This work-in-progress lists all currently known appearances, drawn from a variety of sources.
Researched, Compiled, and Maintained by Simon Montgomery, © 2001-2021.
Special thanks to Joel Bernstein for his contributions and assistance.
Latest Update: June 11, 2021
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JMDL Member Comments
Janet Hess: Hey, how wonderful to have a late late Letterman that was more than worth staying up for, eh?
Vince Lavieri: I thought that she really liked radiant and sounded beautiful, exquisite. It appeared Dave thought so too.
GuruDJSmithmix: Ok: I've watched three times, and I've cried three times, and now bed. Well worth the sleep lost! Damn, this women moves me! WORSHIP!
Scott Price: Joni's performance on the Letterman show tonight was stunning. She was gorgeous and her voice was in as fine a form as ever. I was impressed with her clarity and delivery...very little "raspiness" as has been noted in many reviews of late. It was different seeing her up on stage without a guitar. I think she is feeling a bit freed up as was evident by her body, arm and hand movements and expressions throughout the song ("At Last") and can fully concentrate on her singing.
Bringing in that orchestra for only one song was unexpected; I had thought Letterman's band might provide the accompaniment and was pleasantly surprised and relieved to find all the stops were pulled out and Joni had a fine group of musicians assembled to provide the music.
The only sour note for me was that no time was left at the end of the show for Letterman to ask a few questions of Joni and allow her to tell a story or two. But any feelings I have of being cheated on that account were more than made up for with that beautiful rendition. Great stuff....
Sue Cooper: Hi Everyone! WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Joni was wonderful!!! Her voice sounded great!!!! Joni is Happy.........................At Last!!!!!!!!
Bob Muller: I'm with you 100% Scott...firstly, I was delirious that our ailing failing VCR picked it up in the first place, then to watch it this morning, she was just so on the money! I thought she was a pulling a Milli Vanilli at first because the sound was so perfect (although I know she wouldn't do that). And I liked all the hand gestures, the way she just threw herself into the song, really gets me fired up for seeing the "long" version in Atlanta. It's gonna be a knockout.
And why waste the time with Oliver Platt? Joni would have been a much more interesting subject! So when is she on Leno?
Doug Stapleton: i dusted off the T.V. and spent about half an hour, growing more desperate, trying to get it to work. it takes a lot of fiddling with the tv dial (otis style) and a bit of prayer.
Joan was radiant- breathtaking- and so at ease! i can't wait for the concert.
i love 'at last'- that delicate ghost of a record hop piano- Di di di di di di Di di di di di di di... i want to hold someone so carefully and sway and dance.
i like how these songs have grown on me. i really feel like there her material and not just some covers she's doing.
the orchestra was a pleasant, lush, captivating surprise- that really placed her front and center, the sun of a musical universe!
Emily Kirk Gray: i agree with those who wrote that JM looked radiant and sounded great...what a bummer that i tried to tape it and failed, miserably! hating technology today.
i let out a gasp at the first notes of "at last" -- so glad she chose that one and loved any extra or different flourishes added (there was one on one of the last phrases, but i can't remember which...anyone?).
don't you love how she does that inimitable swaying? it's so different from most performers' set gesturing. joni's dancing to her own rhythms and i feel lucky to see (and hear!) the evidence of them.
also -- i was digging that cool white sweater coat thing and the big long purple scarf! i thought she looked funky and elegant and NOT like she was trying to vamp it up in some stereotypical "now i'm singing standards" way. does anyone know which designer(s) she wore? recently i've seen her quoted in articles as pretty hip to contemporary couture...interesting!
Mark Domyancich: She looked BEAUTIFUL! And I was a little shocked she chose At Last - those first few notes had me thinking she was going to play BSN, but I really enjoyed it. Now why the hell did they give so much time to that comedian? What a bore. And how disappointing there wasn't enough time to talk to Dave. This wouldn't be the first time. I'm sure Rosie will give enough time come next Monday.
Nicholas: After perservering through one of the most tedious Letterman's ever, At Last, literally, musically and figuratively, and everything else ...Joni. Resplendent in Issey Myake, glowing with a Lateshow makeover and in fantastic voice and backed by the whole caboodle of an orchestra.
Thank you so much to the list - if it hadn't been for all my friends out there in cyberspace this would have passed me by. And for once, Channel Nine here in Sydney didn't have the cricket or some other half-hearted excuse to delay Letterman until even later in the evening (morning). Anyway now its way past my bed-time, I've got to get up in six hours and my partner is again accusing me of loving Joni more than I love him!
tired but happy
Alison Einerson: she was indeed, spectacular. i, too, was glad she chose "At Last"; it's my favorite track on the album (this week, anyhow...). i think the designer she seems to wear alot is issaye miyake (sp?). she always seems to be wearing very elegant yet comfortable-looking clothing.
Gene Mock: Boy! She sounded fantastic on Letterman. If only he didn't mess around with those ticks earlier in the show, then we could've gotten a good interview. It seems like everytime she appears on talk shows they never give her a chance to speak her mind. Joni just doesn't get no damn respect. Is there some kind of media conspiracy going on? Anyway she did sound fantastic.
Sue Cameron: Joni and an orchestra! Wow. She looked great singing "At Last" and the musicians didn't overpower her singing. She had on a neutral longer neutral colored sweater on with an equal length, flowing purple scarf with a matching color pant.
It was interesting to see Joni with the orchestra last night. At one point I thought she was ahead of the music, then it all came back together. She looked lovely and really seemed to enjoy the performance once it was underway. Her nerves did show a bit when the song began.
I thought it was funny when they came on after the song and long commercial break for their "chat". Dave held up the CD, said "well its great, Both Sides Now, beautiful and the song couldn't have been lovelier. And how about the band? Nice going, who's picking up that bill?" To which Joni responded "The record company" and Dave chuckled "good for them, God bless the record company".
Don Sloan: Yes, it was a stunning performance and made my anticipation of the upcoming concert grow by leaps and bounds. But I was still way-bummed to see Joni barely sit down before the show ended. I can understand Dave's not having the time or inclination to interview most of the musical acts appearing on the show. But this was Joni Mitchell, Legend in Her Own Time. No mention of the tour, no mention of the Tribute Special.... just a quick thanks and a handshake. I understand the time constraints very well - after all, I only had to watch about 12 commercials immediately before Joni came on. But IMHO, blowing by someone of Joni's stature shows, well, no class. Sorry, Dave.... but you blew it.
Kate Tarasenko: I have to disagree with Don who said that Dave displayed "no class" and "blew it" by not taking time to interview Joni. So harsh! I agree with someone else who wrote that it's just the show's format to barely squeeze in the musical guests at the end, and, anyway, "live" TV is something of a miracle to pull off, winding up on time before someone literally yanks the plug on you. I seem to recall Dylan performing on his show, and he didn't get any interview time, either -- I don't think Joni rates especially higher than Bob on the Living Legends meter, do you??? Plus, Dave rocks!
Scott Price: Joni was seated in the guest chair, beaming, and looked very willing to talk. The show ended very abruptly as the running time was obviously over. I think that part of the talk show gig is to *talk*....if they give you a chance!
The performance was great. Absolutely wonderful. But the way she was cut off from speaking seemed impolite and disrespectful. I think it would have almost been better if she had never been seated next to Letterman's desk, looking ready, willing, and able to converse. Her performance definitely was the highlight but to bring her out after the song was over and then not give her much of a chance to say anything was not very well received by yours truly.
As Pat writes, perhaps it was not Mr. Letterman himself who makes the decisions about who goes on and for how long and for what. If not Dave, then somebody else calling the shots should allow the guests to represent themselves a little more fully.