Antonyon 2009-Dec-29 at 11:22:41 GMT-5: As soon as I learnt that Joni Mitchell was coming here to Melbourne, Australia I knew I would go to see Her, whatever it took. In addition, my girlfriend Helen was coming with me; she had already listened to and learnt about my near-exhaustive collection of Joni's albums, and she was now a big fan. Joni had just released "Wild Things Run Fast", and the promise of an up-beat concert vibe was definitely in the air. Imagine my excitement when I looked closely at the tour poster, and realized I knew one of the promoters! Immediately I got in touch with my contact, the wonderful Lady Viola Tait of J.C.Williamson. I informed her that J.C.W. was about to promote a rock & roll tour for Joni Mitchell, and I pleaded with her to arrange a meeting between me and this beautiful Canadian artiste whom I was raving about. She would do better than that - she wanted to come to the concert too, and would arrange a meeting with Joni and Mr K. straight after the show!
The concert had been an absolute knock-out, and Lady Tait was as excited as we were, as we hurried to the rendez-vous point. Five minutes later Joni and Larry joined Lady T. and us in a dimly lit, narrow passage somewhere in the bowels of the Palais Theatre - just the five of us, crowded together in the bunker-like space. At this point I have to admit to being somewhat hazy about exactly what & how things went down, there in that confined space beneath the Palais that night, let alone remember what it was like to be less than an arm's length from an Angel!
That English expression "gob-smacked" comes to mind as a fair description of my slight daze. Even though handicapped by awe and gobsmackery, I knew I had to make every moment count, and I thanked God I didn't 'fluff my lines', as I started to speak with Her about something She'd said at some previous concert. She'd been talking to the audience about the origins of the dulcimer; I'd heard this story on a bootleg vinyl album of said concert, and always remembered it. The two of us were almost in a huddle, chatting away, as the others watched on in some bemusement I think. I didn't mind, for I was in Heaven! Finally Lady T. broke the spell, and urged us to ask Joni to sign my theatre program. This became another welcome chance to interact with Her just a little longer, as Joni wanted to know who this "Blue Beast-Child" was whom She was wishing luck to - Helen's young and very beautiful Blue Heeler bitch. And then it was time for Joni to go. We went home on cloud 9.
Over the next 3-4 days Helen produced a botanically accurate, yet lyrical, watercolour study of a cicada, with suitable references to its singing ability. The drawing was a small but worthy offering in appreciation of Joni's performance at the Palais. Helen's talent is drawing and painting insects, flora, and fauna in beautiful detail, as the following link will show:
We delivered this work to Joni on the 21st March; we entrusted it to someone at the stage door of the Arts Centre, where She was due to play that night. We hoped, of course, that we might hear from Joni, esp. to hear She'd liked Helen's work, but this was not to be. I rang J.C.W. and they confirmed that Joni had received the painting; so that was some consolation. We just hoped they were right.
If Joni ever sees this, then I hope She did in fact get it, and it's safe somewhere, but if it was lost in the rush of the tour, then we'll send something else!