Jackson Browne: “Boulevard”

ALBUM: Hold On

YEAR: 1980

WRITER: Jackson Browne

Peaked at number-19 on the Billboard Hot 100

Perhaps the strongest memory Jackson Browne has of recording his classic cut “Boulevard” is the argument he had with session drummer Jerry Marotta after the band laid down a really good first take of the song. The fireworks began after Browne asked them to run through it again. He recalls Marotta’s reaction. “’You gonna make us play it again?’ I said, ‘Yeah, it’s 12:15, Rick, it’s just the starting of the day.’ ‘Yeah, but we just played it the best it’s ever going to be played and why should we?’ ‘We should play it again because it’s not finished, Rick. I haven’t written it yet. I’d like to try it with this section, like, half as long. Can we try that?’ And he goes on to this diatribe about, ‘We’re the oxen that pull the plow and you’re gonna work us like dogs and then you’re gonna make us play all day and, like, you’re still going to go back to Take One.’ And he basically refused to play a second take. And maybe I even had a reputation at that point of, like, making people play something all day long and then going back to the first takes anyway.”

Jackson Browne celebrates his 69th birthday today (October 9th).

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