June 14, 2011 – 3:09 am

Soft rock had its share of romantic tragedy.

Click on the panels for a better view or to download artwork.

Chicago Soundstage 1976 [no label, 1CD]

Live at WTTW Studios, Chicago, Illinois, Nov 6, 1976. Very good FM stereo. Hissy with some glitches.

“Say a prayer for the pretender
Who started out so young and strong
Only to surrender”

In October 1976, Jackson Browne ended his mourning and went on tour to support his soon-to-be-released album, The Pretender. The highlight of this tour appears to be the gig in Chicago to be recorded and broadcast for PBS’ Soundstage program. It was timed for the November release of The Pretender.

Seven months earlier, Browne’s wife, Phyllis Major ,had overdosed on pills in March. They had been married for only four months. Fans wondered how Browne was coping with the loss. Whether the next album would allude to it. But aside from Sleep’s Dark And Silent Gate and Here Come Those Tears Again (written with Phyllis’ mother), Browne left personal matters private.

The Soundstage show seemed like an easy way to update old fans and win new ones. Most of the songs performed came off the critic’s fave Browne album, Late For The Sky. His complex album that delved into the romantic poet’s favourite themes of love, loss and the end of life. The performance was smooth and technically sound. No angsty moment. No primal scream. In fact, this performance sounds detached and cold. Quiet unlike Late For The Sky which while not screeching its message was “cool”.

The source of this show is a first generation cassette recording of the FM broadcast. Thanks to 38F who shared this on DIME in 2007. We’ve yet to see another recording of this broadcast.
- Professor Red


Note: Phyllis Major was a popular European model who met Jackson Browne at the Hollywood venue the Troubador, just after his split from Joni Mitchell. She was also a budding actress. In 2004, the 1973 film The Candy Snatchers, in which she had a part, was finally issued on DVD. The DVD reached Jackson Browne two years later when one of the people who brought this film back to “life” finally met Browne.

Of particular interest to rock fans is this bit: “Susan Sennett is the longtime wife of Graham Nash, and, at the time of filming, Tiffany Bolling had been involved with Stephen Stills, so here is a movie that has cast the girlfriends of three seminal “California sound” artists who were frequent collaborators. However, the women were not aware of that status during filming - (Phyllis) Major’s scenes were shot separately from Bolling and Sennett, the latter two women did not know each other socially despite having boyfriends in the same band”.

Since that meeting with Browne, the writer has also made contact with Browne and Phyllis Major’s son, Ethan, who now also has a copy of his mother’s film. Full report here.

Click on the highlighted tracks to download the MP3s (these are high quality MP3s - sample rate of 224 kbps).

Due to the size of some of the files, please be very patient when downloading the tracks. It could be that the server was very busy. Please try again later. Kindly email us at [email protected] if you encounter persistent problems downloading the files.

Track 01. Intro / The Fuse (9.1MB)
Track 02. Rock Me On The Water (7.6MB)
Track 03. Late For The Sky* (9.2MB)
Track 04. The Road And The Sky* (8.7MB)
Track 05. Farther On* (9.8MB)
Track 06. Fountain Of Sorrow* (drop/glitch around 2:58) (10.2MB)
Track 07. Before The Deluge (12.3MB)
Track 08. Walking Slow* (6.5MB)
Track 09. I Thought I Was A Child (5.7MB)
Track 10. The Pretender (12.1MB)

* all originally found on 1974’s Late For The Sky album.

The (likely) lineup:
Jackson Browne - vocals, keyboard, guitars
David Lindley - guitars, violin
John Mauceri - drums
Bryan Garofolo - bass
Mark Jordan - piano, guitar
David Mason - organ
David Landau - guitars

The Pretender reflected on Jackson Browne’s late wife only on Sleep’s Dark And Silent Gate and Here Come Those Tears Again. Click on the link to order the album.

A grey(?) release called On Stage (1976 Broadcast) has appeared at an online store. This appears to be a European release. It is due July 4. Check here.

  1. 14 Responses to “RUN RUN RUN”

  2. I’ve long owned a vinyl boot called “The Fuse - Live In Chicago 1976″, which matches this set minus The Road And The Sky and Walking Slow. I can’t A/B because turntable is not available and it’s been well over 30 years since I’ve played it. Is it safe to assume this is from the same performance?

    By Tom ( a different one) on Jun 14, 2011

  3. Hello Tom

    Sorry, but we do not know.

    By Admin on Jun 14, 2011

  4. Many thanks - some of my favourite songs here, esp. ‘Farther On’.

    By Margaret on Jun 15, 2011

  5. Wonderful, really … Late for the Sky was for me the highlight of Jackson Browne’s recording career … very moving, vivid and well judged. Saw him live in concert in Belfast once and he was outstanding … quite brilliant. Thanks for this. Cheers.

    By Canute on Jun 15, 2011

  6. Hope someone can find a better-sounding copy of this, sounds like that cassette was left in a hot car or something…

    By murmurer on Jun 15, 2011

  7. murmurer - am in agreement! Since it has been now digitized and saved, would recommend that the tape be removed from the cassette shell and placed into a new cassette housing. Run it forwards and flip and run to end - maybe a few times. Assuming that the virgin blank and original recorder were tracking correctly when recorded, this might help alleviate some of the wow and flutter, hem and yaw. I know it’s sacrilege to affect the only known “master”, but until artificial intelligence gets around to filling in missing sounds and unraveling warped tape electronically, this might help. Of course, if the original tape and recorder caused the effect, this ain’t a solution.

    By 3yrsnojob on Jun 16, 2011

  8. Hi Tom,

    I also have that soundstage bootleg and i am pretty sure it is the same show

    By bert on Jun 17, 2011

  9. Glad you still use 4shared as Megaupload is no longer working in Malaysia… btw I had the same boot The Fuse…. long time since I heard it:)

    By psyclist on Jun 18, 2011

  10. Thanks bert!

    By Tom ( a different one) on Jun 21, 2011

  11. I wonder if anyone has the audio tracks of Jackson Browne and David Lindley live in Philadelphia in 2006 … would love to see that posted.

    By Earl B. on Jun 23, 2011

  12. According to the list of commercially available bootlegs listed at ,
    “The Fuse - Live In Chicago 1976″ is the same as the Soundstage show posted here.

    By draftervoi on Jun 30, 2011

  13. Nice to see him show up here again. I haven;t heard this yet but sounds like i’m in for a treat. Thanks

    By Matt on Jul 24, 2011

  14. Once again many thanks for this. I will listen later on tonight. I’m so pleased to be able to hear this!

    By bev on Oct 29, 2011

  15. This is a terrific show, and I hope that there are other versions with fewer tape issues. Re-housing the tape is a great suggestion. I’ve had some luck improving playback by trying different tape players. But if this is a second or third generation tape, the defects may be impossible to remove. In that case, I recommend alcohol, THC, high volume, and a good equalizer with lots of lights and sliders. Enjoy.

    By Eric on Nov 20, 2014

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