Listener Peter S. from Beijing had a clarification on the Joni Mitchell/Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young item I brought up in show 232, the Woodstock Cover Story:

In addition to being an avid musician I am also an avid Crosby Stills Nash and Young fan. Your Neil Young Coverville was great as was your Woodstock Coverville.

During your Woodstock Coverville you talked about the reasons Joni Mitchell did not make it to Woodstock. You mentioned two different versions: (1) the New York Thruway was closed (or going to close) and they could not get her out; or (2) She had a TV show to do. In fact, the reason is a combination of the two.

I recently watched a DVD entitled CSN: Long Time Comin’ released in 2004. During the Buffalo Springfield section of the DVD they interviewed Joni Mitchell. She told the story that she was going to Woodstock with CSN&Y but her people would not let her go as she had a television show to do the next day (Sunday or Monday??) and they were afraid that she would not be able to get out of the Festival as the NY State Thruway was/would be closed. She explained that they got the “boys” (CSN&Y) into the Festival and she stayed behind. They then showed footage of the Dick Cavett show where she appeared on it with Stephen Stills and David Crosby. Dick Cavett asked Still how the Festival was and Stills said he just got back from Woodstock (in fact, he showed everyone the mud still on his jeans and said it was Woodstock mud. Note that he was also wearing the same clothes he wore during their set at Woodstock) and he then played 4+20 on n acoustic guitar while Joni and David Crosby looked on.).

One final word, while your cover version of Woodstock was OK (or “fun” as you said), the best cover version of the song (maybe even better then the CSN version) I have ever heard is Richard Thompson’s haunting accoustic version he did live (in open D tuning I think) at the Hammerstein Theater as part of the “All-Star Tribute to Joni Mitchell” concert. The Stone Temple Pilots were to originally perform it but they were a no show and he filled in. Just some trivia for you. If you want to cite me during one of your shows I would greatly appreciate it as I got the Joni Mitchell story right. Keep the wonderful covers coming.

Thanks, Peter, for the email – interesting to know that both stories I had heard about Joni’s absence were correct! (Sorry for the delay in getting this posted!)