The summer lasted and lasted. Another band called The Doors caused a stir at the Whisky. They only played the club a couple weeks, rotating top billing with the Springfield, before being fired for the singer sharing his x-rated feelings for his mother onstage. But not before being signed, obviously. Record companies seemed to have taken the Californian weather to heart, smiling on the righteous and the bold, on natives and settlers, old hands and newcomers alike.
This particular record company was Electra. They’d missed out on the Byrds and the Springfield and were recruiting on all fronts now. Billy the Columbia guy became Billy the Electra guy in the fall. This could only be good news for Jackson, who was pretty much living in Billy’s house in the canyon full time and the favourite among all the hungry guests. The piano on Lookout Mountain got played every day.
Soon it looked like both guys’ efforts were paying off. Jackson had written dozens of songs by now, and got to demo most of them for Electra in the new year. But all that happened was that Buffalo Springfield had their first top ten hit. For What It’s Worth caught imaginations all over the country, being a response to the LAPD’s attempted crushing of the growing anti-war vibe among the long-hairs on the Strip. There were half a million marines in Vietnam now, and nearly everyone you talked to knew someone who’d been killed.
Jackson wasn’t crushed at the continuing lack of a deal, but he seemed close.
‘I’m splitting,’ he said to Juno one morning in March. They were dangling their feet over the edge of her porch, watching Ezz and Tomson hunting birds.
‘Whatcha mean?’ asked Juno.
‘I’m going to New York. Me and Greg. It ain’t happening for us here.’
Juno was mortified, and yet more shocked to realize it was the fear of missing Jackson that scared her no end worse than the danger of him running into Joni.
She knew she didn’t want to stop him or make a record deal appear out of lumpy air. All she could do was watch. And keep watch.