MUSIC | JONI MITCHELL’S WOODSTOCK 40th ANNIVERSARY

WOODSTOCK

I came upon a child of God
He was walking along the road
And I asked him where are you going
And this he told me
I’m going on down to Yasgur’s farm
I’m going to join in a rock ‘n’ roll band
I’m going to camp out on the land
I’m going to try an’ get my soul free

We are stardust
We are golden
And we’ve got to get ourselves
Back to the garden

Then can I walk beside you
I have come here to lose the smog
And I feel to be a cog in something turning
Well maybe it is just the time of year
Or maybe it’s the time of man
I don’t know who I am
But you know life is for learning

We are stardust
We are golden
And we’ve got to get ourselves
Back to the garden

By the time we got to Woodstock
We were half a million strong
And everywhere there was song and celebration
And I dreamed I saw the bombers
Riding shotgun in the sky
And they were turning into butterflies
Above our nation

We are stardust
Billion year old carbon
We are golden
Caught in the devil’s bargain
And we’ve got to get ourselves
back to the garden

© Siquomb Publishing Company

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ROAD TO WOODSTOCK by JONI MITCHELL. 1969

‘The Road To Woostock’ is a two-edged drawing; it can be viewed with the road leading towards the top or the road leading out sideways. It was a shorthand of the moment when Jane Lurie, my road manager at the time, and I were on the way to Woodstock. There was a one-way sign leading into this Esso station, both those signs are in there and I ordered a Coke, so there’s a Coca-Cola in the side of Janie’s face. In front of us at the gas pumps was a van so from one angle it’s a van and from another it’s a mountain The drawing was finished before the gas tank filled up, then I colored it later.

– Joni Mitchell

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WOODSTOCK | DRAWING + WRITTEN LYRICS

12/100 = EXTREMELY RARE:

from eBay, July 2010:

DESCRIPTION


This is a very rare hand written book with poems, drawings and watercolors that Joni Mitchell made for only her friends and loves in 1970. The title of the book is “Morning Glory on the Vine”. The book is 9 X 11 1/2 and has 58 pages with over thirty illustrations and watercolors. It is numbered 12 out of 100 and signed underneath by Joni. There is a handwritten note to David [Cohen] Blue who was a musician and songwriter that died in 1982. The note says “For David who loved me like a brother when no one could love me as anything but a poet or an illusion-love struggles back-a thin leaf promising a flower /71”. An amazing book! There are a few pages that have come loose from the binding and it is lightly soiled on the outside only. It does smell like cigarettes when you open it. Buyer pays insurance.

Joni Mitchell at Big Sur, California, 1969

© Robert Altman

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Few lyrics, stripped of their melody, make a successful transition to the printed page. Joni MItchell’s ‘Woodstock’ is an exception. This is an important modern poem — possibly the most popular and influential poem composed in English since Sylvia Plath’s ‘Daddy.’

– Camille Paglia

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I still find it hard to believe that Joni missed the big event due to her manager’s intransigence that she not miss the taping of The Dick Cavett Show. He was afraid that she’d never get out of that instant city of 500,000 in time for the show (above).

Yet, she was still able to distill that moment in history from an insider’s perspective.

“Woodstock” is the definitive song of the end of an era. It marks the passing from optimism to pessimism in our culture.

Mitchell has recorded four versions of the song. Her last (2000), orchestrated by the wiz Vince Mendoza, is (I think) the definitive version of this divine song. It gives me shivers when she sings “we were half a million STRONG’ and  “they were turning into butterflies above our nation …”

from top:

SodaHead

Michael Francis McCarthy

Michael Francis McCarthy

Talking Photos:

Napalm bombs explode on Viet Cong structures south of Saigon in the Republic of Vietnam.

Year: 1965

Source: The National Archives, ARC Identifier: 542328

COMING: 2010 VANCOUVER :: CULTURAL OLYMPIAD ::: JONI MITCHELL’S THE FIDDLE + THE DRUM

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