Joni Woodstock – Mitchell Misses the Boat but Captures a Generation in Song!

Every once in a blue moon I like to talk about music. As much as writing has a place in my life, so does music. I will admit here and now, however, that I do not have a single ounce of talent when it comes to music. The States and provinces that have not passed laws prohibiting me from singing are merely the ones that did not yet hear me singing. I took guitar lessons for several years, and quickly forgot everything I ever learned. I do attempt to write lyrics the odd time, but other than that I steer clear. I would trade most things, though, for the ability to sing. When I was a kid, my goal was to be the next Mick Jagger. The closest I ever got to my goal? In upper-grade school, I was called Mick. That was only because I had the fattest lips in the school, though. Kids attempting to be cruel sometimes unintentionally compliment. I did NOT mind being called Mick.

Now that I’ve gone completely away from what I was going to talk about, I’ll need to swing back and pick Joni up.

mitchell, joni

Joni Mitchell. I consider her a Canadian treasure. I heard a sliver of her interview on Q. Poor thing had to miss Woodstock because her agent at the time, David Geffen, thought she wouldn’t be able to fly into the farm and fly out in time to attend the sucky Dick Cavett show she was scheduled to guest on the next day. How mad would you be? I mean, seriously…how mad!? So Joni missed Woodstock. She saw it on TV.

Still, she wrote THE best song about the experience ever recorded…the definitive Woodstock generation song. AND…her version is sooooo much better than CSN&Y’s version. And yet, so many people accidentally give them credit for penning the song. It’s the song of a generation, and too many people don’t realize that Canada’s own Joni Mitchell wrote it.

I love all kinds of music. But something about Joni Mitchell speaks to me on a crazy deep level. When I was 6-8 years-old, I lived next door to a record store (Target Tape & Records). I worked there…but I was too young to be on record as an employee. So my brother and I got paid in records (they’re the black vinyl discs that are slowly coming back into style). I had several Joni Mitchell albums. I think Ladies of the Canyon is my favourite, but I would probably give a different answer on a different day. Hejira is also a hot album! (-:

Today, I wanted to share Woodstock with you…how it was intended. (-: CSN&Y do do a wonderful job…but it’s not Joni. I’ve actually seen CSN&Y do it live. I still have to catch Ms. Mitchell singing it. She has such a soulful and powerful voice. Enjoy!

By Kevin Craig

Author, Poet, Playwright. Author of The Camino Club, Billions of Beautiful Hearts, and Book of Dreams, all from Duet Books, the LGBTQ Young Adult imprint of Chicago Review Press. Other books: Pride Must Be A Place, Half Dead & Fully Broken, Burn Baby Burn Baby, The Reasons, Sebastian's Poet, and Summer on Fire.

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