A Chronology of Appearances

This work-in-progress lists all currently known appearances, drawn from a variety of sources.
Compiled by Simon Montgomery, © 2001-2018.
Special thanks to Joel Bernstein for his contributions and assistance.
Latest Update: February 16, 2018
Please send comments, corrections or additions to: simon@icu.com

1970.01.17 Joni's next appearance Royal Festival Hall London, England

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  • Anita Gabrielle Tedder's ticket stub

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AshleyMedicks on

I thought I would post an account of one of the very best days of my life.................the day I got to spend some time alone with my heroine.

It was Saturday, the 17th of January, 1970. I was 16!
I had fallen in love with Joni right from buying 'Song to a Seagull', a year and a half before. At that age, trepidacious at the very thought of asking someone out............I stole her lyrics for my love letters. "Picked up a pencil and wrote, I love you, in my finest hand..........wanted to send it, but I don't know where I stand", etc, etc.
I had heard that Joni was coming to perform at The Royal Festival Hall in London, my home town, and had booked a ticket, on the day they were released. As an added extra bonus, I asked a chum who had left my grammar school 3 years before, and was now heading up the sound crew at the hall, if he would consider doing me a big favour? If I promised that it would be for my personal consumption and great pleasure only, would he let me bring along my Grundig reel to reel, stereo tape recorder? "Of course,", he said, "and what's more, I'll plug it in off the main mike!" Off I went, as excited as any true Joni acolyte could possibly be, and met my friend backstage, an hour before the curtain went up. I then took my seat for what turned out to be an amazing concert.
She was everything we could have wished her to be, and so much more. After the show, I went backstage to meet up with Mick, and collect my recorder. When I saw his face, I knew at once that something had gone awry. It turned out that due to being so busy, he had just forgotten to press, 'record'!! By way of making up for this, he then asked if I'd like to meet her? Nervous as hell at the prospect.............I jumped at the chance. He took me down long corridors, (every second of what was about to happen is burned into my heart!), and opened her dressing room door. The room was heaving with friends and well-wishers, so, I made my way to the corner of the room, found a chair and sat down to listen to the hubbub.
Bit by bit, the room began to empty, until.................there was just the two of us. Because of where she was sitting, she hadn't noticed me, but..............she looked round, and our eyes met for the first time! "Oh"......."Hi there", she said, puffing on the first of a long line of cigarettes, "And who might you be?" I told her just how I came to be there, and she laughed. She offered me a pre-release copy of 'Ladies of the Canyon' which she signed, and which, many years later was stolen, along with a big chunk of my precious vinyl collection at a party. We then started chatting like we'd known each other for years. She had stolen all my nerves and worries with her natural graciousness. I asked her about 'For free', which she had just sung, accompanied by a mellow and brilliant clarinettist. Was she as 'hung up' about fame and riches, as the song suggested she was? Her answer was forthright and honest, and I promised not to tell...............so, I shall keep it to myself, as I have done all these years.
We were alone together, apart from the odd head coming around the door, for about half an hour. It seemed like 5 minutes! She apologised about having to go on to a gathering, and was due to catch the 'red eye' back home to Laurel Canyon, the following day.
I have loved her, truly, madly and oh so deeply, for more than half a century!
Oh, and I am privileged to share her birthday. I turned 65 on the 7th of November, the day she was being so royally serenaded in LA.

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Archival Comments

From "Concerts Attended", a music exam project by Anita Gabrielle Tedder (aged 15)

17 January 1970

When I heard that my idol, Joni Mitchell, was doing a solo concert at the Royal Festival Hall, I could hardly restrain myself from singing out loud; in fact I sang through all the songs on her two LP's in the bath to celebrate. I had waited for this concert for over a year, since I first hear her incredible music. I telephoned and booked the tickets only three hours after telephone booking opened. I was amazed to receive tickets in row T in the 25 shilling seats! I had expected to be very near the front but I found out that 12 hours after booking opened, the seats were a quarter sold out.

Joni can scarcely be described as a folk singer anymore, her songs have become too complex. They still have the Joni Mitchell stamp, though. Her song "Both Sides Now" is currently a hit for Judy Collins, another folk singer with a very nice voice.

The lights dimmed and the red stage spotlights came on. I could not quite grasp the fact that there was Joni Mitchell! Joni is an excellent guitar player on her records. I was shocked when she began playing exactly as on the record; I did not believe it was possible to play and sing like that at the same time. She opened with "Chelsea Morning" and carried on to sing many of her famous hits including "Cactus Tree". I was astounded again when she went over and played the piano. She played a new number called "He played real good for free". The applause after each song was deafening. She concluded the first half bathed in mauve lights singing "Both Sides Now".

The second half opened with "Marcie"; the real Marcie was in the audience followed by "Nathan La Franeer". She then sang two more songs on the piano; one called "Two Houses" and the new Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young single "Woodstock". She then gave us a description of how, when she was in Hawaii, she had seen a lovely sight: flowers in the sun with a beautiful aroma from all sides. The palm trees by golden sands and the sky was a beautiful blue. Right in the middle of this beautiful scene was a parking lot. This prompted her to write a comic song called "They Paved Paradise and Put Up A Parking Lot". It was a sort of rock and roll beat. The lights alternated between blue and red. Before she finished the song, the lights were accidentally switched off and all that could be heard was Joni screeching with laughter. This really broke the ice and there were many cheers and laughter.

She finished, so she thought, with her last song. She went off. The uproar was the most fantastic thing I have ever witnessed. Everybody, and I mean everybody, leaped to their feet and shouted for more. She came back,bowed and went off. Three or four minutes elapsed and still she did not reappear. Nobody moved but kept on yelling for more. At last she came back and sang one of her best songs "Michael from Mountains". She went off again and exactly the same thing happened. She had to sing another song. She asked what song we would like. One chap yelled above the rest "Chelsea Morning". She pointed out that she had already sung that once, but he insisted. "That'll teach you to come in late". He replied "PLEASE sing Chelsea Morning". She obliged him with two verses. She sang her encore in which we all had to join in the chorus, "And the seasons they go round and round and the painted ponies go up and down. We're captive on a carousel of time. We can't return, we can only look behind from where we came, and go round and round and round in the circle game." We all enjoyed singing that.

Everyone stayed and continued shouting. Five minutes elapsed. She had to come back. She sang a song about smiling at people and loving everybody. I was deliriously happy in fact so was everyone else in the sold out hall. We sang the chorus about ten times, clapping our hands and crying with laughter. She had to go this time. When she did not return, we all took up a football chant of "More". It was so incredible. I was very unhappy when it finished. I don't know how Joni manages to obtain this atmosphere. The words in her songs remove any doubts I ever have that life is a drag and that people are all hypocrites. She makes me see the good things in life and renews my spirit. Any cynics would be less cynical if they listened to the words of her songs. The melodies are also beautiful and very unusual. Obviously, I could write an entire music project about Joni and her numerous songs. Just one more word. Joni communicates to me what she, me and all the young people who were at the concert desire more than anything in the world. Freedom.

"Fly silly seabird
No dreams can possess you
No voices can blame you
For sun on your wings
My gentle relations
Have names they must call me
For loving the freedom
Of all flying things
My dreams with the seagulls fly
Out of reach out of cry".