Swords Orthodontics
17 Main St, Swords, Co Dublin, Ireland

Happy Birthday, Joni Mitchell - and many happy returns.

Both Sides, Then. And Now.

Everyone loves Joni MItchell
Everyone loves Joni Mitchell. At least, everyone in Whelan's last Wednesday.
An exceptional musical event curated by Dave McGuinness of Lir

Last week I was at a couple of Joni Mitchell tribute shows in honour of her 75th birthday. When Total Guitar magazine listed the 300 greatest guitarists (by genre) she beat Bob Dylan, and that I wouldn’t disagree with. I’d been a fan for years, but sadly I’ll never see her in concert. A few years ago I went to Sligo to see Leonard Cohen (and try and figure out why there is the fuss about him) but listening to him wanting to dance to the end of love, or what ever he does, I realised that Joni was the last of the legends that I really wanted to see live.

First up was Clare O’Mahony’s “Songs of Joni Mitchell” at Draíocht theatre in Blanchardstown – sort of local to Swords Orthodontics. Great venue for all sorts of shows. This particular concert was a full size band interpreting Joni’s songs with great enthusiasm. The other was “I ♥Joni” at Whelan’s. This was a multi-artist affair organised by Dave McGuiness of Lir, with a squad of ace musicians who really nailed the sound of her songs. It wasn’t just like Joni was in the room with us, it was like she was there with Jaco Pastorius and Larry Carlton riding shotgun. I knew as it wound up that I had seen something unique and so special - this would never happen again this way, even if they tried.

The third Joni tribute in town was “Shadows and Light”, Ireland’s regular Joni Mitchell tribute. I saw them a couple of years ago  (and they are excellent, really do get the vocals bang on), so when I saw they were on the same night as the Whelan’s show, I choose the rock not taken.

And what did I learn…

In between songs, there were various Joni anecdotes and vignettes, but the one that stuck out was where she ended her relationship with Graham Nash (he of Crosby, Stills and Nash). He was fitting a floor in her kitchen while she was on her travels and he received a telegram to the effect of “when you squeeze sand too hard, it slips through your fingers”.

From the perspective of the practice, I’d hope that Swords Ortho is better at face to face communication. Dentists spend years learning the vocabulary to have conversations with each other, but forget that this is no use for talking to the public, so we work hard to make sure that when we do talk to our patients, it’s in plain English.

Also, we’re happy to talk and explain. This week in the evenings I’ve had 4 calls with parents or patients and 2 with dentists about patients – that’s in addition to the calls our patients have had with our treatment co-ordinators and front of house team and all the scheduled appointments with patients.

And the great thing about orthodontics as opposed to Joni Mitchell tributes is that it'll be a year before the next Joni birthday tribute, and I can't put the clock back and see the real Joni in concert. Ever. But almost anyone can seek orthodontics at any age. 

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