Monday, October 30, 2017

Put The Bitch In Her Place (Ava and C.I.)

David Yaffe has a new book entitled RECKLESS DAUGHTER: A PORTRAIT OF JONI MITCHELL but it reads like the unofficial title is PUT THE BITCH IN HER PLACE.

Joni Mitchell is one of America's premier singer-songwriters.  Her career is a story of artistic triumphs in a system not given to acknowledging art produced by women.  BLUE is her masterpiece but it's one of many classic albums she produced. (FOR THE ROSES, COURT & SPARK, THE HISSING OF SUMMER LAWNS, HEIJIRA, SHINE, DOG EAT DOG, LADIES OF THE CANYON, TURBULENT INDIGO and NIGHT RIDE HOME would be among her other classics.) Listing the classic songs she's written would require an essay in and of itself.  But it's worth noting that she created her own melodies and didn't graft her lyrics onto public domain songs only to then put her name to the music she'd stolen.  In addition, to those credits, Joni's also an original guitar player whose use of open tunings have influenced many over the years.

A pioneer, an artist, she's accomplished more than most.

And for David Yaffe, the "she" appears to be the sticking point.

Yaffe's got problems with women -- they go far beyond his failed marriage.  They probably include his being in his early teens when Annette Strauss became Dallas' first elected female mayor.  They certainly include coming of age in a very sexist time period and being known for his dismissive put-downs -- at his arty high school -- of female recording artists.

All of this -- and more -- comes down on Joni Mitchell in his book which is a blend of hack writing and sexism.

Yaffe loathes Joni and that comes through on page after page.

It also comes through in interviews.

If you want to pimp your book and lie these days, where do you go?

CJR, of course.

So to CJR's Elon Green, Yaffee trashes Joni as follows:

So Joni had told me a story about how Judy had offered to take her to the Newport Folk Festival, which was a big deal.  Joni had never been! It was a big break.  And Joni said that Judy Collins stood her up and that, the next day, she had a change of heart and sent for a car to pick her up.  I think the word that Judy Collins used to characterize this story was "horsepucky."  She said it was ridiculous; they'd met in April, so why would she make arrangements for something in August? I ask Judy if she thought Joni believed it.  She said, I don't know, but I can tell you where this rotten story came from.  It came from the fact that Joni couldn't get over that somebody did something wonderful for her.  Since then, every time Joni came out with an album, Judy would send her love letters about these wonderful albums. She'd send gifts.  Joni wouldn't take her calls, never wrote her back.  It was decades of not getting calls returned.

CJR is nothing but crap and that they printed that nonsense goes to why.

That Yaffe repeated it goes to his own stupidity, ignorance and general laziness.

Let's start off first with Judy Collins.

Did she tell that to Yaffe?  With her wet brain remembrances?

Go read our "Trapped in an AA meeting with Judy Collins" (a review of her lieography entitled SWEET JUDY BLUE EYES).  Judy's not a very honest person, she never has been.

We wrote from our own knowledge about the biggest issue between Joni and Judy -- Judy's worship of the cock has led her to repeatedly downgrade Joni Mitchell's talents in public discussions (as well private ones).

This is not a one time thing, this is a long, long history of rushing to praise this man or that man over Joni.  Even asked about a song Joni wrote ("Both Sides Now" -- Judy's only real hit song), Judy will avoid praising Joni and rush to mention some male songwriter instead.  (As we noted in our example with Larry King, Judy gave the impression that Leonard Cohen wrote the song.)

Judy Collins was a mean drunk.  And she's tried to pretend otherwise in the years since.

But she was a nasty and mean drunk.

It's part of the reason she failed her son (who ended up taking his own life).

Why in the world would you take the word of a drunk over Joni's word?

Especially when this story of Newport did not begin in the 2000s, nor in the 1990s, nor in the 1980s, nor in the 1970s but all the way back in real time when it happened.  Joni has consistently and repeatedly told this story as she tells it today.

It is only Judy Collins who has rewritten history.

She's a damn liar and Yaffe's a damn fool.

If you're presented with conflicting stories, you first acknowledge that both can be right.  People have different perspectives and that's why eye witness testimony -- even when witnesses tell the whole truth -- can contradict.

You then look to see who is more believable.

Has one person stuck to the same story for decades?

Okay, then they usually get the benefit of the doubt.

This is especially true when, for years, Judy publicly credited Tom Rush with calling her up and telling her he was with a songwriter and she had to hear this song ("Both Sides Now") that the songwriter had written.

For years, Judy told that.

She even printed that in a book.

Only after Tom Rush publicly made a point to note (repeatedly) that it was not him, it was Al Kooper, did Judy 'remember' it correctly.

Wet brain.

If two stories conflict, you investigate.

Judy did not meet Joni Mitchell in April of 1967.

That's a flat out lie.

Was that too much for Yaffe to check out?

Or how about this little fact: The event at Newport wasn't in August, as Judy tells Yafee.

It was July 16, 1967.

Where was Joni in April and May?


With soon to be ex-husband Chuck Mitchell.

Was that too hard for Yaffe to check out.

Al Kooper.  That's who called Judy, remember?

Joni met him in the summer of 1967 -- that would be after the "April" in Judy Collins' latest 'recovered memory.'

Most importantly, there is one witness to the Judy-Joni phone call: Al Kooper.

And he has publicly backed Joni's version.  "I asked her [Judy Collins] to take Joni in her car with her to Newport, listen to Joni sing her songs on the ride, and see if she could find a spot on the bill for her," he told Sheila Weller for her book GIRLS LIKE US: CAROLE KING, JONI MITCHELL, CARLY SIMON -- AND THE JOURNEY OF A GENERATION.

Not content to call Joni a liar, Yaffe also takes Joni to task for not liking Judy's version of "Both Sides Now."  He huffs that she took the money for it.  Yes, and David Bowie took his royalties for copies of Barbra Streisand's BUTTERFLY but he still didn't care for her cover of his "Life On Mars."  (To ROLLING STONE's Cameron Crowe, Bowie stated, "Bloody awful.  Sorry, Barb, but it was atrocious.")

Joni's just despicable, in Yaffe's mind.  She's even lying about Woodstock!  This despite the fact that all involved tell the same story.  Dick Cavett does offer a variation, prompted by Yaffe (fed by him), Cavett insists that Joni was never supposed to be the only guest on the program.

Strangely, Joni's never made the claim that she was supposed to be the only guest.

While we're talking Dick and sexism, could he apologize for harassing Diana Ross?  She was in the middle of performing a concert when he snuck out on stage (as a 'prank') and pinched her ass.  Is that really appropriate behavior because it strikes us as harassment and we're damn tired of being the only people in the world holding Dick Cavett accountable for his harassment of women (the Diana story is only one example).

Dick and Yaffe are convinced that Dick did Joni a huge favor by having her on his show in August of 1969.

What a prize moment, a failing TV show -- in the days before Tivo and YOUTUBE -- meaning only those watching the last hour of ABC -- the third rated network out of three networks -- prime time were going to catch it.

Failing?  It would be cancelled exactly 30 days later.  Dick would then resurface with a late night talk show.


mama cass

Two months earlier, she'd been seen by many more viewers as a guest on THE MAMA CASS TELEVISION PROGRAM (she performed "Both Sides Now" and, with Cass and Mary Travers, "I Shall Be Released").

How do you miss that?

Oh, that's right, you're a pig who's pimping the Cavett appearance as the end all be all and Joni's big TV debut.

Even though it wasn't.

You're the same pig who writes, on page 136, "Mama Cass to everyone who knew her."

No, piggie, Cass.

Not "Mama Cass."

Michelle Phillips did not call her "Mama Cass," nor did Cass call Michelle "Mama Michelle."

Only in your uneducated and uninformed fan boi mind did the people who knew Cass as friends call her "Mama Cass."

Russ Kunkel shows up a lot.

We're not sure why.

He played drums on some of Joni's work.  He was her employee, yes.

But long before that she knew Cass and, yes, Cass' sister Leah Kunkel.

Where's Leah in the book?

Where are the bulk of women in the book?

No where to be found.

Leah, Joellen Lapidus, etc.

Even Joni's meeting with Georgia O'Keeffe goes unmentioned.

But the author does make time to refer to Joni Mitchell as "a broad."

He also makes time to treat Larry Klein as a gospel of truth.

Why are we believing her second husband -- her now ex-husband -- over Joni herself?

And why all the attention and justification for Klein to begin with.

It's an established fact -- one not argued by either Joni or Larry -- that their marriage died when she miscarried.

Why the non-stop sentences of the authors and of Klein's about how he didn't realize how important that event was?

She's pregnant, she miscarries.

The author finds plenty of time to blame Joni for it -- as does Larry (she smoked horror!).

But we're supposed to excuse the fact that she has to count on a friend to take her to the hospital because days of bleeding do not seem significant to Larry Klein?

We're supposed to excuse the fact that he then leaves her to go to Europe?


What Klein and Yaffe argue is offensive.

So is much of the book.  For example, prepare to recoil in horror as Yaffe describes "Cherokee Louise" as a song about "a horrifying introduction to adult sex."

Cherokee Louise is raped by her foster-dad.

Who the hell would call that an "introduction to adult sex"?

Rape isn't about sex.  Is Yaffe really that stupid?

RECKLESS DAUGHTER is nothing but a pig playing in a pig pen and calling his droppings a book.

It's not just that Joni deserves better, it's that womankind deserves better.

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