Tuesday, July 20, 2021



…by 9:00, a haze of smoke wafting about the piano, Taylor leaned a six-string by the piano. The blonde said, “Sit down, I’ll get the cards.” Dolenz was passed out on the couch.

“Mr. Available Light,” said, “I’m outta here.”
“Stay. A little bit longer. Come on, Jackson.”
The blonde sat in her spot next to Taylor and shuffled the cards. “James, grab a couple beers.” He popped the caps off three Brew 102s, one for the blonde, one for Cass, and one for himself. Stephen and Frey had bourbon neat as the blonde dealt the cards. “Ante up, girls.”
Cass was out, Stephen couldn’t keep up, James lit up, held his breath, exhaled, and waved away the smoke. He shook his head and tossed all the wrong cards on the table.
“You in, Freybrains?” He took a swig of beer and tossed a chip on the table.
He raised his eyebrows. “Come on, Pokerface.”
The tension mounted, the blonde took a card, a three for a pair of jacks. She rolled her eyes, threw her cards on the table, and said, “Fleece me with the gamblers’ flocks, I can keep my cool at poker.” She took a swig of beer and said, “But not tonight.”
Frey swept the winnings before him. “That’s a pack a smokes.”
The blonde did one of her impressions. She said, “You’re good kid, but as long as I’m around you’re second best, and you might as well learn to live with it.”
Although Joni Mitchell’s love of painting is an obvious interest, her secret love for the game of poker remains under wraps. Up on Mountainside Drive, poker was a pastime that kept the Laurel Canyon music scene hopping, a tradition that Glenn Frey instigated a few doors down. “I moved to a place at the corner of Ridpath and Kirkwood in Laurel Canyon, and we had poker games every Monday night during football season. [Joni] started coming every Monday night and playing cards with us. They called our house the Kirkwood casino.”
Mitchell has never spoken about poker and her secret talent for the card game but has dropped the occasional hint about her expertise in her lyrics. In “Song For Sharon,” Joni sings: “Fleece me with the gamblers’ flocks, I can keep my cool at poker, But I’m a fool when love’s at stake, Because I can’t conceal emotion, What I’m feeling’s always written on my face.”
On Taming The Tiger, Mitchell emotionally states: “The moon shed light, On my hopeless plight, As the radio blared so bland, Every disc, a poker chip, Every song just a one night stand.”
Under her breath, the blonde sang: “Tiger, tiger burning bright/ Nice, kitty kitty/ Tiger, tiger burning bright/ In the forest of the night” and put her beer bottle in the sink.

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