by Michael Boyink / email@example.com
A blank stare.
An uncomfortable pause in the conversation.
A dawning realization of the age difference between us.
I had just said “We had to stop in Winslow, Arizona to go stand on the corner” to a friend. And I had a little grin on my face, waiting for his reaction.
It didn’t come.
“You know…the song?” I added.
He shook his head.
I hummed a few bars.
I didn’t think it possible.
But I was wrong.
You can, evidently, be of adult age in America and somehow have no cognizance of the very first song from the very first album by The Eagles.
Take It Easy.
Written by Jackson Browne and Glen Frey.
One of “500 Songs That Shaped Rock”, according to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Covered by Bruce Springsteen, Travis Tritt, Buck Owens, Jimmy Buffett. And countless tribute bands, jazz bands, string bands, and acoustic soloists.
Still in rotation on classic rock radio stations across the country.
Well, I’m a standing on a corner
in Winslow Arizona
It’s such a fine sight to see
It’s a girl, my Lord, in a flatbed
Ford slowin’ down to take a look at me
©Jackson Browne/Glenn Fry
The story about the song came to be is a bit unclear.
As many histories are.
Jackson Browne may or may not have broken down in Winslow. Or was it Flagstaff? And that girl, my Lord. Was she in a Ford? Or was it a Toyota?
No matter, really.
The song was recorded. And became a hit.
And in 1999 Winslow, Arizona opened “Standing’ on the Corner Park.”
The statue is said to be that of Jackson Browne.
A flatbed Ford is parked nearby.
A trompe l’oeil mural on the building forming one edge of the park keys into other lyrics from the song.
In 2016, Glenn Fry passed away, and Winslow added a statue of him as well.
100,000 people a year now stop in Winslow.
Just to stand on the corner.
And for Winslow, the railroad town where the trains stopped stopping, and the Route 66 town bypassed by the interstate?
That’s a fine sight to see.
Learn more about Winslow, Arizona at winslowarizona.org.