Joni Mitchell plays “Coyote” at Gordon Lightfoot’s house with Roger McGuinn and Bob Dylan

Here’s some music that I found by accident while perusing YouTube (they make good “suggestions” sometimes). I had no idea that this video existed, but it’s great.  (To see a longer performance of “Coyote”, watch the 5.5-minute video of Joni from the movie The Last Waltz.)

Apparently the song (according to McGuinn) was written about the Rolling Thunder Review, a multi-star show with Dylan as the header. And, in fact, I saw Joni with the Review when I was in graduate school (Allen Ginsberg also recited a poem).

Below the video, in the comments, one reader said this:

I’m here to tell you that that 50-foot threshold is bunk!


  1. Posted March 3, 2020 at 11:45 am | Permalink


  2. chascpeterson
    Posted March 3, 2020 at 11:49 am | Permalink

    I hadn’t seen this either–thank you. Dylan’s Rolling Thunder tour.
    I think she changed the lyrics for the better.

  3. Ken Kukec
    Posted March 3, 2020 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

    IIRC, this appeared in Marty Scorsese’s riveting documentary released last year about Dylan’s mid-1970s Rolling Thunder Review tour.

    • GBJames
      Posted March 3, 2020 at 12:40 pm | Permalink


    • Ken Kukec
      Posted March 3, 2020 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

      And speaking of documentaries about music of that era, there’s one out now about The Band and Robbie Robertson titled Once Were Brothers. It’s playing at my local theater this week.

      • GBJames
        Posted March 3, 2020 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

        My wife and I went to see Once Were Brothers on Sunday. It was great. If you can, go see it.

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted March 3, 2020 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

          Wouldn’t miss it.

  4. rickflick
    Posted March 3, 2020 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

    I find Joni irresistible…long before 50 feet.

  5. dabertini
    Posted March 3, 2020 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

    Yeah this is a great one. I have been repeatedly watching House of the Rising Sun by the Animals. Like this one, hypnotizing stuff.

  6. merilee
    Posted March 3, 2020 at 2:10 pm | Permalink


  7. Posted March 3, 2020 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

    There’s always music, thank my ears… “fall in love” more like hypnotized!

  8. pablo
    Posted March 3, 2020 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

    I’m just going to come out and say it, I’ve never liked the song Woodstock, in fact I usual prefer her songs when covered by other artists.

  9. Posted March 3, 2020 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

    I had her album Hejira on cassette tape, which features this song and other great songs. I fairly wore it out playing it over and over. I should get it on my computer.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted March 3, 2020 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

      I’ve never had a relationship with a woman didn’t own the Blue album. Hell, as far as I can tell, there may never have been a woman of my generation who didn’t have a copy of Blue — two copies, when it comes to women I’ve lived with.

      My favorite album of hers, though, is the side she cut with the great jazz bassist Charles Mingus, shortly before Mingus shuffled off this mortal coil.

      • Liz
        Posted March 3, 2020 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

        Joni Mitchell has always been off my radar for some reason.

      • Dee
        Posted March 3, 2020 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

        She has a few with bassist Jaco Pastorius as well….he was stellar extraordinare. He played a few on Hejira. God rest his soul.
        I hope Joni is doing well. I cant quit listening!

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted March 3, 2020 at 9:15 pm | Permalink

          Yeah, Pastorius and some of the other guys from Weather Report played on the Mingus album sessions, too.

          Great musicians, all.

  10. Janet Esway
    Posted March 3, 2020 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

    I’ll never be tired of her! I could watch this all day!!!❤❤

  11. Dragon
    Posted March 3, 2020 at 9:39 pm | Permalink

    Joni was a spectacular unique talent. Another one is Kate Bush. I just watched, on YouTube, a documentary about Kate Bush that I had never heard. I had no idea how many people were so influenced by her unique style. Strange that I had the same experience on the same day finding a video I had no idea about.

    • rickflick
      Posted March 4, 2020 at 8:33 am | Permalink

      I just checked out some Kate Bush videos. Her version of Rocket Man is a good one. She’s unique. Curiously, the video version of her songs are done in a tongue-in-cheek style. She’s also very athletic.

      • Dragon
        Posted March 4, 2020 at 9:32 am | Permalink

        The documentary actually talked about her vision of the videos. It also mentioned she took dancing lessons with a well known choreographer… who learned later that she was a singer. She started writing songs at 11 and was discovered by David Gilmore, iirc, at 17.

        • rickflick
          Posted March 4, 2020 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

          Fascinating. Born with tons of talent.

      • ThyroidPlanet
        Posted March 4, 2020 at 10:18 am | Permalink

        What Makes This Song Great by Rick Beato – Rocket Man :

        • rickflick
          Posted March 4, 2020 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

          That’s really, really, interesting. We listen to songs like this many times over many years, unaware (as a non-musician) of all the nuance involved. I have a new appreciation for the song and those who produced it. Thanks for that link. Something to ponder.

  12. Sweetpeavey
    Posted March 3, 2020 at 9:49 pm | Permalink

    Imagine this song played live by her and a band made up of some of the best progressive jazz artists of the late 20th century.
    Pat Metheny, Don Elias, Jaco Pastorius, Michael Brecker…
    It’s called Shadows and Light, released on Vinyl and VHS back in the day, it used to be hard to find but thanks to youtube, you can watch and hear it now.
    It’s Joni at the height of her powers with one of the best backing bands in history,

    • rickflick
      Posted March 3, 2020 at 10:54 pm | Permalink

      How time slips by. So long ago.

    • merilee
      Posted March 3, 2020 at 11:40 pm | Permalink

      I’ve seen the wonderful Metheny up close in a smallish club in Toronto.

  13. boudiccadylis
    Posted March 4, 2020 at 8:54 am | Permalink

    Sorry, Joni’s so so with me.
    That poor leopard, it appears the hyena had a young one there to feed. Perhaps that was why it was so diligent

  14. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted March 4, 2020 at 9:51 am | Permalink

    I’ve always been looking for a Mitchell song to really illustrate what everyone (meaning famous musicians) think is so great. I’ve heard nice stuff, of course.. But I think this performance shows me what is great. The singing is beautiful and – importantly – improvised. I also note the guitar is in an alternate tuning, with a low D (maybe even C?…), but additional strings as well (tech term :”scordatura”) and what THAT tells me is partly where Michael Hedges got ideas for his sound – strumming open strings making satiny, singing chords on top, that can be slid around smoothly, with stentorian low root and fifths and ninth, for a warm, powerful effect. It’s not clear if anyone but Mitchell is playing guitar. Dylan makes a couple chords initially but I think that’s it.

    TL;DR : check out Michael Hedges

    • ThyroidPlanet
      Posted March 4, 2020 at 10:05 am | Permalink

      It’s Low D-flat

      If we simplify, The tuning might be interesting to figure out – I hear :

      DAEDF#A <- top three strings, I’ll have to work on…

      … then everything would be dropped a half-step, but the relationships are the same.

      I think Dylan is playing standard tuning, so there’s some harsh dissonances because if he just wails on the chords by habit without consideration for the notes Mitchell is just wailing on by habit on the scordatura guitar, it’s bound to happen.

  15. Frank Stein
    Posted March 4, 2020 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

    She sounds amazing and looks fantastic!

  16. Posted March 7, 2020 at 7:00 am | Permalink

    Hejira and The Hissing of Summer Lawns are my favourite Joni Mitchell albums. Wonderful.

    • rickflick
      Posted March 7, 2020 at 8:42 am | Permalink

      I had to check that out. Here’s a cover of Summer Lawn by Tutu Puoane:

  17. Andrea Kenner
    Posted March 7, 2020 at 8:30 am | Permalink


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