Thursday, January 29, 2009

I Don't Know - We Do So Many Shows in a Row

On "The Load-out," Jackson Browne sings the following:

Now the seats are all empty
Let the roadies take the stage
Pack it up and tear it down


Isn't that backwards? You gotta tear it down before you can pack it up.

12 comments:

Gavin said...

I understand what he means, but he's got what Looney Tunes called "pronoun trouble."

As I interpret the song, the roadies take to the stage, pack up the equipment, and then tear down the rigging (etc).

Or maybe Browne was just in his own reality, the one where people call the Good Humor man the "ice cream vendor."

Joe said...

I also understand what he means, and would say he's got a point. When the roadies take the stage, they pack up the equipment and then they tear down the stage. I've never heard someone say "pack it up and tear it down!" after a show, but it does have a more idiomatic ring than calling the Good Humor man the "ice cream vendor."

T. Nawrocki said...

Once they tear down the stage set, doesn't that require packing up as well? Maybe it should be "pack it up and tear it down and pack up some more."

Joe said...

This is a guess, but I think it would be more accurate to say you load out the stage than pack it up. You might have to pack up the legs to the risers -- assuming you've got the risers with legs that unscrew rather than fold in (there are both, after all) -- but you won't be doing a lot of packing up with the risers themselves.

Rob said...

one thing's for sure-- if they follow Jackson's instructions, and make his piano the last thing they pack away, they're going to have a tough time fitting it in the truck. Jackson, you'd make a LOUSY roadie.

I love that song, love how the roadies are "workin' for that minimum wage." Best roadie song ever?

T. Nawrocki said...

My favorite part is how they have Richard Pryor on the video. What kind of setup do you think they had on that bus? VHS wasn't really around at that point.

Gavin said...

A fully tricked-out tour bus could have had a VCR, but it was probably Sony brand. According to Wikipedia, in the US, Betamax came out in 1975 and VHS in 1977.

Tying this together with another thread upstream: the famous rumor about the specific instrument of Ronnie Van Zant's death was that it was a "Betamax guillotine"; i.e., the plane's VCR beheaded him on impact. That plane crash was 1977, the same year that Browne put out Running on Empty.

Gavin said...

Just ripped Running on Empty to the iPod and listened to "The Load Out"/"Stay" while walking the dog (exactly the right length of time for once around the block!).

If that's David Lindley on imitation Zodiac vocals, as the album credits suggest, he does a damn fine job. The whole medley holds up much better than I remembered, although I suspect more of it was overdubbed than played live at the Merriweather Post Pavilion (in Columbia, MD).

Rob said...

and it fades out! is that the only live album that fades out at the end?

"Richard Pryor on video" is indeed intriguing. His debut concert film "Richard Pryor: Live In Concert" wasn't released until 1979, so Jackson must have had some bootlegs. Somehow I doubt Richard Pryor had any Jackson videos on his tour bus.

Kinky Paprika said...

Rumor has it Jackson originally wrote "Senor Wences" but it didn't scan as nicely.

Gavin said...

Maybe the Richard Pryor tapes were of him on SNL?

There must be another live album that fades... will ponder. I guess on "Stay" they just kept jamming for another twenty minutes as the crowd gradually dwindled.

Joe said...

When did "Richard Pryor Live and Smoking" come out? It's a 1971 performance. That's if it's a concert film -- he was in "Silver Streak" and "Car Wash" in '76. "Silver Streak" was one of the biggest hits of that year. Might have that on the video.