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Joni introduced the song 'For the Roses' with this story (transcribed by Bob Muller):
"All my life I've had kind of a battle going, a running duality between the spiritual & the sensual, you know, and I decided it was time the spiritual won out, at least for a little while...I looked around and my place had gotten kinda Tchoctky'ed up, over-opulent, and I thought that I had strayed off of some kind of path, like I was losing something, I don't know... So I trekked back up to Canada, bought myself a piece of land, decided to put my money where my mouth was, get myself genuinely back to the garden, or at least give it a try, you know?
"I've always been fascinated by the story of Adam & Eve, not because that was when women became a lower class of citizen, you know, I mean, (applause) No, no, the story never meant that to me, I thought that it was a beautiful poem written by a guy with a lot of future projection. You know, a lot of times it's interpreted by evangelists and different clerical people that I've talked to, as a place that existed a long time ago somewhere along the outskirts of the Nile or Jerusalem, something that disappeared, and I'd always thought it was kinda the story of the beginning of knowledge, you know? But I guess I'm side-tripping, running off at the mouth here, but... What it always kinda meant to me was, that, Man, the Beauty of Man, was his superiority while he still maintained his humility, which was before he *realized* that he had a virtue. Because as soon as you've got a virtue and you KNOW about it, it's gone, forget it...(laughter)
"So, he began as a tender of the creatures, not as a superior, he was sort of gentle with them, then one day he woke up and he looked at himself, and said 'Goddamn, they got better plumage, and furs, and everything', so he started to drape himself. Now I like to drape myself with those sort of things from time to time, but sometimes it makes me feel guilty, and that's what happened this particular morning. I woke up with a treacherous case of middle class guilt, so I decided to move myself to some deserted area, and grow myself a garden, and get back to it! Even an artichoke in a terrarium, anything...(laughter)
"My house was in the process of being built, I took a lot of hard furniture, it was like a house of correction I was building, everything was hard, you had to sit straight up in it, you know? I was sort of working on the Thoreau theory too, you know, like one chair for myself and one for society...no, three chairs, one for solitude, one for company, and one for society, that's right....
"So I moved back up there and I was staying in this little cabin, and one night I heard what sounded to me like applause, it was like this clapping outside my door, you know, so I stepped out onto the steps, and....took a bow (Joni laughs)....(applause)....I stepped out and I looked up and right in front of my door was this tree called the Arbutus tree, which I think is really my favorite all-time tree...it's got a really smooth, orange bark, and really smooth rubbery kind of leaves, and it's a very independent tree, just has totally its own will, you can't...you can't tame it, you know? Like there's this street in Vancouver called Arbutus Street, and they tried to transplant a whole lot of Arbutus trees to line it, you know, just like Elm street's always lined with elms, and maple street's lined with maples...so they put in all these arbutus trees, and they just said 'forget it', you know, just kamikaze'd out......."