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In the 1970’s Jackson Browne was known as one of the originators of the carefree, California classic rock sound with hits like “Doctor My Eyes” and “Running on Empty.” As his career progressed, Jackson Browne’s knack for writing soul-searching lyrics turned more political. Browne continues to use his music as a vehicle for change today. His latest album, Downhill From Everywhere, was inspired by a documentary about the Pacific garbage patch and our impact on the planet.

On today’s episode Bruce Headlam talks to Jackson Browne about how he is able to turn catastrophic headlines into palatable songs. Browne also talks about moving to New York City when he was 18 and how he ended up writing songs for the Velvet Underground’s Nico. And Browne remembers the time his former label boss, David Geffen, shut down his attempt to quote the Black Panthers’ Bobby Seale in a song.

The Hosts

Rick Rubin

In addition to being a podcast host, Frederick Jay “Rick” Rubin is an American record producer and former co-president of Columbia Records. Along with Russell Simmons, he is the co-founder…

Malcolm Gladwell

Malcolm Gladwell is president and co-founder of Pushkin Industries. He is a journalist, a speaker, and the author of six New York Times bestsellers including The Tipping Point, Blink, Outliers,…

Justin Richmond

Justin Richmond is producer and co-host of the music podcast Broken Record with writer Malcolm Gladwell, New York Times editor Bruce Headlam, and music producer—and Def Jam co-founder—Rick Rubin. Justin…

Bruce Headlam

Bruce Headlam is one of the co-creators of the music podcast Broken Record. He worked at The New York Times for 19 years, including two years running the 50-person Video…