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Joni Mitchell Talks (About John Lennon)… Just Not To Us

a young Joni Mitchell

a young Joni Mitchell

Joni Mitchell is every single thing she says she is, a feminist icon, a great singer, a greater songwriter, a game changing superstar. I only saw her live once but she held her own opening for Dylan at MSG, and her earliest albums are standards and her later ones are intrinsic to jazz rock fusion. With yet another greatest hits compilation Joni has been giving interviews and talking and talking and talking… some excerpts from her Mccall’s interview by Elio Iannacci

On Men: ‘I’m a woman in a man’s world. There are hardly any women in my business. There are oppressive men and exploitative men.”

On John Lennon: “That’s a class difficulty he had. He’s a working-class lad. I’m sure he had that same fight with [producer] George Martin because he was afraid that he was betraying his class. I know I’m going to get into hot water if I get into this but I have controversial opinions about him. I watched this [English film], which was a roundup of the best musicians of the 20th century. As soon as it hit my era, the intelligence of it dropped considerably. When it came to me, this guy folded his arms and crossed his feet and said, “I never liked Joni Mitchell—she’s too twee.” Well, that’s what John Lennon was like. It was that fear working-class people have of middle-class people.

On Feminism: “I’d rather go toe to toe with a guy than have a posse. I’m like Katharine Hepburn—I don’t know why but I just feel equal. I thought people should fight for their rights individually—not in a group. The feminists I met were so hostile. They would say, “You like men and they just want to f–k you.” They were browbeating me. They were also so undomestic. I have a lot of respect for domestic women. A lot of them were made graceful by supporting and serving a man. I tried to cook for two men but it was a thankless job.”

On Sexisn In The Record Industry: “That’s what it’s become: “show us your tits!” I also got buried at Geffen Records because of it. Girls were being harassed and executives told me, “Your music doesn’t make me feel young and happy.”

Read it here.

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