Take it easy, take it easy
Don’t let the sound of your own wheels drive you crazy
Lighten up while you still can
Don’t even try to understand
Just find a place to make your stand
And take it easy
That’s the 1972 hit song Take It Easy written by Jackson Browne and recorded by the Eagles. I loathe both Jackson Browne and the Eagles. As my brothers and I hit puberty in the early to mid-seventies, we each became interested in rock music. David, the oldest, gravitated to the Grateful Dead and the Allman Brothers. Dana, one-year younger than David, liked mellow singer/songwriter types like Jackson Browne and Neil Young. Me, one year younger still, I listened to the Beatles. Only the Beatles.
So what’s my beef with Jackson Browne? Well beside playing the dull, bland rock songs like Running on Empty and The Pretender that I heard 24/7 around my house for the duration of middle and high school, Browne’s an abuser… maybe. Actually, he was never charged and never directly accused, but well, he’s a wealthy and well-known man, and we’ve seen an endless string of those absolved from some pretty obvious abuse charges. Plus, the woman he allegedly abused was Daryl Hannah.
Daryl Hannah was my first serious movie star crush. The year I graduated college, one of the blockbuster movies was Splash, a romantic comedy with Hannah playing a mermaid. I found her hypnotically cuddly, like a kitten. I wanted to pick her up and smoosh my nose into her neck. In fact, when I got an actual kitten a couple of years later, I named her Madison after Hannah’s mermaid character. I could devote the rest of this blog post to what may or may not have happened between Hannah and Browne, but I’m really not interested. I already hated his music; the rumors just gave me license to hate the musician as well.
What’s my problem with the Eagles? They plagued the world with the song Hotel California.
But Take it Easy is on my mind. It’s Susan’s fault. She kept saying “Let’s take it easy.” “I’m going to take it easy.” “I never get to take it easy.” So now I’m taking it easy, writing this nonsense. Susan stopped taking it easy a half hour ago and began making dinner and roasting a chicken for various weekend meals. Oh, and she just went down into the basement to do laundry.
It’s the start of a three-day weekend in the United States. Monday is Memorial Day, originally created as an annual holiday to honor and mourn Americans who died in war. Now, it’s a good day to buy a car or a couch because all the stores have “Blow-out Memorial Day Sales.” Or drink beer. Or go to the pool.
There won’t be any pool-going in Gettysburg. We’re currently in the opening downpour of sixty hours of rain. The forecast for the weekend is soggy through Sunday. Lots of time to take it easy, to write, binge Bob’s Burgers with my family, and read. I won’t be outdoors running, hiking or biking in my beloved woods—my favorite place to be—but I’m facing a long, unencumbered weekend with few responsibilities and most of my favorite activities.
Early last week, my childhood friend Scott Facebook-messaged me a link to Jackson Browne playing a pandemic concert in his living room. Like my brother Dana, as a teenager Scott loved Jackson Browne, I guess he somehow mistakenly associated his love of the music as something I had too. I rarely hear from Scott, maybe once every eighteen months, so in his honor, I sucked up my dislike and watched the video. I tried to look for secret signs that Jackson Browne is a monster, but I couldn’t see any. He looked like any other aged rocker selflessly playing his piano to a nonpaying crowd.
For those reading from America, enjoy your three-day weekend regardless of the weather, dry or wet. For the rest of you, well, a normal weekend isn’t so bad either.