Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Say what?!? Joni Mitchell Calls Bob Dylan a Plagiarist

"Um, whoa? During a rare interview with the LA Times, done in part because of actor and performance artist John Kelly’s tribute show “Paved Paradise: The Art of Joni Mitchell“, Mitchell said a bunch of things about being a fan of his interpretation of her, and you can read about all of that stuff by clicking on the link provided above. The whole interview is pretty great. However, let’s just get right to the comment that came out of left field and hit the hardest.

When the interviewer asked Mitchell about her own experiences with becoming a character outside of herself (referring to the controversy she caused when she appeared as an African American male on the cover of her 1977 album Don Jaun’s Reckless Daughter), and the fact that the folk scene seemed to have fun creating personas, her born Roberta Joan Anderson, and Bob Dylan being born Bobby Zimmerman, her response was extremely curt. She said:

“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.”

And then she dropped that subject and went on to explain her name change, saying, “… my parents wanted a boy, so they called me Robert John; when I came out a girl, they just added two letter A’s to that. Then I married Chuck Mitchell; I wanted to keep my maiden name—I had a bit of a following as Joni Anderson—but he wouldn’t let me.”

And then the interviewer dropped the Bob Dylan slight too, going on to ask her about the show again. Perhaps he felt kinda embarrassed for not knowing the background of her name change… one person’s poorly researched question is another’s chance to spew some vitriol… or maybe he didn’t know what to do with that kind of comment since most of us live in the universe where it’s pretty much implausible to dismiss Bob Dylan.

But damn, Joni… them’s some bold words."

- from

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