My friend Warren really hates Bob Seger’s “Turn the Page.” We’re talking heat-of-ten-thousand-blue-giant-suns hatred–I mean, he even had the protagonist in his novel remark on how awful it is. Warren’s not big on Seger anyway, but he has absolutely no patience for complaints about how tough it is to be a rock musician. If you don’t like it, just don’t do it, I imagine him thinking whenever the song comes on the radio within his hearing.
(As for me, I like “Turn the Page” well enough; perhaps I’m more sympathetic to articulating the sucky aspects of being on the road? Besides, one of my best friends in HS absolutely loved it, so I guess there are sufficient back-in-the-day memories so that it’s hard to get too down on it.)
Anyhow, I can’t help but wonder if Warren feels similarly about Joni Mitchell’s “Free Man in Paris.” This time, we’re treated to Mitchell relaying what she heard in David Geffen’s laments about the downsides of being a record company executive, and in his pleasures in traveling to the City of Lights. On the whole, I get it–people being nice to you solely because they want something from you is draining (I could get into spending a bunch of time in Paris, too). And as far as “if you don’t like it, just don’t do it” goes, well, Geffen kinda did that after awhile, essentially taking off the last half of the 70s from the music biz.
Court and Spark has become one of my go-to albums this decade, and “Free Man in Paris” is one of the really amazing songs on it–it’d definitely be worth trying out at karaoke. Sitting at #30 this week on its way to #22, it became the last studio recording of Mitchell’s to get played on AT40 (a live take on “Big Yellow Taxi” made it a few months after this).