Joni Mitchell Looked Right Through Me

Joni Mitchell looked right through me

by RussellBuddy  Helm copyright 2013 all rights reserved

Joni Mitchell looked right through me sitting in the dressing room at the Troubador. Vince was introducing me to everyone. Vince Martin knew everyone. Here, sitting opposite this angel of song was disconcerting. I felt shy, and completely vulnerable under her enigmatic gaze. She was not saying much, getting on her game face. She just was. And that was gracious. Vince’s album for Capitol would be done soon, he would go back to Coconut Grove, and I would stay in LA and play with whoever. It seemed natural that I was meeting everyone the first week I was in town; Zappa, Buckley, Joni, John Sebastion… Maria Muldaur was at the Ashgrove down on Melrose. When Vince walked in, everybody perked up. He was a living piece of history and doing quite well. It was fun watching these  friends light up when they saw Vince. He has affected a lot of people’s lives in many magical ways. Sitting in Figaro’s, walls covered in newspaper clippings, he explained the significance of Figaro’s in the Village. I got the hipster’s history of America. Who would have thought…Van Dyke mentioned Lowell needed a drummer for his new band. I was so old fashioned, I did not realize that I could play with more than one act in town. I assumed that working with Tim would be the only gig I would play.

Forty two years later Joni strolls by our shop on Montana Avenue in Santa Monica. Cathy sees her and invites her in. We looked at each other.  She asked me, “How is Vince?”

by RussellBuddy  Helm copyright 2013 all rights reserved

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