You Can’t Be 20

“In 1965 I was up in Canada, and there was a friend of mine up there who had just left a rock’n’roll band… he had just newly turned 19, and that meant he was no longer allowed into his favorite hangout, which was kind of a teeny-bopper club and once you’re over 18 you couldn’t get in there anymore; so he was really feeling terrible because his girlfriends and everybody that he wanted to hang out with, his band could still go there, you know, but it’s one of the things that drove him to become a folk singer was that he couldn’t play in this club anymore. But he was over the hill. So he wrote this song that was called “Oh to live on sugar mountain” which was a lament for his lost youth. He wrote it on his 19th birthday… And I thought, God, you know, if we get to 19 and there’s nothing after that, that’s a pretty bleak future, so I wrote a song for him, and for myself just to give me some hope. It’s called The Circle Game.”

Joni Mitchell, on Neil Young. Joni’s song for Neil, ‘The Circle Game’ after the jump—