Sunday, August 21, 2011

Analogia - Joni Mitchell : The Mamas and the Papas

The other night while I was organizing my closet (The people who know me well are recovering from a faint right now.), I listened to The Greatest Hits of The Mamas and the Papas following Joni Mitchell’s Ladies of the Canyon. I noticed both Joni Mitchell and The Mamas and the Papas were inspired by Laurel Canyon, Los Angeles, a location important to pop musicians during the 1960s. I only knew of the status of Laurel Canyon because I recently watched a biography about Joni Mitchell which mentioned it. I realized The Mamas and the Papas'  song “Twelve Thirty (Young Girls Are Coming to the Canyon)” must be referring to the same canyon as Joni Mitchell’s song “Ladies of the Canyon.” After doing a little research, I found this was, in fact, the case.  I also thought it interesting that both Joni Mitchell and The Mamas and the Papas expressed their longing for California through songs.

 While I love listening to music, and often think about the musical traditions passed from generation to generation and how music evolves over time, I don’t often consider the bilateral relationships - the musicians who knew and inspired each other, the artists who faced similar pressures and cultural experiences, the people who overlapped. However, I always appreciate coming by these little unexpected moments of understanding and clarity.

Here are the four songs that sparked the realization that The Mamas and the Papas and Joni Mitchell shared time and space:

Laurel Canyon

"Ladies of the Canyon"

"Twelve Thirty (Young Girls Are Coming to the Canyon)"

"California Dreamin'"

1 comment:

  1. There was a BBC documentary on that whole canyon scene which sounded wonderful before it all went sour. What a time though.
    Here it is.