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Here Is The Single Greatest Picture Of Joni Mitchell In The Los Angeles Public Library Archive Print-ready version

by Julia Wick
LAist.com
March 29, 2017

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Happy Wednesday, everybody.

Today, the United Kingdom officially initiated their withdrawal from the European Union, police in Ohio found two human legs in the trash at a waste-collection facility, an Indonesian man was reportedly swallowed whole by a giant python, and China is poised to overtake the U.S. as the global leader on climate policy.

Anyway, here is the best photo of Joni Mitchell in the Los Angeles Public Library photo archives.

The undated photo, which was taken by Gary Leonard, shows Mitchell at Vertigo nightclub, seated beside a poet named Joaquine. Standing behind her, according to the library archive, are the Voguing Popes: Bret Boreman, Steven Arnold and J.V. McCuley.

Mitchell, who is now 73, is said to be making a full recovery after suffering from a brain aneurysm in March 2015. She made a rare public appearance at Elton John's 70th birthday party last Saturday.

The photo was taken some time during the late 1980s or very early '90s, when Vertigo, which opened in 1986, was the place to be in Los Angeles. The downtown-adjacent venue would later become Prince's legendary Grand Slam club. Yes, that Prince, and the changeover happened in 1993, so we know Leonard had had to have snapped the pic sometime before then.

Vertigo was famously L.A.'s first nightclub with a truly restrictive, New York-style door policy. Here's how The New York Times described it in 1986:

The scene outside Vertigo on Friday is reminiscent of Manhattan's Studio 54 in its glory days. Guards in radio headsets and Armani suits. Ropes to keep out the hoi polloi. Even a former Studio doorman, Mark Benecke, to rule on who walks into the club, who waits outside and for how long.

''As you can see,'' Mr. Benecke says, scanning the 50 faces behind the ropes, ''the crowd here is much more reserved as opposed to Studio in the 70's.''

The crowd looks bewildered. Never before has a local club had a pick-and-choose door policy. This is L.A., not New York, they mutter among themselves.

Hope everyone has a great rest of the day!

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