City Beat

News, insight and discussion on Sacramento and its neighborhoods

March 3, 2011
Mayor jams with rock legend Jackson Browne

His city's budget is running on empty. He's hoping the Kings stay, just a little bit longer.

But Mayor Kevin Johnson must be feeling a little bit better this morning after sitting down on Wednesday with legendary rocker Jackson Browne.

Browne was in town to perform at the Community Center Theatre. Before the show, however, he attended the mayor's Greenwise meeting at the Crocker Art Museum. Johnson and Browne also sat down for 20 minutes alone to talk about charter schools and Browne's advocacy to rid the world of plastic bags.

The day started for Browne around the time you might expect for a rock star. R.E. Graswich, the mayor's special assistant, picked up Browne and his girlfriend, artist Dianna Cohen, at 1:45 p.m. at the Sheraton Grand and drove them to the Crocker.

"He's one of the most mellow people I've ever met," Graswich told me this morning. "He's a laid back, surfer-type guy."

Browne spoke briefly at Greenwise, the mayor's ongoing green technology initiative, and read the lyrics to a song he's written about plastic bags. Johnson then presented the rock star with a resolution that proclaimed Wednesday "Jackson Browne Day" in the city.

"The mayor is a big fan of his music," Graswich said.

After the meeting with the mayor, Graswich drove Browne and Cohen to the Cosmo Cafe on K Street for a bite to eat. The couple later walked over to the Capitol to meet with the governor.

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About City Beat

Ryan Lillis has covered the city of Sacramento, its 108 neighborhoods and its politicians since 2008. Prior to that, he covered crime at The Bee. A native of upstate New York, Lillis has a journalism degree from the University of California, Berkeley.

Contact reporter Ryan Lillis at


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