Fear of a Female Genius, a peak behind her curtain. I love Joni. To see her live a dozen or so years ago, with Van Morrison and Bob Dylan, fulfilled a wish. I was there, after all, for Joni, knowing she rarely did “on the road” shows. I stood in awe for her entire set and was delighted when she collaborated with Van and Bob on the Gorge stage savoring every single minute of her presence on stage.
I have most of her CD’s. Music that fills my space often. And a favorite for my road trips. Her influence on today’s female singer songwriters is in their words, their lyrical sense of spinning their tunes.
There really is no “favorite” Joni song or album. They all are signs of her genius, rich in feelings. However, her song “Clouds” takes me back to my youth and brings both a joy and a melancholy. This is concert season, and even Joni got out to see an old friend. Enjoy the following “peak behind her curtain” outing. And thank you Joni, for bringing so much joy to the world with your music and art. Forever in our hearts!
She attended the James Taylor concert at the Hollywood Bowl last night, sitting discreetly at the back of the Garden section wearing a ball cap and wrapped in warm clothing in a wheelchair.
Most people didn’t notice her, some people wouldn’t even recognize who she was if they did see her.
Joni Mitchell doesn’t make music anymore.
That simple fact is sad enough, because at 74, had she not smoked for 61 years, she STILL might’ve sung her sweet and beautiful songs like”Both sides now”, “Big Yellow Taxi” “Woodstock”, “”Help me”, and “A case of you” somewhere on some stage on some tour.
But it wasn’t to be.
Her voice has been ravaged, and her life has been tormented with battles with polio, paranoia and her struggle with a rare and controversial disease called Morgellons
Joni Mitchell remains, to me, perhaps the greatest singer/artist/ songwriters of the 20th century…or at least one of the elite.
Yet, she welcomes obscurity and shuns publicity after a near death stroke that many believed would be her final curtain.
Joni Mitchell has lived with much heartbreak…she abandoned her career for two years and ‘cried for a year’ after a bad marriage and giving her daughter away for adoption.
When she re-united with her daughter about a decade ago, Joni also became an instant grandparent..and the joy washed away so much sorrow and guilt.
Her friends visit her, and she still paints, brilliantly, but not with the frequency she once did.
Her artistry is so diverse and her work so varied on canvas and acrylic that she might’ve been an even more acclaimed artist as a painter or sculptor.
She grants no interviews, but remains a passionate environmentalist, speaking only publicly on that subject.
Last night she was escorted slowly and quietly in her wheelchair and few if any paid attention to her.
By any standard, this woman has led an amazing creative and productive life.
But there is still sadness in seeing her something like her own self portrait she painted that was inspired by her hero Van Gogh.
She is alone, but not lonely, quiet but not muted, challenged but not defeated.
There is a special place in my heart for Joni Mitchell and millions have that place too..
No doubt she visited with her former lover and friend James Taylor after the show…or before it, and she might’ve recalled old times, music, art, or just small talk.
Joni Mitchell is alive.
She’s not what she was, but she is alive and trying to live a somewhat reclusive life free from pain, anguish, and illness.
Cherish her, remember her while she is here.
A Joni Mitchell public sighting is rare, like seeing some endangered species.
But her art and her music will outlive her and remain vibrant and alive for hundreds of years.
Hope you enjoyed the show Joni.
We certainly enjoyed yours.