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Redneck Friend

by

Jackson Browne



Songfacts®:  You can leave comments about the song at the bottom of the page.

In this song Jackson Browne sings about letting loose his fun-loving, country side in an effort to improve relations with his lady. This alter ego was based on his real "Redneck Friend" - Gregg Allman. Browne was a huge fan of The Allman Brothers Band.
Elton John played piano on this track. He didn't have a US work permit at the time so he was credited as "Rockaday Johnny." Other musicians on the song were Doug Haywood on bass, Jim Keltner on drums, David Lindley on slide guitar, and Glenn Frey on harmony vocals. The previous year, Brown gave Frey the song that became the first single for the Eagles: "Take It Easy."
A track from Jackson Browne's second album, this was his third single.
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Comments (22):

At the time, the jury was out on whether this was a song about his penis or Gregg Allman.
- Tony, Jackson, MI
I can definitely buy "thekid"'s remark about Jackson having to change the title so they could at least print the song on the album (look at what the Stones ran into with "Star Star" aka "Starf--ker"). Also keep in mind this song was actually released as a single & it charted! You certainly could not have been able to do that with a song called "Big Red _______". :)
- Eric, West Lafayette, IN
I still think it's a great old rocker, regardless of the debate.
I think Jim Gordon's on drums on this track, but i'm not sure.
- Reed, New Ulm, MN
The fact that he sings it "red-HEADED friend" ought to remove any doubt about the subject matter he's seeking to "introduce" to his "pretty little one." I assume he was told to change the title by some suit. Quite the funny little perv, ol' JB.
- thekid, danville, CA
I have been a radio personality since 1973, in High School.

I've playing Jackson Browne since I got on a real radio station in Dayton, Ohio, WTUE since 1975.

We all thought Rosie was about masturbation and after listening to Redneck Friend for the 503rd time, I believe this could be a song about a young girl who had "Lived too much in too few years..." (to quote the Stones) who Jackson Browne wanted introduce to his wrung out penis.

Maybe both songs are about playing the "Big Al Home Game", or we are all easily misled.
- Alan, Dayton, Ohio, TX
I don't think it's about masturbation. It's just about him trying to talk a girl into bed with him.
It's a kicking cool song, and I kind of wish it didn't have the quirky undertone to the lyrics. But I still love the song.
- Max, Philipsburg, PA
this song is absolutely about masturbation. the little friend is the flaccid penis.. the redneck friend is when it has been rubbed a lot. his dad in the den and his mom out with a friend means it is safe to yank it without getting caught and 'breaking the rules'...
- ol hippy number 7, priest valley, CA
I was also high! Sneaky Pete plays on this album.
However uponn further consideration,I believe you are right! Peace Bro
- Victor D'Amico, San Diego, CA
Hey Mike I agree with everything you said about David Lindly, except one.
"Sneaky pete" Klienow play the pedal steel on this cut!
Dude! I was there!
http://www.united-mutations.com/k/kleinow.htm
- Victor D'Amico, San Diego, CA
I"m laughing out loud here...the lyrics are oddly incoherent, he's once again perfectly captured the essence of the moment. It's a window into the mind of a young young man (what was he, like 22?) who is saying just about anything to coax the object of his desire into agreement. Ah, I can't imaging that the gorgeous, talented Browne had to do too much coaxing. I hope everybody had a good time!
- Suzy, Stamford, United States
I read the meaning of this in an autobiography of JB. it started when they traveled alot by bus on tour and someone was always having to stop to pee. So they would say I have to take a friend by the hand. That developed into I have to take a redneck friend by the hand. It's about his penis.
- Joe, Corona, CA
This has always been my favorite Jackson Browne song. Until I came here though I didn't know the meaning behind it. I now like it even more. Hysterically funny!!
- David, Youngstown, OH
Definitely his penis (he must be circumcised). He's trying to get laid.

"I think the damage would do you good" "It's gonna feel so fine" "I'm going to try to swing you up into my saddle"

A much more creative take on the subject than Billy Joel's "Only The Good Die Young"
- stu, summit, NJ
It's about his penis.. the line "It's an eleven on a scale of ten" I think it kinda sums it all up.
- Joe, philly, PA
I always thought Redneck friend was some type of drug reference.
- Krista, Bonney Lake, WA
I thought that "Lookin like this dream will never end", "the stream will never end"! referred to his honeymoon in Venice and he wrote this after a day out on a gondola.
- Paul, Teddington
Of course it's about his penis - just read the lyrics. The last line, "Lookin like this dream will never end" is sung, "the stream will never end"! It's the first of a trio of songs that make up a story, the other two being The Times You've Come (think about it) and Ready or Not, where the girl ends up pregnant.
- Richard, London, England
David Lindley is one of the most underated guitarists ever.
- Peter, Montrose, DC
.......Gee.... I think David from Schereville is probably right.. :-) I didn't know THAT!!!
- Mike, Berkeley, CA
David Lindley plays a sizzling solo on this which many tried to duplicate the year this came out. David was playing other sessions at the time and he complained that everyone else he played with wanted him to play this solo again.
This man is a GIANT of the guitar. If you heard him play, you'd have to give him serious consideration as the most talented guitar player in the world.
Eventually, he became a solo artist and is always involved in interesting projects. He's played on MANY great records with other artists and even got into the world music scene playing instruments like the lute, dulcimer and various other stringed instruments in the musical styles of Turkey, Gypsies and other cultures. He's made some incredible records and he's always in new interesting projects such as "Twango Bango" or sometimes he plays with Ry Cooder in concerts. Before becoming famous, he once took part in a legendary Topanga Canyon banjo festival which went down to a "sudden death playoff" between him and Taj Mahal...
- Mike, Berkeley, CA
I do believe your wrong David. Its about a friend who is a redneck.
- Rita, Citrus Heights, CA
I think that this song is about Jackson's penis: "Honey let me introduce you to my redneck friend"
His song "Rosey" from the album "Running on Empty" definately is about masturbation.
- david, schererville, IN
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