Heartland Rock Final Part - Jackson Browne and the Pretender
This is it. Not "The End" as you might know it, with The Doors playin' in the background and some Vietcongs closing in. Not that. And it's not one of those scenes from a nursery home, where someone politely refuses to pull the plug even though all hope is gone and the best thing you can do is save a couple of bucks on electricity.
The studio version is much better, and Jackson has never been much of a looker. But knowing the tremendous pain he must've gone through at this period it's not bad at all. And I don't need to mention that he had a bit of a coke habit, do I? But they all did, as far as I know.
Now listen to the song and then google the lyrics, while I'm gonna eat something unhealthy.
It's just so much darker than that. And it sums up all that is Heartland Rock pretty well. You've got the piano, the syncopations, the vocal harmonies put nicely on the fifth and third (and it's Crosby and Nash singing 'em), all that we've talked about - and even some strings to top it off. Much like Springsteens "Jungleland" it's both long (clocks in just under six minutes) and with a pretty unorthodox arrangement. But this is not a switchblade tale about the backstreets of New Jersey, this is a much broader subject that never ceases to amaze me in one of those fights between what's art and what's real.
'Cause Mr. Jackson Browne wrote this one shortly after his wife committed suicide.