"I'VE LOOKED at love from both sides now, from give and take and still somehow/It's love's illusions I recall, I really don't know love at all."
Those are the famous lyrics from Joni Mitchell's 1969 classic, "Both Sides Now." (The meaning of the song, with its ice cream castles, flows of angel hair, moons, Junes and Ferris wheels, has been endlessly analyzed.)
Miss Mitchell, held up as the high priestess of folk/pop music by millions, has been out of sight in recent years. She has concentrated on her painting. Less pleasantly, she suffers from something called "Morgellons Syndrome" which she has described as "a slow, unpredictable killer."
However, we might have some good news for fans of this great artist. Joni's old friend David Geffen is reportedly "wooing" her to perform a series of shows at his Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles. Those in the know and/or of a certain age, recall that Joni's celebrated "Free Man in Paris" song was written with Geffen in mind.
Another old pal of Joni's, Herbie Hancock, is also supposedly encouraging this venture, which could include some of the musicians who worked with Joni back in the day. If all that is planned and hoped for comes about, there will be a concert highlight sure to send Mitchell's fans into delirium--a track by track re-creation of the legendary Court and Spark album, which spawned such hits as "Help Me (I Think I'm Falling") and "Raised on Robbery."
Joni Mitchell's last album was 2007's Shine, but many devotees recall 2000's Both Sides Now with particular fondness. On that one she did jazzy covers of classics such as "Stormy Weather" and "You're My Thrill." She also included a new version of "Both Sides Now," which was not instantly welcomed. The purity of her young voice had roughened, some complained. Admirers not wallowing unrealistically in the past insisted her deeper tones made the lyrics--however you wish to interpret them--more powerful. And, having lived longer, she really has seen love from all sides now.