Farther On

On Saturday evening, Gaynor and I went to see Jackson Browne at the Royal Albert Hall, probably the fifth time that I’ve seen him. It’s something we look forward to and the man never disappoints.

Now most artists do a tour in order to plug a new album but not this one at this time. Instead he played, mainly, those songs the audience wanted to hear and I hope that I wasn’t the only one who listened to some of them with tears in my eyes. You see, when I got divorced in 1976 and moved from Stevenage with my children to a rundown terraced house in Harrogate, well let’s just say that there were some difficult times. Yet, at the same time, I got involved in environmental and community activism and spent hours discussing our dreams with friends. And the music of Jackson Browne saw me through those four years and was the soundtrack to them. Indeed, so much did I play his music that, many years later, Matt, my son, told me that he always knew when I was in as he could hear the albums “Late for the Sky” or “The Pretender” being played as he walked down the street.

So strong were my feelings on Saturday evening that it was as if they were physical. Indeed, I’d have given almost anything to relive those times, unhappy though many of them were. You see, although they may have been difficult, they were also the times when the life that I now lead started and his music and the words, especially “Farther On” kept the pictures in my head alive and my dreams real. They have remained that way ever since. So, my thanks to someone without whose words and music, the world would have been a lesser place.

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