It is now nearly thirty years since Joni Mitchell released her album Blue(1972). It describes one or two years in her life – what she learned, what she experienced. She is the theme and is placed at the centre of her story. The first track ‘All I Want’ shows her to be ‘on the road’, typically the male domain of rock, evocative of Jack Kerouac and the gestalt of Route 66. Mitchell is the lonely traveller, but she is one who is there by choice, aware that the counter culture of the 1960s had done little to extend its freedoms to women, especially in terms of musical equality. Moreover, she is trapped by that seemingly irreconcilable dilemma of wanting a man but, at the same time, needing to be free. Many of us shared – and continue to share – that very real problem, but Joni Mitchell knew how to sing about it. She also demonstrated that she was capable of earning a living through selling her creativity. In contrast, Janis Joplin, often overweight, generally insecure in an arguably male-dominated environment, died alone, having accidentally injected a lethal dose of pure heroin. Intelligent, witty and well read, she was – like many of us at the time – trying to come to terms with her identity.