Joni Mitchell Returns, Clarifies Dylan Comments

joni mitchell bob dylan roger mcguinn

Joni Mitchell doesn’t really like interviews. They take too long. They focus too heavily on her Blue period. And sometimes, they wind up pissing off millions of Bob Dylan fans.

“The interviewer was an asshole.” That’s a new quote from Mitchell, who recently sat down with CBC to clear up the whole Dylan thing. In case you haven’t been keeping up, a 2010 article by The Los Angeles Times quoted Mitchell as saying some naughty things about her fellow folkie. “Bob is not authentic at all,” she supposedly stated. “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.” Dylan never issued an official response, but his fans lashed out. Some of them pointed to the number of times Mitchell had joined Dylan onstage throughout her career. Others posted YouTube links to her live performances of old Dylan classics like “Girl From the North Country” and “It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue.”

(In the same interview, Joni Mitchell also called out Grace Slick and Janis Joplin for “sleeping with their whole bands and falling down drunk.” She was on a roll that day! But we digress.)

In her recent sit-down with CBC, Mitchell didn’t exactly apologize for her remarks. Instead, she turned her anger toward L.A. Times author Matt Diehl, claiming the journalist had misconstrued her words. “I hate doing interviews with stupid people, and this guy’s a moron,” she said. As for Dylan, she added, ““I like a lot of Bob’s songs, though musically he’s not very gifted. He’s borrowed his voice from old hillbillies. He’s got a lot of borrowed things. He’s not a great guitar player. He’s invented a character to deliver his songs. Sometimes I wish that I could have that character — because you can do things with that character. It’s a mask of sorts.”

What do you think? Can you drive a big yellow taxi through the holes in Joni’s argument, or does she have a point? Weigh in!