Talk, the 1970s and Tequila-Anaconda
Over vegan vittles tonight, Joni Mitchell came up in conversation with an old friend. Joni -- bitter, rich and bonding with her grand child over cigarettes (which she has described as a "healing herb") in her Malibu mansion -- has slowly re-engaged with the world and recording industry that a decade ago she dismissed as a cesspool of bimbos and profit (not prophets). Perhaps she needed profits to maintain her lifestyle.
Oddly, my favorite album of Joni's has always been one of her most derided opuses -- Don Juan's Reckless Daughter. Its title is at once revelatory and redundant. It has a 16-minute opus about the plains of Canada, photos of Joni in black face drag king make up and a tune about "Muslims holding up Washington". Yet, the most mysterious lyric -- one that holds many questions but few answers on the internet -- is this one from "Talk to Me":
There was a moon and a street lamp
I didn't know I drank such a lot
'Till I pissed a tequila-anaconda
The full length of the parking lot!
Oh, I talk too loose
Again I talk too open and free
I pay a high price for my open talking
Like you do for your silent mystery
Many want the "Blue" period Joni, the "Court and Spark" Joni or even the "Hejira" and "Hissing Lawns" Joni. But this is the one that I most love. The one that had just enough success and bravado to share the realities of romance, a tad too much booze and the search for something beyond Paprika Plains.
Labels: Joni Mitchell