Monday, 22 June 2015

God bless Joni Mitchell

I came to Joni late, on my own, finally checking out an urge on YouTube that had lain dormant for 30 years or more. Cos I'm a guy. I never listened to Joni when I was young. I mean, you just didn't, right? Sure, I was aware of Big Yellow Taxi and subliminally grokked its environmental message, but Deep Purple and Led Zeppelin had my attention and then it was punk and New Wave and... well, the occasional woman would pierce my fatherless self-crafted manly carapace - Kate Bush certainly had my attention and my heart's wounds were touched by The Hounds of Love and I listened to Patti Smith and Chrissie Hynde of course, but she was proper rock'n'roll..

...but a few years back I was sat alone in my front room, late one night, savouring a cold beer and maybe I'd smoked some spliff, I can't remember, but I thought, hmm, Joni Mitchell... what was the fuss all about? All those girls with her albums way back in the day. Was it some kind of female secret initiation rite? The album I chanced upon on YouTube was inevitably Blue. And I listened. And I was enthralled. River pierced me like no other song, brought tears to my eyes, but more, it spoke of a soul-deep sadness that perhaps all of us share, and now, as a fully fledged adult male and mature enough to have finally contacted my own heart-wound, I I was able to allow myself to open out and let Joni in. Blue, River, Big Yellow Taxi, Woodstock, with it's prophetic lyrics that are mirrored perhaps in the sentiments of Jame's Cameron's movie Avatar (which is really a rip from Ursula Le Guin's The Word For World Is Forest), and again, a message that spoke to my soul. And now I discover that she is seriously ill and I've only just got to know her. God bless you Joni Mitchell.