The Load Out / Stay - Jackson Browne
It always surprised me that Laurel Canyon wunderkind Jackson Browne should come up with such a spot-on description of life on the road in the modern era and indeed such a sensitive tribute to roadies everywhere. It starts beautifully with him seemingly musing on his piano at the end of a concert, after the audience have gone
Now the seats are all empty Let the roadies take the stage Pack it up and tear it down They're the first to come and last to leave Working for that minimum wage They'll set it up in another town
and he gives credit to to the audience too:
"...and when they got up on their feet they made the show..."
As the song, like their daily tour routine, and their bus, rises through the gears, moving up into second thrillingly with
"Roll those cases out and lift them amps
haul them trusses down and get 'em up them ramps"
before easing into 3rd with
"...till those lights come up and we hear that crowd and we remember why we came..." as his band joins in,
then into fourth with
"...Now we've got country and western the bus, r and b,"
and back into neutral, then nought to eighty and fifth into the setting sun with them driving off into the LA sunset, sounding well tuned, cruising, playing off the audience, enjoying it but, suitably, a little weary too.