Joni Mitchell

JONI MITCHELL / CROSBY, STILLS, NASH & YOUNG                            1970                                                                   Reprise / Atlantic Records

(Joni Mitchel version) A track from the album Ladies of the Canyon.
Released as a B side of "Big Yellow Taxi". Time - 5:25. Released in U.S.A. April 1970.

Recorded at A&M Studios, Hollywood, California, USA. Produced by Joni Mitchell. Engineered by Henry Lewy.

(Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young version) The lead single from the album Deja Vu. Chart: #11. Time - 3:54. Flip Side: "Helpless". Released in U.S.A. March 1970.

Recorded at Wally Heider Studio C, San Francisco, and Studio III, Los Angeles, USA, July � December, 1969. Produced by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. Engineered by Bill Halverson.

Joni was suppose to play at the Woodstock festival, and was also scheduled to appear on the Dick Cavett Show that Monday. Cavett had the highest rated talk show at the time. With all of the chaos of getting into the festival and probably getting out ofter, her manager David Geffen advised her to skip the festival so she would not miss appearing on the show. She was a new and rising artist and Geffen felt appearing on the show was absolutely essential to her career. In hindsight, Crosby Stills & Naash did attend the festival, and did make it to the show. Although she has always regretted not appearing as a performer at the greatest music festival of all time, she could not have written this song the way it is if she had appeared. The song was written from the perspective of a fan watching it, not a performer appearing at it. In the end, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young had the big hit with the song, but Mitchell's version did get a lot of airplay through the years. - Larry -


Personnel (Mitchell)

   Joni Mitchell - lead/backing vocals, electric piano

Personnel (CSNY)

   Stephen Stills - lead vocals, organ
   David Crosby - rhythm guitar, harmony vocals
   Neil Young - guitars, harmony vocals
   Graham Nash - electric piano, harmony vocals
   Greg Reeves - bass
   Dallas Taylor - drums


"She captured the feeling and importance of the Woodstock festival better than anyone who�d been there."

JONI MITCHELL - 1969:Worcester, MA concert

"And then when I saw the magazine articles and pictures of them and everything, I really, really felt sorry for myself, because it�ll never happen again, of course. They�ll try and recapture it, you know, and it�ll just get worse and worse and worse. Well, maybe that�s a pessimistic way to look at it, but, I don�t know."

JONI MITCHELL - 1970:Melody Maker

"(CSNY's version) I liked their performance too, in its way. They were seeing Woodstock from the point of view of the performers, while my version is concerned with the spirit of the festival. I never did actually get to Woodstock itself, you see, because the traffic jams to the site were nine miles long, so I sat in my New York hotel room and saw it on television."

JONI MITCHELL - 1995:Goldmine

"The deprivation of not being able to go provided me with an intense angle on Woodstock. I was one of the fans. I was put in the position of being a kid who couldn�t make it. So I was glued to the media. And at the time I was going through a kind of born again Christian trip � not that I went to any church, I�d given up Christianity at an early age in Sunday school. But suddenly, as performers, we were in the position of having so many people look to us for leadership, and for some unknown reason, I took it seriously and decided I needed a guide and leaned on God. �So I was a little �God mad� at the time, for lack of a better term, and I had been saying to myself, �Where are the modern miracles? Where are the modern miracles?� Woodstock, for some reason, impressed me as being a modern miracle, like a modern day fishes-and-loaves story. For a herd of people that large to cooperate so well, it was pretty remarkable and there was tremendous optimism. So I wrote the song �Woodstock� out of these feelings�"

JONI MITCHELL - CBC's The National

"I was one of the many who were thwarted. That was the place every kid wanted to be. I got to the airport with CSN and our agent, David Geffen, and our manager, Elliott, on a Sunday night. It was a catastrophe. I had to do The Dick Cavett Show the following day, and it was Geffen who decided we can't get Joni out in time. So he took me back to his suite where he lived, and we watched it on TV. I was the deprived kid who couldn't go, so I wrote it from the point of view of a kid going. If I had been there in the back room with all the egomaniacal crap that goes on backstage, I would not have had that perspective."


"Crosby, Stills, Nash and myself all went to the airport. Woodstock had been declared a national disaster area, so we were informed that we couldn't get in and get out. I had to do The Dick Cavett Show the following day, so I left the boys there, thinking they were going someplace else. But they rented a helicopter. I felt left out. I really felt like the Girl. The Girl couldn't go, but the Boys could. I watched everything on TV. But I don't know if I would have written the song 'Woodstock' if I had gone. I was the fan that couldn't go, not the performing animal. So it afforded me a different perspective."

YOU TUBE MATHEWS SOUTHERN COMFORT STUDIO TRACK VIDEO I came upon a child of God He was walking along the road And I asked him where are you going And this he told me I'm going on down to Yasgur's farm * I'm going to join in a rock 'n' roll band I'm going to camp out on the land I'm going to try an' get my soul free We are stardust We are golden And we've got to get ourselves Back to the garden Then can I walk beside you I have come here to lose the smog And I feel to be a cog in something turning Well maybe it is just the time of year Or maybe it's the time of man I don't know who I am But you know life is for learning We are stardust We are golden And we've got to get ourselves Back to the garden By the time we got to Woodstock We were half a million strong And everywhere there was song and celebration And I dreamed I saw the bombers Riding shotgun in the sky And they were turning into butterflies Above our nation We are stardust Billion year old carbon We are golden Caught in the devil's bargain And we've got to get ourselves back to the garden