What a lovely well researched book. It is a biography that reflects on her influences, piers who often became her lovers, contemporary music, poetry, construction and content. Joni leaves no stone unturned in her autobiographical songs exposing her innermost feelings and experiences, hence the title `Will you take me as I am'.
You learn a great deal about Joni and the detail behind the words of her songs, often from interviews with the author. Michelle Mercer takes you on a fascinating journey through her work that will probably open up a new understanding about yourself.
You may think that you understand the words of the songs but shortly after starting the book you will begin to realise that there is so much more. You will also start to realise that there is a lot of yourself in the songs and that if you start to realise this that Joni will be pleased, as that is one of her main aims.
Joni has always wanted to be recognised as an artist and has a fantastic collection of paintings to her name. As a muscian she never learnt to read music, study it's theory or read many books (up until she met Leonard Cohen) and yet she produced such great songs of depth and complexity. Joni was handicapped by polio and wouldn't have been able to learn to play a guitar in the traditional way. Nevertheless she overcame all these obstacles and found her own unique way to play the guitar and construct poetry to song that didn't fit in with convention. She brought her poetry/stories alive through music in a magical way.
The result was something very special and the author beautifully captures it. Whilst the Blue LP features strongly in the book the author cleverly extends the study to a few years either side so that it encapsulates what she calls Joni Mitchell's Blue Period.