James And Joni, June 2018

I’ve written before here about James Taylor’s early career, but this photo (taken a few days ago, after one of his concerts) reminded me of the time we saw Joni Mitchell introduce a young, strung-out (kicking a heroin habit) James Taylor at a basement “club” inside a parking garage that accommodated a couple hundred people, standing on a cold parking lot floor in December, off Commonwealth Avenue, near Boston University in 1970.

it was James’ first US appearance after returning from London, where he’d recorded his first album on The Beatles’ Apple label. The memory of how protective she was of his fragility that night, is why this photo moves me beyond description.

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My Back Pages

Top ten lists of albums, songs, concerts and performers are not something I do, because there is so much music that I love, and love at different times for different reasons. 

But this in-concert collaboration by a bunch of artists, including Roger McGuinn, Tom Petty, Neil Young, Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan, and George Harrison would be atop any of those lists. 

The older I get, the more meaning this song takes on for me.