Goodbye Pork Pie Hat: Joni Mitchell

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18 Comments on “Goodbye Pork Pie Hat: Joni Mitchell”

  1. Morpfy Says:

    and here is Joni singing this song in concert

  2. Hedley Says:

    I loved Joni but struggled with the whole Mingus thing. Saw the tour out at Pine Knob (now DTE) and could never quite get there musically. . It also really marked the end of buying every Joni product as it hit the racks.

    • katry Says:

      My Dear Hedley,
      This is my favorite on that album; like you, I got disenchanted with her later stuff. Too much experimentation.

    • Jasper Says:

      I was one of those numerous latecomers to Joni’s work, right around the time the Grammys were in their “oh-hey-we-ignored you-all-these-years-but-now-you’re-old-but-still-writing-so-we-have-to-call-you-a-legend-so-here-you-go” phase with Joni. ’94, I think? Anyway, I don’t know if I can attribute it to queer hindsight, or to my occasional love affairs with experimental jazz, but when I immersed myself in the bulk of her work up to that point, Mingus immediately struck me as one her true high-water marks, at least in terms of artistic accomplishment. Most of the other seventies material has not held up as well for me in recent years, but songs like “Sweet Sucker Dance” and “Pork Pie Hat” are still among my absolute favorites of hers – in fact, I’ve almost stopped listening to her stuff pre-Summer-Lawns, with the exception of a few really early tracks. This is what I love about Joni – that she can have so many different kinds of fan bases.

      • Kat Says:

        My lasting affection for her earlier works comes from my having her album with me in Ghana when I was in the Peace Corps in 1970.I listened to that album (Clouds) so many times I used to have to use a Bic pen to rewind the cassette.That album remains my favorite.

        You are so right about her fan bases.

  3. greg mpls Says:

    mingus was the end for me, too…it wook awhile for
    me to get over it and listen to the later stuff.
    some of which i actually liked.

    • katry Says:

      I haven’t listened to a whole lot of new Joni since this album. I figure Clouds, Blue and Ladies of the Canyon are more than enough though I have several others.

    • Hedley Says:

      Greg, For me “Court and Spark” was it. I bashed my way through Heijira and Don Juan but I ground to a horrible halt with Mingus both in terms of recorded and live material.

    • Hedley Says:

      Greg, sorry and I was really good with “Hissing of Summer Lawns” but…..

  4. im6 Says:

    Can’t stand Mingus. Can barely stand Hissing and Don Juan… But I kept on buying those JM albums (even through the Geffen years). I just couldn’t give up on her. I hate to begrudge anyone wanting to experiment and broaden their horizons, but those years were certainly not fan-friendly. If she wanted to try something different creatively, I wish she’d used her time more wisely by painting more. Fortunately, sticking with her finally paid off when she reinvented her old self with Both Sides Now and Travelogue. Those are a couple of beauties.

    I can’t believe anyone has to “bash” their way through Heijera. That’s my favorite album of hers. Dare I say it? Even more so than Blue!

    • katry Says:

      I too kept on buying them with the hope I’d like the music. Sometimes I did; other times I didn’t. I liked some of Night Ride Home, and I also liked Both Sides Now.

      I bought every album regardless and Mingus is one I didn’t like except for this song. I didn’t want her to change so much she wasn’t Joni anymore, and that seemed to be happening.

      I’ll give Heijera another listen as I haven’t heard it in a while. If you think it better than Blue, I definitely have to hear it agin.

  5. Joe Penkrot Says:

    What I really dislike are pork pie hats.

    • Kat Says:

      When I see a guy wearing one I always think the hat is too small for his head. Women can carry off the look I think.

  6. Porky Pig Says:

    SO Da da Do I, Joe

  7. J Says:

    Thanks to Kat for this song, and to Morphy for that video.
    This jazz period was a change for Mitchell, but it was integral to her career path.
    In the video, note the bass player– yes, Jaco Pastorius.
    He was a very important collaborator in this time period. (He’s dead 15 years now).
    When the video ends, look at the selection of videos Youtube offers the viewer–
    in the middle of the left column (at least when I watched) was one titled
    “Jaco Pastorius, solo”. From the edit, it immediately followed the Mitchell song at the recorded concert.
    It gives clear evidence of his mastery of the fretless bass and electronic effects,
    and it also demonstrates what Pastorius was bringing to the collaboration with Mitchell
    as she explored her own audio palette. He’s long gone; I believe the torch has been passed to Victor Wooten (Flecktones).

    • Kat Says:

      I thank you for this as I am deficient in recognizing the well-known, talented musicians who accompany artists I like.

      I went back to youtube and heard and saw what you described.

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