Masonic Temple Theatre
February 18, 1972
Transfer: Tape > Nakamichi DR-01 (azimuth adjusted) > Peak Pro 6 > iZotope RX / ozone 5 (mastered) > xACT 2.39 > FLAC
01 Take It Easy
02 Jamaica Say You Will
03 Jesus In 3/4 Time
04 Song For Adam
05 These Days
06 Rock Me On The Water
07 Something Fine (abandoned)
08 Something Fine (abandoned)
09 Redneck Friend
-Redneck Friend: end cut
Jackson Browne spent much of 1972 as a young, relatively unknown singer songwriter opening for more established acts. He resided in the opening slot for such artists as Seals & Croft, Carly Simon, Linda Ronstadt and Mason Profit. But the biggest portion was spent in the opening slot for a rising star named Joni Mitchell.
The Masonic Temple Theatre was an fairly intimate venue with beautiful acoustics, perfect for an evening of acoustic music. The opening slot for an unknown musician can be a tough position to be in and this set is a perfect example of what a new up and comer can go through as they try to build an audience.
Jackson Browne (Saturate Before Using) was released in January 1972, he's introduced as "a young man, a fine performer, asylum records recording artist Mr. Jackson Browne". From here it's a bit of a roller coaster. Though the set is adequately played, it's far from the polished confident professional we'd come to know and love.
At times it feels like he's about to lose the audience, telling a story before "Something Fine" that culminates in a comment about how "it could be the easiest thing in the world to fall in love if you could be sure you wouldn't have to see her again" which is met by a mostly groans. The low point of the show comees during two abandoned attempts at "Something Fine", the first stopped due to singing a bad note mentioning the air quality, assumably a reference to thick smoke. The second due to flubbed lyrics which I doubt the audience would have even been aware of. At this point the audience is becoming restless with shouts of "do another song" and what sounds like "less talk, do the song".
Someone yells out to do a piano song which Jackson replies I don't know any more piano songs and after further shouts from the audience comments "that's what a manager says, get the hell off of there". "Redneck Friend" is next up and just when the crowd is getting into it and clapping along Jackson asks them to stop or it'll mess him up.
The set is incomplete and the last song on the tape "Redneck Friend" cuts off on this tape copy so there may be a version floating around with more of the show. Based on comments during the show it sounds like he did at least one song at piano but is not on the tape.
The press the next day was not kind as evidence by the review below from the Detroit News the following day. Though the reviewer mentions some of these instances he seems to mention them out of order of the actual show.
"JONI WAS PRECEDED to the stage by Jackson Browne, another in a long line of writers who is trying to become a singer, but should stick with writing.
His set might have been passable in a small folk club in Peoria but, in a 4,600-seat concert hall in Detroit, it was inexcusable.
At one point, he played a song with his guitar completely out of tune. He tried to remedy the situation afterwards, but when he unsuccessfully attempted to tune a high "E" string, he gave up and turned to the piano.
The crowd brought him back for an encore which really got him in trouble.
It seemed the tune he had just played was the only one he knew on piano and he was forced to again try to tune the six string.
He finally began after working with the instrument and bringing it up to only slightly out of tune, but he forgot the words to his own song." (Detroit News February 19, 1972)
Quality is quite good for the era with very little hiss, clear and clean.
Collecting shows means you get the good with the bad and sometimes the bad are just as enjoyable as the good, this is one such show.
This one comes from a longtime Jackson Browne collector who wishes to remain anonymous, we will revisit more of his (or hers) archives a little further down the road.
Samples and artwork included...
Images for all shows as well as full size images for this show.
Images for this show: