Joni Mitchell On John Kelly, Bob Dylan, And More

Last week the Los Angeles Times had an interesting interview with folk legend Joni Mitchell, and John Kelly, a dude who does a Joni tribute show (in drag). The Times got both performers together to see what Joni thought of the tribute and she talked about it, along with a number of other things. The whole article is worth a read, but here were a couple of things that lept out at me:

Joni, on her catalogue:
My first four albums covered the usual youth problems — looking for love in all the wrong places — while the next five are basically about being in your 30s. Things start losing their profundity; in middle-late age, you enter a tragedian period, realizing that the human animal isn't changing for the better. In a way, I think I entered straight into my tragedian period, as my work is set against the stupid, destructive way we live on this planet. Americans have decided to be stupid and shallow since 1980. Madonna is like Nero; she marks the turning point.
Joni, on Bob Dylan:

Bob is not authentic at all. He's a plagiarist, and his name and voice are fake. Everything about Bob is a deception. We are like night and day, he and I.

Joni, on rocking during the start of women's liberation:
It was very shocking; even Prince said that to me. I first saw him in the audience of one of my Minneapolis shows. He was the only person of color in the front row — he concentrated on me for the whole show with his big eyes. When Prince later became a star, he told me, "You used to be shocking, but I can cut you now!" I never actually tried to be shocking — I was shocked that people were shocked. The madonna-whore thing was very prevalent, though, even in the "Summer of Love." Rolling Stone even called me "Old Lady of the Year," and made a graph of all these hearts I'd theoretically broken — if I did someone's radio show, they had me sleeping with them.

Grace [Slick] and Janis Joplin were [sleeping with] their whole bands and falling down drunk, and nobody came after them! The ad for my first album said, "Joni Mitchell is 100% virgin"; the ad for the second one was "Joni Mitchell takes time," which was also nod-nod, wink-wink in a way my material didn't call for.
It's interesting stuff.

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