Living in Los Angeles, smog-choked L.A. is bad enough but the last straw came when I visited Hawaii for the first time. It was night time when we got there, so I didn't get my first view of the scenery until I got up the next morning. The hotel room was quite high up so in the distance I could see the blue Pacific Ocean. I walked over to the balcony and there was the picture book scenery, palm tree swaying in the breeze and all. Then I looked down and there was this ugly concrete car park in the hotel grounds. I thought "They paved paradise and put up a parking lot," and that's how the song "Big Yellow Taxi" was born.
The first video is of Joni singing live in front of a small audience in 1970; the second video is of the Counting Crows cover.