Throwback Thursday: Razing Jackson Browne’s hotel room

July 17, 2014 

“Late last night about a quarter past four

Somebody come knockin’ down my hotel room door

Where’s the cocaine...

I said it’s runnin’ all ‘round my brain”


When Jackson Browne performed at the Mississippi River Festival at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, he stayed in Room 124 at the nearby Holiday Inn. In that room on Aug. 17-18, 1977, he recorded “Cocaine” and “Shaky Town.” He even mentioned that he’d recorded the songs there in the “Running on Empty” album liner notes.

Well, the hotel atop the bluff on Illinois 157 near Interstate 270 became dated, became a Knights Inn and then became history on Nov. 15, 1993. They saved the lobby, but Room 124 and the rest of the rooms were razed to build a Comfort Inn.

The 1977 gig was Browne’s third trip to the MRF, but his first as the lead act. He was in the backup band for both Yes and America during the previous appearances.

BND photographer Walter Grogan was a master of lyrics and music trivia, so it was appropriate that he was there to capture the death of a little rock ‘n’ roll history.

Belleville News-Democrat is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service