hours before taking the stage to perform as part of the Winslow, Arizona Station to Station Happening. […]
“First time I came to Winslow was during a car trip I took while making my first album,” Browne said. “My car broke down in Flagstaff and I spent a lot of time learning to rebuild a generator.”
That breakdown turned out to be a stroke of good fortune: Arizona has been inspiring the singer-songwriter ever since.
Alas the only video of Browne performing “Take It Easy” in Winslow is this brief Vine clip. So here’s an acoustic performance from a television program in Spain: