I had a longish chat with Jackson Browne at a party in either ’94 or ’95. Me, him and a couple of ladies, I mean. (It was a post-Oscar soiree at the Mondrian on the Sunset Strip, I think.) The point is that I liked how he thought in long sentences, and how he stayed with a thought (his or someone else’s) and how he tried to develop it and push it along, and how he really seemed to listen and engage and make an effort to stay away from the usual chit-crap.
For years I’d been a fan of Browne’s songs like everyone else, but after that night I knew first-hand that he was genuine and grounded as far as it went, and that he really disliked being glib or skirting or going “yeah, yeah, uh-huh” without really listening.
So that memory plus my having, oh, six or seven of his songs on my iPhone opened a little door to an interview with Browne (q & a plus two video clips) that TheWrap‘s Sharon Waxman posted yesterday evening. The press-shy Browne spoke with Waxman to help publicize a 6.9 benefit concert at downtown L.A.’s Orpheum Theater for Success Through the Arts Foundation. Browne will be sharing the bill with Wayne Shorter and Lizz Wright.
Waxman: “Are you involved in the presidential campaign?”
Browne: “No, I’m not. Actually I sort of turned a corner and decided that one of the problems in our political system is the money. However, I’m involved politically, and I’m very interested in the Occupy (Wall Street) movement.
“I’m very interested in what people do individually and in groups, and it wouldn’t and shouldn’t be a fucking surprise to anybody that I’m going to vote for Obama — but honestly Obama once again has joined the ranks of the lesser of two evils. The great parade of people that the progressives get to vote for who are the lesser of two evils and who don’t really represent what I believe in any overwhelming balance.
“Look, Obama told me in a personal conversation that he wasn’t up for any new (nuclear) plants. Obviously, he changed his mind at some point. But what a surprise that one of his main supporters is the energy company, Exelon — which has nuclear plants — and that he would suddenly change his policy.
“I don’t know what we would expect. He’s just as a beholden to the people who put him in office as any of the Republicans would be. But what’s a mystery to me is how he installed pretty much the exact same infrastructure in his administration that deals with finances as the administration that we thought we voted out. That’s really a shocker.”