Joni releases DJRD on December 13, 1977. This one really pisses off the folkie purists as it expanded further the jazz fusion trip The Chirp had begun an album earlier with Hejira.
November 25, 1976 ~ Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Eric Clapton, Joni Mitchell, Van Morrison, Neil Diamond, The Staple Singers, Ronnie Hawkins, and Dr. John join The Band for The Last Waltz, a farewell concert for the ages.
It’s at San Francisco’s Winterland Ballroom, the site of their very first performance together as The Band, way back in 1969. Martin Scorsese, Band friend and fan, agrees to film the event. Production designer Boris Leven acquires the set of Verdi’s La Traviata from the San Francisco Opera and has it set up as the stage backdrop. Robertson gets his ’59 Stratocaster guitar dipped in bronze, “like baby shoes,” for the occasion.
Before the show, Thanksgiving dinner is served to the 5,000 attendees, a feat requiring 6,000 pounds of turkey and 400 pounds of pumpkin pie. Once the show begins, the Band shares the stage with some of the biggest acts of the era. Neil Young and Joni Mitchell sing “Helpless” together. Van Morrison rips through “Caravan.” Eric Clapton hits “Further Up the Road.” Bob Dylan leads a mass jam of “I Shall Be Released,” which is intended to be the final song. When the crowd refuses to let it end, the musicians head out and finish things off with “Don’t Do It.”
The show goes down as a high-water mark of both rock concerts and rock documentaries after Scorsese’s The Last Waltz is released on April 26, 1978.In 1989, the Band is inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame. Five years later, they gain entry into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
I’m not alone and I know that. Millions have been moved by her music. Millions have used her music as a way to cope — as a way to grow. Few can turn a phase, write a lyric or paint a picture like Joni Mitchell. She’s a north star for a generation.
I told you went I met you I was crazy …
Happy birthday, Joni.
Erudite, unafraid of asking the big questions, and ever evolving to follow her creative muse, Laura Marling is the natural successor to Joni Mitchell.
October 30, 1975 ~ Orpheus performs the first show of his Rolling Thunder Revue at the War Memorial Auditorium in Plymouth, Massachusetts. Joan Baez, Bob Neuwrith, Joni Mitchell, Ramblin’ Jack Elliot, Roger McGuinn, and other rock n’ roll gypsies join in. If you haven’t seen the rock-doc, do it. Do it now.
Another must have …
“Morning Glory on the Vine”—a collection of drawings and watercolors that are paired with handwritten lyrics and bits of poetry—feels like an extension of Mitchell’s already considerable reach.
This is heady stuff. My favorite saluted and interpreted by yet another favorite.
However, as everyone knows, the higher the risk, often times the greater the rewards can be. And Carlile proved that tonight, delivering a performance for the ages that will be remembered as much in her career as a landmark moment as it will be looked upon as a tribute to Mitchell’s greatness.
Damn allergies …
Joni Mitchell made a rare public appearance at Cameron Crowe’s ‘Almost Famous’ musical on September 27th.