I know it has been a few weeks since we have had a song. I have been busy on the road for work and time would just not allow it. But we are back.
Today’s song is a song that is very near and dear to my heart. It is the song medley combo of The Load Out/Stay performed by Jackson Browne. This song was recorded and released the same year I was born so it is like we have aged together.
It is a wonderful song paying tribute to those people who work behind the scenes and seldom get recognition for their efforts. I love the piano parts in the songs where it is just the piano playing coming out loud and strong. It is very moving to me and I fell in love with the song when I first heard it about 15 years ago.
This song has some added meaning for me. I have been a big fan of Tony Bohnenkamp who is a local musician in central Iowa for about as many years as I can remember. You can check out his website here. He plays acoustic guitar and piano in solo shows around the area. He used to be the drummer in the band the Nadas. I remember one night about 10 years ago, Tony was playing at People’s Bar in Ames, and I was there watching the show. It wasn’t a huge crowd, but they were really into it. He was taking requests so I asked him if he knew this song. He said he didn’t but he loved the song. He told me that he would go home and learn it and the next time he saw me he would play it for me. Not only did he keep his word and learn the song, he now plays it for me whenever I see him play. It is like his tribute to one of his long-standing fans.
At his cd release party (Side 2 was the name of the cd), I was there and he played that song for me and it really moved me. It always does move me when he plays it, but it especially did that night.
I think it is important to remember the people behind the scenes. The people who make things go by doing the things that no one else wants to do. The fans who love you from the beginning and stay loyal through the years. For all of those blue coller music lovers out there who love the music for the music, this song is our anthem. I hope you enjoy!
Here is the original recording from the Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, Maryland on Aug. 27, 1977. Can you imagine being there that night?
Live performance on the BBC from the Shephard’s Bush Theatre in London in 1978.
Performance for foreign TV show in 1994. I have no idea what they are saying in the beginning either, but the song is great!
Live performance from the Jones Beach Amph. in NY on 6/16/89. The sound quality on this is fair at best.
Live performance from Prospect Park in Brooklyn, NY on 7/21/09.
How to play the Load Out on piano tutorial.
“The Load-Out” is a song by Jackson Browne from his 1977 album Running on Empty. It is a tribute to his roadies and fans. The song was recorded live at Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, Maryland.
“The Load-Out” describes the daily practices of a band and its road crew on a concert tour, and the emotions evoked throughout such an endeavor. The first three verses of the song consists of Browne singing and playing piano with David Lindley playing steel guitar. They are later joined by a synthesizer, followed by the rest of the band. Eventually “The Load-Out” segues into a fitting interpretation of Maurice Williams‘ 1960 hit “Stay,” sung by Browne, Rosemary Butler, and Lindley.
Many radio stations played “The Load-Out” and “Stay” together as a medley and although it wasn’t released as a single, “The Load-Out” charted as a tag-along to “Stay” on the singles charts based on airplay.
The Load Out/Stay
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
Tonight the people were so fine
They waited there in line
And when they got up on their feet they made the show
And that was sweet–
But I can hear the sound
Of slamming doors and folding chairs
And that’s a sound they’ll never know
Now roll them cases out and lift them amps
Haul them trusses down and get’em up them ramps
‘Cause when it comes to moving me
You guys are the champs
But when that last guitar’s been packed away
You know that I still want to play
So just make sure you got it all set to go
Before you come for my piano
But the band’s on the bus
And they’re waiting to go
We’ve got to drive all night and do a show in Chicago
or Detroit, I don’t know
We do so many shows in a row
And these towns all look the same
We just pass the time in our hotel rooms
And wander ’round backstage
Till those lights come up and we hear that crowd
And we remember why we came
Now we got country and western on the bus
R an B, we got disco in eight tracks and cassettes in stereo
We got time to think of the ones we love
While the miles roll away
But the only time that seems too short
Is the time that we get to play
People you’ve got the power over what we do
You can sit there and wait
Or you can pull us through
Come along, sing the song
You know you can’t go wrong
‘Cause when that morning sun comes beating down
You’re going to wake up in your town
But we’ll be scheduled to appear
A thousand miles away from here
People stay just a little bit longer
We want to play — just a little bit longer
Now the promoter don’t mind
And the union don’t mind
If we take a little time
And we leave it all behind and sing
One more song–
Oh, won’t you stay just a little bit longer
Please, please, please, say you will
Say you will