The first thing that came to pass was Jackson going away again. Barry had finally got Electra to part with money. He, Ned, Jackson and a bunch of Billy’s hungry roomers decamped to a mountain lodge the company had rented, in the middle of nowhere in Northern California. They took some technicians and an engineer with them, planning to record an album right there, real stripped-down, real removed from everything…
Juno’d got no time at all to miss Jackson before Cass said to her in early October, ‘Look, somebody gave me this!’ They were alone on Cass’s veranda, and even the leaves on the trees seemed to freeze as Cass produced a record from under her wicker chair. Juno knew right away that something had to be wrong. The album was Wildflowers, Judy Collins’s latest. ‘Funny, two of your songs are on here,’ Cass went on. ‘Says on the credits they’re written by a Joni… what was it, something… That your new stage name?’
Bang. She’d lost Cass. Before Juno knew what she was doing she’d flung out the spell. Cass smiled at her. ‘Let’s go inside, sweetheart, and talk to the others some.’ She got up and held the fly screen open for Juno, all the while looking at her with eyes that said she had no idea Juno sang.
Juno was still wondering how to keep Cass and David apart when David got the sack from the Byrds. It came as a surprise to no-one who’d lately talked to his bandmates. But it gave David something to talk a lot about at Cass’s that night, and the following day he took a flight to Miami. Since he was fancy free now he was going to buy a boat. Not that there weren’t any for sale in LA, but off he was anyhow.
Juno took a deep breath and went home to think. After hours and hours of playing out all kinds of different moves in her head, she figured that the best thing would be to modify her spell for Cass to forget all about Wildflowers and hope for the best. Judy Collins wasn’t that well known. She wasn’t Joan Baez or anything.
That was exactly the moment the Laurel Canyon zone alert she’d put around Joni went off.