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Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Fuse

In the Way Back Machine the other day I remembered Tommy thinking Jackson Browne's The Pretender album was about the old doo-wop song and thinking, "God, he's old." I was 18 then, so he was 29, just around the time I stopped listening to pop culture and retreated into my world of married life, Broadway, the Met and politics while working at the Childe or on sabbatical from it.

But back to the album. Music was so important to me that there were categories and ways and means of how to get it in those days. Prog came above all; I would do pretty much anything to go to a concert and would spend my own money on all forms of Prog. I like many kinds of music though, and so Jackson Browne or The Cars or The Eagles were on the "probably never see live but will ask for the album for Xmas" category. That Xmas, Billy gave me The Pretender. And I played it til the grooves were worn when my Dad died the next year. A lot of JB's music is grief. His wife had killed herself the year before Pretender came out. It's also way mellow-seventies southwest mellifluousness. You can tune it out and dismiss it as muzak but if you listen to his words they'll catch you offguard. Which is what brings me to The Fuse:

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