The first concert I went to see with friends was to see a show in 1978. A group of us Smyrna High School recent graduates and friends decided to go to a show together before we went on our merry way off to college - the last hurrah, so to speak. So we decided on a show at the Valley Forge Music Center, with Jackson Browne the headliner.
I gotta be honest, I remember Jackson Browne, but don't remember any other act. I say that because Jackson was so freakin' memorable. We were all fans, and loved the album The Pretender, and enjoyed Running On Empty very much. See, I loved singer/songwriters even then. We were ready, and psyched because we were driving to Philadelphia [OK, just outside of Philly] ourselves and taking in the concert. We had lawn seats, and packed blankets and baskets to make sure we were comfy. Indeed, we might have had an illegal beverage or two, but we were giddy 18-year-olds. I am not sure what it was, it might have been Mad Dog 20/20, cause we were kids from a rural town in Delaware.
So, we set up and got ready, chatting away excitedly before the show. When Browne took the stage, he was in quite the state. Thankfully, he pretty much didn't move much, because he was toasted. We all eagerly awaited Here Come Those Tears Again, we all understood the backstory of his wife taking her own life and leaving him with an infant, but that was 2 years previously, so we thought perhaps he would be over it, if only for the child... We were mistaken. After several failed starts and some giggling, he remembered the lyrics. And it wasn't the only song he struggled with, I think he blew The Pretender, too. But, to his credit, when he did get the lyrics, he sounded good. And I was willing to forgive him, because he was awfully nice to look at. And the musicians he traveled with covered well, and played so very well. The show ended with The Load Out/Stay, always a good time.
I'll be honest, Browne lost me with the song and album called Lawyers In Love. He was also busy with a relationship with Daryl Hannah, which was rumored to end badly involving physical abuse. So I was surprised to discover he is still at it - I didn't have a clue. And good Lord, he looks old now. And damn, he is only 12 years older than me. But no matter what, I will always have the amazing memory of my first concert with Candace, Jay, Ed, and Verne, all ready to be adults on our own. That was, of course, over 31 years ago.
To catch up with what is going on with Browne, check out his official website here.