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Night Ride Home

The Ghost of Faffner Hall - Newcastle, England
September 18, 1989

Joni appears as The Wild Impresario’s first love in this second episode, Delighting In Sounds.

The Ghost of Faffner Hall, a series that celebrates and explores all forms of music and encourages viewers to do the same, created for and premiered on HBO in 1989.

There was a television show in England, an offshoot of Sesame Street designed to introduce a wide variety of music to children. It was called "The Ghost of Faffner Hall". Faffner Hall was an old house and the ghost was an old woman who'd obviously died. She had left her house to her nephew, who was an Oil Can Harry type character, complete with a thin, waxed mustache and a villainous and mercenary nature. As the new owner, he was intent on tearing down the house for personal profit.

In this house lived an assortment of characters- the mad Impresario, a ruddy-faced, blond puppet who loved a wide variety of music- from Beethoven to the musical saw. In the basement lived a couple of punk-rocker puppets and then, of course, you had the ghost who haunted the house. The show was a set-up to feature a variety of guests ranging from Dizzy Gillespie to opera singers, to me!

They created an episode where the mad Impresario gets a letter from an old sweetheart- Joni Mitchell- who is coming to visit him. The letter finds him as he is searching for the world's greatest sound. So he's banging on everything- listening to wooden sounds and metal sounds and glass sounds, with rapture. The scene between the impresario and me takes place in a pink Cadillac by moonlight.

Prior to taping the show, we recorded "Night Ride Home" and we did it quickly, without the unnecessary pressure of mixing and remixing. Thank God we had that mix because one night, our second engineer accidentally put the machine into "record" when she was setting up the tones. It was the first track on the master and it got wiped out! It was the only track we had a mix on, so we got lucky.
-----Complete Geffen Recordings - Album Notes by Joni Mitchell

Air Date: September 18, 1989
Written by: David Angus and Patrick Barlow
Director: Tony Kysh
Voice of Richard Hunt as The Wild Impresario


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tangcameo on

Thank you, Joni and crew for posting this video! :-)

I saw this back when it first aired in 1989. I was already a fan but this song blew me away!
At the time I didn't know it wasn't on an album yet. I wanted to hear it again and went searching for every one of Joni's albums. I even asked several musicians who were fans of Joni, just in case I missed an album, but they just looked at me funny. haha And in the process I became an even greater fan of Joni's music.