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Letters to the Editor

by Various Authors
Daily Bruin (UCLA)
October 21, 1969

Rude (October 21, 1969)


Last Sunday's concert at Pauley Pavilion will long be discussed, but neither for the brilliance of Joni Mitchell nor for the excellence of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra under the direction of Lawrence Foster.

Unfortunately, it will be remembered for the actions of those hundreds of persons (UCLA students and others) who so rudely left the Pavilion at the close of Miss Mitchell's performance, but before the orchestra's final selection.

Certainly the L.A. Philharmonic deserved an audience better than this!

Richard Sherman
Sr., Psychology

Joni Mitchell concert criticized, applauded (October 24, 1969)


Regarding last Sunday's concert, Richard Sherman suggested in the Bruin (Oct. 21) that it was the audience who was rude in leaving before the orchestra's final selection. May I re-phrase his letter, to correct an oversight: Last Sunday's concert will long be discussed, but neither for the brilliance of Joni Mitchell nor for the excellence of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra.

Unfortunately, it will be remembered for the actions of Miss Mitchell who showed incredible rudeness in keeping an entire philharmonic orchestra waiting, idle, while she continued to misjudge her audience, somehow managing to mistake its increasing unrest for enthusiasm.

The concert was scheduled to end at 6:00 and, having arranged my schedule accordingly, I was one of those who left "early."

That was around 6:15, long after we (this includes the polite, if somewhat disconcerted orchestra) had discovered that to hear two of Joni Mitchell's songs is to hear them all, and at a time when there appeared to be no end in sight to her protracted exercise in self-love.

I left reluctantly, feeling extremely disappointed at being prevented from hearing the Orchestra's closing selection.

Certainly the L.A. Philharmonic deserves a guest better than this!

Merril E. Sarty
Post doctoral Scholar,



I wish to articulate my disappointment and disgust with the behavior of what appeared to be a considerable portion of the UCLA student body at Sunday's Joni Mitchell-LA Philharmonic performance.

Granted, the coupling of the two was in error.

Joni is a poet, not a musician. Simplicity, not complexity, is one of the salient features of her art.

Nevertheless, the gospel she preaches -- sensitivity -- resounds clearly at a timely moment. Unfortunately, like so many other gospels, it seems to be mouthed most enthusiastically by her disciples and other wise [sic] ignored.

Joni herself must have been shamed and insulted (along with the rest of us who have hitherto taken pride in the university and its products) by such insensitive behavior immediately following her series of parables.

Surely if the university could not teach her proteges appreciateion of the finer things or of the right of all to hear and be heard, then at least the deeper sense of Joni's message might have demanded some more existential applause than the noisy, insensitive, insulting departure before the conclusion of the entire program.

Shirley Smithyman
Grad., Molecular Biology

Mitchell concert described


I wish to add my illustrious comments to those of my fellow culture enthusiasts who have aired their grievances in the Daily Bruin.

It seems that the Joni Mitchell/L.A. Philharmonic concert was a comedy of errors. That dedicated group known as the UCLA Committee on Fine Arts Production has pulled off a real winner this time. I agree with Miss Smithyman in that it was probably a mistake to have the folk singer and the orchestra appear together.

The gap between the two types of concert players is too vast to be bridged. The structure of the folk concert is a world away from the rigid formal structure an orchestra usually follows/

However, a successful presentation might have still been achieved if it wasn't for the poor organization of the program. The combination of Joni Mitchell backed by an orchestra in her first three selections just didn't blend well in the Pauley Pavilion. It would have presented a more interesting contrast to have kept the two distinct in their performances. The greatest error by far was having the orchestra stay over till [sic] the end of the concert for a single concluding selection. This selection should have been either excluded from the program or placed just prior to Miss Mitchell's entrance.

If this was done it would have eliminated the rude action of the audience; but considering the duality of the audience, I wonder if the L.A. Philharmonic fans would have left prematurely if there was no concluding selection by the orchestra. And in addition to everything else, the sound system wasn't working right either!

But I would like to say a few words specifically to Merril Sarty, Post Doctoral Scholar [sic] in Psych. It would seem that this is a very perceptive cultural specimen who JUST LOVED Joni Mitchell's performance. I won't try to defend her performance on Oct. 19 because it was only a fair one. Joni Mitchell was obviously upset about something--most likely the recent death of David Crosby (Crosby, Stills, & Nash) fiancee with whom she was close friends. I believe Joni Mitchell wrote a song about her. In view of the way she felt I was surprised to see her push herself to sing so many songs. I'm sorry that those who went to see Joni Mitchell for the first time left with such negative feelings which prevailed at the concert. I know she is capable of putting on a much better concert than that. But one remark Mr. Sarty made was amazing coming from a "Post Doctoral Scholar in Psychiatry." The statement read: ..."to hear two of Joni Mitchell's songs is to hear them all." Clearly these are the words of a perceptive individual who has a great understanding of human nature and a profound knowledge of music appreciation.

Mark Weiner
Soph., Poli. Sci.

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