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  • Lance Mannion
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Larry Arlotta!!!???? (R.I.P.) Are you from Syracuse? His old bandmate Rick Cua is now a Christian rocker (a conceptual impossibility, as far as I'm concerned).


Great post!


The 20th century British composer Benjamin Britten was once quoted to the effect that the music of Giuseppe Verdi was so great that even if Britten didn't particularly like a piece of his, he figured it was his own fault. "And I don't feel that way about any other composer."

Well, I feel that way about Joni Mitchell (and Benjamin Britten, for that matter). Her music and lyrics are aging brilliantly, and she's definitely in the pantheon of composers that would include Cole Porter and The Beatles, for instance. As for the "Ladies of the Canyon" hippie period, the truth is that Joni was always most influenced by jazz from nearby Detroit and if you listen closely you can hear it in almost everything she plays.

Thanks for the "performer's view," by the way, and I wish I'd had an egg at the last performance of "Twelfth Night" I saw, though I would have aimed it at the Viola rather than the Malvolio.

jon st

Leaving aside for a now what Hippies were, or were not, it should be noted that the first people to call themselves Hippies marched in a parade in San Fran in 1966. They carried signs delcaring the death of the Hippies "killed by the media...R.I.P". They knew what was happening to them even as it was happening. You might keep that in mind when you come down on people you call Hippies.

Rob in Hawaii

Hey, I was at that Atlantic City show back in 1969 and I don't remember Joni Mitchell throwing a hissy fit. But I was probably doing diffrent drugs at the time than Professor Althouse. She's welcome to her memories as I am to whatever ones I still retain.

Too bad, however, that she chooses to dwell on the Canadian folk singer's performance rather than the dozens of other acts there that weekend during the Summer of Woodstock. I actually like Joni Mitchell (and I still swear, despite all common-sense explanations to the contrary, that she tried flirting with me when I spotted her across the room once at a Hollywood restaurant).

One act that I still cherish seeing at the festival was Janis Joplin along with Big Brother. Now THERE was a performer who believed in the lyrics to her songs. I still get goose bumps listening to "I Need a Man to Love" after all these years. And don't get me started on Tina Turner!

blue girl

Hey Lance -- Great post. I bet all your students loved you. Question for you -- didn't Joni Mitchell date Graham Nash? Maybe I'm wrong -- I just always think of him listening to "Little Green" on her "Blue" album. (I have no idea whether or not Nash was her daughter's father.) - It's just something I've always pictured.

The lyrics:
He went to california
Hearing that everything’s warmer there
So you write him a letter and say,
her eyes are blue.
He sends you a poem and she’s lost to you
Little green, he’s a non-conformer

If it's Neil Young, I've got major re-visualization exercises to do!

Oh! And here's a story about Neil Young that fits this post. (I already told Neddie Jingo this -- so if you're reading this Neddie -- I am boring and only have one or two good stories! Sorry!)

A few years back we went to see Neil Young at a small theatre. Very intimate and all acoustic. Anyway -- two women (everyone was in their 40s and 50s) -- were sitting front row center -- and talking, gabbing through Sugar Mountain!

He stops -- walks to the edge of the stage....and lectures them! About how he's trying to do his job and they are being rude -- on and on.

The audience was dead silent -- it was tense.

Of course, they were horrified and sat like stiffs through the rest of the show. Neil gave them a pic at the end of the show....but, can you imagine being lectured by NEIL YOUNG?

I suppose that would teach anyone to pay attention when it is truly appropriate attention!

Jack (CommonSenseDesk)

Miles of Aisles is good but Court and Spark is better. One fan's opinion.

The Heretik

Oh, to approach the altar! Where do I start but on my knees? Then I bounce back up!

WOOOOODSTOCK !! Woodstock actually took place many miles away from the town by that name. But nobody has to lie about this simple truth because nobody ever asks, Were you at Bethel in 1969?

CSNY + Joni? Joni + Nash, Joni + Crosby, yes. Young and Mitchell only share Canadian folkie roots, Stills got diddly from Joni, the writer of Both Sides Now, but Stills did see many different sides of Judy Collins, the singer who had the hit with the song. Oy.

Ha. I saw the first version of a CSNY "reunion" tour on September 11, 1974! on a bill with Jesse Colin Young, the Beach Boys, and Joni Mitchell

Neil Young, the godfather of grunge, was different from the other boys. Saw him six or seven times in the Seventies. Not only was he a wizard wailing high and holy, unlike Stills, Young never fell off a stage drunk so the show had to end early. (Charlottesville, VA 1977)

Joni? Wasn't a woman I knew in the Seventies that didn't love the woman for what she sang and who she was. Me too.


Best darn thing about this post is the comments.


Great post. This is why I keep coming back.


I've got numerous audience recordings of performances by the Grateful Dead during 67-69 which indicate the audience was extremely quiet during long stretches of the concert, quite well transported by the music. You know, you want to go ahead and bash yahoos who are rude during concerts, fine, but rudeness is not a definition of Deadhead.

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