Thursday, June 13, 2013

The Joni Mitchell Interview

This is worth every minute.

Joni Interview

I am, of course, a monstrous Joni fan. I love her big fat jazzy chords. And her. The dramatic little stories in the songs. The performances. And mostly, the daring modal form of music she took on.

I met Joni at her art show in LA a few years ago. I talked to her about something human and sensitive. She caught my eye and engaged with me. Then, I kind of wanted more from her. She disengaged. Smart.

She, wisely, loathes celebrity.

I first became obsessed with Joni one weekend while in Pittsburgh, of all places. It was the early 80s. The album was Court and Spark. I listened to one side, turned it over, then the other, turned it over. Repeat. While chain smoking. Joni figured into my music rotation for years. But then I went nuts in '91 when Night Ride Home was released. It was the period when everything was turning CD, (I think the last vinyl I ever bought was Bonnie Raitt's Nick of Time) and I played Joni's CD, repeatedly, for months. It helped that I was writing full time then. It was just me, Joni's Night Ride Home and my weird word processor thingy.

The deal was sealed with Turbulent Indigo.  And for most of the years since, I have mostly listened to Joni. Others, too, of course.  But she is who I always come back to. Occasionally, I get tired of the fluid music. But after a little break, I am always ready to return.

My other favorite albums:

Song to a Seagull
For the Roses
Court and Spark
Hissing of Summer Lawns

There are many cuts on many other albums that I like, but the eight albums above are a good best-of-Joni-primer. According to my dissonant-French-romantic-ears.

In the interview she is direct, smart, honest, revealing, a bit maddening (with that cigarette and her occasional crankiness) but she always is brave.  As she says, she was not mollycoddled growing up. She mentions, more than once, her fighting Irish blood. The Irish blarney that runs through her head that she captures. The Irish are a wordy musical bunch. Glad she tapped into it.

Watch it. She's inspiring. Joni turns 70 in November. She boldly faces things as they are. Frankly, life without Joni would have been a ride I would not have wanted.

Joni Interview

(Side note: She reminds me of my mother-in-law. Something about the eyes and the self-honesty.)

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