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I've Looked at Life From Both Sides Now...

In preparing for "Reckless Daughter", I did quite a bit of listening to audio books back and forth in bi-monthly traveling from Philadelphia to the work site for my day gig in Virginia. My first stop on the journey was the book, "Reckless Daughter" and of course, that became the namesake of Love City Music Collective's first show.

So much to learn - so many long time fans knew so much, they were teaching me. One of my favorite communities are the people who lovingly and painstakingly manage Highly recommend a visit there if you haven't been - and if you do know, you know.

I'm a typical Philadelphian. I like cheesesteaks and know where to get the best one (Dalessandros. Fight me.) I picked my sports team and ran with it my whole life (GO PHILS), I crank about the heat 4 weeks out of the year and the seemingly endless winter that actually is about 8 weeks, most years. If I listen to radio, it's one station, WXPN. I find most things hilarious in a dark way that others outside of the area think is a little twisted - and if I find out an artist I love has a Philadelphia connection, of any kind, that love I had for them goes to defcon 5 and I never shut up about it. Joni's got a couple big ones.

Getting onto 495S in the last leg of my drive one Sunday night, my long haul listening list brought up the Gene Shay / Joni Mitchell interview dated March 19, 1967 on WMMR. The first portion of the retrospective show Gene curated in his final year on WXPN, the first interview is Tom Rush, and around 2:15ish mark, Gene goes to his on-air interview with Joni. She starts...

Bows and flows of angel hair

and ice cream castles in the air

and feather canyons everywhere

I looked at clouds that way..

Her voice is bright, her youth shines through the whole interview, she's polite, Canadian. Definitely not Philadelphia . As she finishes the song, Gene says,

"That's nice, that's the new one."

"Very new." said Joni.

"Oh, how new is it?" Gene asks.

"Three days." she says,

Damn near ran my car off the road.

"OK Google, where's the next exit?" There I sat there in somewhere MD parking lot of a Popeye's at 8pm on a Sunday night, forensically searching for the chronological dates for March of 1967. Joni appeared at the 2nd Fret from March 8 to 18th.

She wrote "Both Sides Now" in Philadelphia. I sat there and stared at my phone.


Ok, ok, it's completely possible I'm wrong; that she was saying that because girlfriend liked to tell a yarn or two...what business is it of ours when a songwriter does their thing? Eh, whatever, she said it, going with it.

Things between Joni and I shifted that night, again. Since then I've walked along that 1900 block of Sansom St. where the 2nd Fret was, a couple doors down from Sophy Curson, wondering what it was all like there, with all the names, what it was like to see Joni like that, before she got signed, to be there.


Took my dog for a walk this afternoon, lost in thoughts about the show and things that need to be done - this blog attempt being one of them. Started distracting myself by taking pics on this partly cloudy spring day in 2021. I caught some light, played around with new angles, and snapped this one. I looked at it, starting softly singing to myself the last verse - and how much the meaning has shifted, again, due to the events of this past year alone.

Tears and fears and feeling proud To say, "I love you" right out loud Dreams and schemes and circus crowds I've looked at life that way

Oh, but now old friends they're acting strange And they shake their heads, they say I've changed Well something's lost, but something's gained In living every day

I've looked at life from both sides now From win and lose and still somehow It's life's illusions I recall I really don't know life at all

The song stuck on repeat the rest of the afternoon and is still looping in my head. So much has happened so far in this life, so much...and still..

It's life's illusions, I recall - I really don't know life at all.


Additional links:

XPN Folk Show Archives with Gene Shay - featuring Tom Rush, Joni Mitchell

Joni Mitchell, Live at The 2nd Fret, March 17, 1967

Ed Sciaky Interview with Joni at The 2nd Fret, March 17th 1967

Article on "The Key" for the Joni Mitchell Archives releases

Chronology on Joni's shows from

Tickets for Love City Music Collective / Reckless Daughter - In Celebration of Joni Mitchell

May 21, 2021 - Sellersville Theater, Sellersville PA

In theater & Live Stream tix available


opinions are my own - trying to get the facts straight

Corrections are welcome

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