|I took this shot on the beach in Santa Cruz.||.|
In 1968, I saw Joni Mitchell live for the first time. She was playing in the Village in NYC in a special concert that was put together shortly after Martin Luther King was assassinated. 1968 was going to be a horribly traumatic year, with the riots after King's murder and the assassination of Robert Kennedy only a few months after we lost Rev King. This was quickly followed by the police riot at the 1968 Democratic National Convention, the election of "tricky Dick" Nixon and his so-called "secret plan" to end the Vietnam War, which in reality meant escalation, the bombing of Cambodia and many more years of death destruction.
But the night I saw Joni Mitchell in the village, we did not know the horror that was to come. Jimi Hendrix was on the bill with her, and I was front row center for both of them. Little did I know what I was in for. I learned how to tune to her turnings by watching her closely, and the chord formations for many of her early songs, including Circle Game in G tuning. Hendrix followed her amazing set, and it was shocking and exciting for me as a young teenager to watch him with no idea what to expect, as I had barely even heard of him at the time. He danced around the stage, made love to his guitar and the audience, and set fire to it when he was finished. I left the concert feeling both overwhelmed and exhilarated.
I will never forget.