Joni Mitchell: In Her Own Words
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In Joni Mitchell: In Her Own Words, Joni and Malka follow this thread through seven decades of life and art, discussing the influence of Joni’s childhood, love and loss, playing dives and huge festivals, acclaim and criticism, poverty and affluence, glamorous triumphs and tragic mistakes . . .
This riveting narrative, told in interviews, lyrics, paintings, and photographs, is shared in the hope of illuminating a timeless body of work and inspiring others.
black burlap over it. Well, as the storm progressed, it came down right on top of us. A lot of thunder, on top of us, in the middle of a song called “Songs to Aging Children Come” — “Some come dark and strange like dying.” And right about that point, the thunder blew the power out. What I didn’t know was that the thunder was eating my sound because there was no mike. I kept playing in the dark, and when the lightning was right on top of us, it was backlighting me. So I was this silhouette.
strong. In other cultures, that would be called a shamanic conversion. In this culture, it would be called a nervous breakdown. Your nerves are on fire. Since we’re not a shamanic people, we don’t realize that sharper senses are coming in. I think it’s the sixth sense, which is the coordination of all the other five; it comes from sharpening the five. It’s the sense that directs the dogs and horses to run for the hills when the tsunami is coming. They could hear it, they could smell it. It
be like a herald for a later encounter. Henry Lewy: But it was a double album and it didn’t do too well. Relatively. I mean it shipped gold, it didn’t sell gold. M: What do you mean it shipped gold? Henry Lewy: Well, shipping gold, they ship because of a previous reputation. They ship over 500,000 to the dealers. So, you say, “Oh yeah, we shipped gold,” and all of a sudden six months later, you get 200,000 records back. And so you only sell 300,000, which … it happens in record companies,
because you’re so famous. J: Oh, I could be dripping with sycophants if I wanted to, but that’s not a very satisfying kind of company. I have a few of those still in my life that pass for company. And I can tolerate them. But they’re give-to-gets. M: They’re what? J: They’re give-to-gets. They give you an apple — they want a Cadillac in return. [laughs] You have to watch out for that especially as you get older and ready to die. [laughs] They have to be really nice to you because you can die
starts to come up. Douanier [Henri] Rousseau, the painter, enters down the stairway into a jazz cellar in New York where a jazz band is playing. As he sits there, from time to time with the wave of his hand, Rousseauian-coloured foliage appears. Like, he hangs a moon above a five-piece band. He puts a flower behind a waitress’s ear with a wave of his hand. That poem is a black history poem and it gets quite surrealistic in places. You’re trying to describe a film that was never made in that song.