Of Missing Persons

Album: Hold Out (1980)
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Songfacts®:

  • This song is about Lowell George of the band Little Feat, who died of a heart attack brought on by drug abuse on June 29, 1979, when he was just 34.

    Browne was good friends with George, and Little Feat was a huge influence on his music. George played guitar on Browne's 1976 track "Your Bright Baby Blues."
  • The song is addressed to Lowell George's daughter Inara, who was 4 years old when her father died. In the song, Browne shares his memories of Lowell and offers his encouragement. Inara inherited many of her dad's musical gifts and became a singer-songwriter, best known as part of the duo The Bird And The Bee with Greg Kurstin.
  • Browne wrote this song soon after performing at a Lowell George tribute concert held August 4, 1979 at The Forum near Los Angeles.
  • The song ends with these lines:

    On July the Fourth
    From the sunny south and the frozen north
    This will always be your day of birth
    May you always see what your life is worth


    Inara George was born on the 4th of July, 1974. But there's more significance to that day.

    "July the Fourth is Inara's birthday," Browne explained in Rolling Stone. "Every year, they'd give her a huge birthday party, a huge barbecue. It was sort of a gathering of the clans and various far-reaching members of the community who liked to be together. So 'Of Missing Persons' is about this day and about a birthday that turns into a wake."

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