The Los Angeles Times has an interview with Jackson Browne, where he walks around the Santa Monica Pier and reminisces:
“I used to come down here a lot when I was a kid. I grew up in Highland Park until I was about 13. It was a long way on a city bus, a couple of hours. It was the early 1960s and a lot of the vatos would be here from South Central. I tried to win teddy bears and talk to girls. I lost my father’s straight-edge razor once on the roller coaster. It slipped out of my tanker jacket pocket. I used to carry the razor, a dog chain, a pack of Lucky Strikes. A tough guy, huh?”
“My first pangs of real love and longing were at campsites,” he said. “Your family would go and you’d be there for weeks and there was enough time to get into really serious infatuation, that sort of crushing longing. You never really forget that. I used to sing about that a lot. I guess everybody does.”
He talks about the significance of the name of his new album Time The Conqueror.
“It’s just a line from a song, but it has to hang out there. I use the title of songs as the title of the album, I always have, and when you pick a song title, nobody thinks you’re saying something. They think it’s a thematic statement. But when you make it the album title, then they try to read into it. I just like that song.”
He reveals that the song “Where Were You” was inspired by a Weber photograph:
“After all I had read, after all that was being said about Katrina, there was this one photograph of this flag that was probably in the marketplace somewhere. It had some words written on it, which I think might be from an old spiritual song: ‘If ever I cease to love.’ Think of that. ‘If ever I cease to love.’ If we did, what would become of us? And, really, isn’t that the problem in the first place? If you can’t love, it’s over. We’ll all go down.”
He also talks about his father’s military career as a music journalist:
“My dad used to say the time he spent in the Army was the happiest time in his life because he didn’t have to think. I didn’t appreciate at the time what he really meant by that. I was horrified at the time, I thought it was confirmation of everything I deeply suspected about my parents and the military. He was saying it from the confidence and comfort of a person who spent his life with books. He was an educated guy. I think he just enjoyed the simplicity of being told where he was going to be next. That frees you up to think about all kinds of things and have your own inner life.”
More at the link.