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.