26 April 2010

Graceless Ms. Mitchell

Late last week, Joni Mitchell participated in a Los Angeles Times Q&A and somehow ended up insulting some of the most famous performers of our time.

 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 Madonna: "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 Grace Slick and Janis Joplin: "Grace [Slick] and Janis Joplin were [sleeping with] their whole bands and falling down drunk, and nobody came after them"



Joni on the singers who cite her as an influence, or are compared to Joni (Joanna Newsom, Chan Marshall, Rufus Wainwright): "Those are theatrical voices, which is a whole other thing."

Ms. Mitchell also appeared defensive, negative, arrogant, and just this side of insane, proclaiming that she intended to quit music to "battle for Morgellons* sufferers to receive the credibility that's owed to them."  The answers that she gave seemed short, choppy, and unstructured.  I wonder if the editor was just being unkind here or if this is what she really sounded like.

I've read the interview a few times at this point and still have no idea why she thought this might be remotely appropriate or meaningful. Now I don't think will have any influence on my ability to listen to and enjoy her music, but my goodness, you'd think at this point in a highly successful performers' life she could take the graceful high road and avoid disparaging her peers and heirs.  

While the internet may be abuzz about such incendiary statements, do we think anyone will care enough to issue direct responses? 

*According to the wikipedia page, a Washington Post Magazine cover story, and the interview itself, the existence of an actual medical condition that supports the existence of Morgellons is questionable. Many believe it is merely delusional parasitosis "a form of psychosis whose victims acquire a strong delusional belief that they are infested with parasites, whereas in reality no such parasites are present."

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