Joni Mitchell & Bonnie Raitt

Had dinner with Joni Mitchell Saturday night. Never met her before but she’s known Richard for ever. I can’t remember when I’ve had a more intense, far-reaching, multifaceted conversation (right from the moment we sat down…no small talk with Joni)—from Christianity, Buddhism, the Gnostics, different forms of meditation, Ego as the original sin, to living in the wilderness north of Vancouver, the beauty of blue herons, our Black bear encounters (mine more dramatic than hers), medical challenges (hers more dramatic than mine), Georgia O’Keefe (she stayed with her in New Mexico when O’Keefe was 90), painting (Joni paints), innovators versus copy cats and music. It thrills me to listen to musical people (Joni and Richard…or Keith Richards in his autobiography) dig into the minutia of creating musical art. Much is Greek to me but they got into what it meant to have started on the banjo (Joni) and how that influences chords and tuning. She talked fascinatingly about how she always liked to do what hadn’t been done musically–unresolved chords, etc, that often made the music honchos nervous. I should have taken notes.

Sunday morning I found myself on a plane (major delay!) to go to San Francisco to speak at the San Francisco Ultimate Women’s Expo. I was there to speak about my latest book PRIME TIME, and what I’ve learned from writing. I’ve spoken on this quite a bit over the last few months or more and I’m still enjoying seeing all the heads nodding (especially the gray heads…and nodding, not nodding off!). My PRIME TIME brand has created quite a community, which is why I’m excited to be able to continue the conversations from my book here on my blog, on my Facebook page, and on twitter now that my book tour has wound down.

Tonight, I’m having a small gathering for Bonnie Raitt. Joni will be there and Robbie Robertson, Eddie Olmos, Steve Bing and Paul Allen. I look forward to another fascinating and intense evening…if I make it back in time!

With Bonnie Raitt & Joni Mitchell

I made it back and it was a swell evening! I managed to tweet out this photo of myself Bonnie and Joni, which people just loved! Afterwards, Joni, Bonnie and Richard got down with music discussions such as the beauty of ‘open G chord tuning.’ I’ve known Bonnie for almost 40 years…as activist, friend, generous performer of benefit concerts—but not really seen/heard her talk as musician. Imagine what it was like with these two brilliant women guitarists! Here are some more photos….Enjoy!

Richard Perry, Joni Mitchell & Paul Allen

Eddie Olmos, Bonnie Raitt & Steve Bing

Eddie Olmos & Bonnie Raitt

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  1. I got back from working a long flight from Singapore yesterday and your book was waiting for me. Well, unfortunately, the first 20 pages are torn so will have to return it for a replacement which is a shame because I wanted to take it with me on holidays to Crete tomorrow. However, instead of sending it back I haven’t been able to put it down. I have to MAKE myself send it back tomorrow.

    Well I’ve read a lot already and it’s a fascinating book.

    What I love from the bits I’ve read

    – is that it is very personal. I really get the feeling that you yourself really wanted to know what happens when we age and you are really interested in knowing it and getting this information across to us. In addition, when reading it, it seems as if you are really genuinely interested in your reader. It’s written very warmly.

    – I have tried all my life not to be vain. So I really stopped exercising years ago because to me it was always about vanity, not health. And I could never motivate myself from a viewpoint of vanity. However, you have made it very clear that it’s not only about vanity but basic survival of e.g. bones, brain etc. and so I’m finally seeing exercise from another viewpoint and at the weekend I actually started working out again. Just a few isometric exercises, but it’s certainly got me going again. Thanks.

    -the chapter Work In. Would love to do a silent retreat. And you make it even more tempting.

    What I don’t like about the book:

    – “the penis gets smaller with age”. That’s the worst sentence I’ve ever read in a book. Are you absolutely sure that’s correct? Because if so, that’s horrible. I thought I had something to look forward to in old age but alas you have dashed all hope!

    Anyway, I will be going off to the post office tomorrow to return the book and off to Crete Prime Time-less, but hope the replacement will be there when I get back. 🙂

    Take care

  2. Hey Ms. Jane,

    I am SO happy to see you with Joni and Bonnie, two of my major musical influences. Indeed, Joni helped “raise” me! Her “Ladies of the Canyon” got me out of Indiana and into L I F E.

    Also good to see photos of Richard. I worked with his company years and years ago (with Vini Poncia). Glad to see him doing well, and happy – with YOU!

    Enjoying your blog very much.

    Take Care.

  3. Jane – I love Joni M. – thanks for sharing your photos. She still looks great…I imagine her voice is sultry as ever – like buttah’. One of my favorite lyrics/songs by J.M. is Cactus Tree…so fantastic. Did she indicate if she was working on making more music?

  4. I don’t know a whole lot about music, but I certainly can recognize great musicians when I hear them. Both of these ladies have such unique voices and music, which of course intrigues me greatly. Now I have to go out and buy some CDs that they have made. 🙂 (Yes, I am still buying CDs and not always downloading music. I guess I like to hold the music in my hands, just like I want to hold a book in my hands.) Thank you for sharing your experiences with such a wide variety of interesting people.

  5. leopard is your modus operandi..whats ole paul allen drinking… a rum and least bing and allen are smart enough to hang around some real women…..

  6. (larry klein produced puddle-of-grace.)
    ( I have a band for you. you have to keep the band secret from your boyfriend. i know you dont like secrets but he will go crazyover the band. this is timing issue the band cant be too successful til the debate gets moving they have a role for the debate.not for posting.)

  7. wow, Jane, thanks so much for sharing your dinner with Bonnie, and Joni. Of course those of us that grew up in the 1960’s think all three of you are our friends 🙂 You all 3 look totally beautiful ! And the conversation is the very one I would be having too. Keep up the great work. Thank you for all you inspire.

  8. Hello Jane,
    Joni Mitchell think primarily of her incredible career as a singer, yet much less so of her life as a painter. Another cross over ARTist.
    Love this “There are things to confess that enrich the world, and things that need not be said.” Joni Mitchell. I’ve been encouraging Jin Carry, a better than just good painter, now has a studio in NY City.

  9. very nice. 🙂 From a female author:

    On every new bud and every spire of grass is written, “God is love.” The birds filling the air with their happy songs, the air perfumed by delicately tinted flowers, and the tall forest of living green, tell of the care of my God and His desire to make me happy.

    The written word also reveals God’s character. When Moses prayed, “Show me your glory,” God showed His infinite love by answering, “I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you” (Exodus 33:18, 19). I am “the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion, and sin” (Exodus 34:6, 7). I “delight to show mercy” (Micah 7:18).

  10. Wow! I can’t imagine sitting down and just talking to Joni Mitchell. But for that matter, I can’t imagine sitting down and just talking to you, Jane or Bonnie Raitt either. I would love to know how Joni puts songs together. Does the tune come first or the lyrics? Does the tune inspire the lyrics or vice versa. The most interesting book I read on how some songs were put together by musical genius was the Playboy interviews with John Lennon where he goes through each Beatle song and describes what he was thinking or what inspired him or his part of the song that he collaborated on. And why does an artist like Joni Mitchell simply stop creating (at least for the public)? She made one of the most brilliant albums ever created ‘Court & Spark’ and then not much came out after that.

    Thank you, Jane for sharing this with us. The conversations sound inspiring to say the least.

  11. Dear Jane,
    What a powerhouse you have become with the social media! Wow! Someone to look up to. Great photos thank you for sharing. I really appreciate that there is a semi-non-invasive way to find out about you and your life. I am inspired by your sharing. Thanks.

    I discovered that one of the companies my boss (I’m an exec asst) has ownership in is sponsoring an event here in the Detroit area where I live; promptly signed on as a volunteer for our table; want to bring my book to get signed; probably won’t be asked to sit at table when you give your talk as there are only two seats for our company and I am not reserved for one.

    This is the Florine Marks event Weight Watchers (I think) Oct 23. It’s a Sunday.

    I hope you won’t mind me bugging you to sign my book. I got it on the day it was released. I have had four eye surgeries over past summer so have not had a chance to finish it but I started it before my troubles and think quite highly of it and you.

    I sent a poem to you once; will also try to print up a few more to share. Our table is BioMed; we are a compounding pharmacy.
    I’m Laura Grimshaw. Pleased to be able to shake your hand.

    Have a wonderful day.


    • Laura, you betcha

      • I, too, will be attending the “ReMarkable Women” event in Dearborn, Michigan, on October 30. I bought tickets for my friend and I, because I want to hear you speak! I was in the audience for your appearance on Oprah, but I of course couldn’t pass on the Dearborn appearance. I live in Dearborn, so you are literally going to be in my neck of the woods . . . . or cement. 🙂 Laura mentioned it first, so she gets dibs on you signing her book, but if some how you are able to sign one more book, I would love for you to sign mine. As you already know, I respect you greatly and would love to shake your hand just like Laura. (Since I have no connections to anyone important, I will probably be the one sitting at the table in the back of the room. :))Please, if you have time, I would love to meet you personally.

        • I just received more information regarding the “ReMarkable Women” luncheon that I will be attending. I see that you will be signing books for an hour! I am very excited! Of course, I have to compete with 799 other people to get to your table on time. Gee, I knew I should have been exercising more so that I could beat all of these other people to the line. 🙂 Anyways, thank you for giving that time to sign books. I sure hope I get the honor of meeting you, even if it is the brief moment of seeing you sign my book.

          • I need to correct myself. It doesn’t say you will be signing books for an hour. It just says you will be signing books at approximately 11. I am guessing you are signing books for less than an hour. Yikes! I better get my running shoes on!

          • Susan, you’ve been ‘friending’ me for so long. Please hold up a sign that says “Susan Korzetz.”

  12. …amazingly talented artists, all three! wishing Joni the very best of health these days.. 🙂

  13. Many, many years ago you did a spot for Bonnie on Entertainment Tonight, promoting her Green Light album and you tried very hard to make her feel comfortable on camera (she wasn’t). This was years before she won the Grammys and became a star, and she needed a push from a celeb like yourself. So, I just wanted to that you did a good thing. And I’m glad that you are still friends with Bonnie and have little parties for her. She has had a rough few years recently. She’s just the best.

  14. My Dear Jane,
    How wonderful to see you on a site I can take you down memory lane. You used to come to Cold Spring Tavern and I sang Joni Mitchell songs to you. You learned how to sign your acceptance, for On Golden Pond, in sign from my Friend, Maggie. I also was there for Jim’s wedding. Joe sang “Love Lift us up” wonderful days. My name was Sheri Geiger back then. I am living in Cambria now. Married to the Love of my life. So nice to finally find our Guys, huh???
    You look wonderful!!

  15. really impressive you’ve not met Joni before! you seem to move in similar circles, have similar friends, fought for similar causes, etc…also impressive that you talked music with her! i’m a musician and I’m not sure I would be able to keep up 😉 lol thanks for sharing your adventures! what a treat for us! 🙂

  16. Great pics, Jane. You’re so generous to share your life with us – like that. It looks like it was a wonderful time. And man, the older Joni gets, the better looking she gets! She looks really gorgeous, just like you and Bonnie.

    It’s been a long time since I’ve seen Joni Mitchell. I’m from Rochester, Michigan where Sally Mitchell, Joni’s ex-mother-in-law, resides/resided (not sure if she’s still living).

    Back in the day, my mother worked for Mrs. Mitchell – as a domestic. I was pretty young and that was a long time ago. Even though, I do remember being so excited about going with my parents one Friday or Saturday night to a Detroit coffee house that was called the Chess Mate to see Joni and her first husband, Chuck Mitchell, perform.

    Joni sang a song about a ladybug that she dedicated to me. Everyone looked at the only child in the joint; the little negro girl, is what they would’ve said back then, when she set up the song for the audience – saying something like, “This ones for Carlo”.

    Oh Jane, I remember that I felt so proud to be called out and acknowledged like that. I know I smiled the biggest smile – probably grinning from ear to ear. I also have vague remembrances of the Chess Mates atmosphere; kind of a dive, it was dark and candlelit, and had red and white gingham checked tablecloths on the tables. I had to have been about 8 or 9 yrs. old, so I’d never been to a place like that before. I was completely mesmerized. Afterward we went by their apartment.

    All that I can remember is that they lived somewhere by Wayne State University in Detroit in a tall building. Or, what I thought was a tall building, being over three or four stories tall, which was gigantic to me – being a kid. I was in total awe looking out of the windows that seemed like such an incredible view.

    Joni was very kind to me and extremely hospitable, trying to engage me by showing me her new instrument, a long string instrument that was placed on their dining room table – a dulcimer. I bet you any money that one was her first. Anyway… She invited me to strum on the strings of it. But I remember being warned right away by my mom to be careful not to break anything. I think Joni knew that after that I was doing my best to hide my discomfort. My mom had taken all of the fun out of it, with just her warning. I’d been raised to be very polite and was really good at it, so I had no idea where that was coming from. I remember feeling ashamed and clamming up a bit. Like a lot of kids, I was kind of shy around people I didn’t really know.

    My mom, whose name is Trudy, would occasionally talk on the phone to her sisters about “white people”. So, I definitely knew I was different. To a certain degree, she projected her feelings of inadequacy onto me, which wasn’t how I honestly felt as a child. But when I needed to, I’d play along just so I wouldn’t get in trouble.

    It’s funny that I remember that much of that night. I guess signature moments that were special stand out in our minds. I say that it’s funny that I remember some of that night because I later experienced life changing events that left me devastatingly traumatized and as a result, I usually have difficulty recalling things in my past. I wonder if Joni remembers that night?

    Jane, thank you so much for allowing to share all of this with you. And if you talk to Joni again, please tell her that she made a remarkable positive impression on the little girl that she sang to at the Chess Mate that night.

    She gave me a glimpse into her great artistry and a magical peep into show business. Years later, I became “talent”. I earned my SAG and AFTRA cards and truly believe that meeting people like her, especially at a young age, left an indelible impression on me. And I’ll even go as far as to say, I attribute most all of the positive life I’ve had as a performer to not only God, but people like Joni. And Jane, what’s really cool right now – in this very moment is, this was a night that I never forgot it. God allowed me to remember (this), and that is so cool!

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