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The First Time With Joni Mitchell Print-ready version

by Fiona Kernaghan
The Song Mistress
May 2, 2014

Bono, Peter Gabriel and Fuzzbee Morse (on guitar.)

I plied him with single malt and new guitar strings— now I'm psyched to report Fuzzbee Morse is gonna be a regular contributor here at The Song Mistress! So who is this guy with the strat and the weird name?

Fuzzbee is an extraordinary human being, musician—and friend. He's played with so many outrageously notable musicians: Bono, Frank Zappa, Aaron Neville, Axl Rose, Pink, Dave Grohl, Daniel Lanois... his bio reads like a Rock n Roll Hall of Fame roll call. His stories rival those of Dos Equis' Most Interesting Man In The World, and are slick with gig sweat and sprinkled with serendipitous stardust. Here's the first one...

Little story — The first time I met Joni Mitchell, I was on the Amnesty International tour, summer of '86, playing guitar with Lou Reed. We had done one show at the Cow Palace in San Francisco and came down to LA for the second stop on the tour, along with U2, Sting, The Neville Brothers and other greats. Bob Dylan played at this show as well, backed by Tom Petty.

When I arrived at the Forum late afternoon, Joni was sitting in our dressing room, which Lou's band was sharing with Peter Gabriel & his band. Her then-husband Larry Klein was playing bass for Peter at the time. I saw her and my heart went a-flutter, as she had been one of my major heroes & inspirations throughout adolescence. We were by ourselves. I introduced myself to her and the second or third thing I said was, "your album, FOR THE ROSES, is one of my alltime favorite records by anybody!" She squeezed my arm (shivers) and said, "you know, everyone talks about BLUE, but FOR THE ROSES is my favorite." Big, open smile on that it-can-only-be-Joni face... I then, uncharacteristically, turned into blithering mush for a few seconds, saying something along the lines of, "Grlzziptaskat, mgumbo vrande," or something equally lucid. She squeezed me again and said, "c'mon, let's have some champagne!" We then drank cold champagne, ate a lot of shrimp and merrily kept on chatting, like old buddies, as the members of both bands slowly filtered in.

My other encounters with her have been equally memorable but you only have one first time with Joni Mitchell.

– Fuzzbee Morse

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Added to Library on May 26, 2015. (3563)

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