Comment Of The Moment: Joni vs. Bobby

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

Our comment trail on whether Joni Mitchell “slandered” Bob Dylan after she called him a thief in a recent interview blazes on. Some of you could probably stand to be kinder to Joni, who we feel is one of the preeminent songwriters of her generation. But that’s just us. Many of you don’t agree.

One reader takes a more magnanimous approach.

From Ted:

Joni Mitchell’s creativity may have leaked in through a hole in the ozone layer, but that’s no grounds for her to put down Dylan’s amazing ability to collect and transform lingering ancestral truths into a new concoction that is uniquely his own.

If Joni were a biologist, she might, by her current stance, accuse the bees of deception for having pilfered the works of parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme. As the philosopher Michel de Montaigne (1533-1592) observed; “Truth and reason are common to all men, and belong no more to him who spake them first than to him that spake them afterwards. Such and such a saying is no more Plato’s than it is mine, since he and I understand in the same fashion. The bees pillage the flowers here, there, everywhere, but then they make honey from their takings, and the honey is all theirs; it is no longer thyme or marjoram. And thus it standeth with him who borroweth from other authors. He will fuse them and transform them, to make thereof a venture all his own.” — Michel de Montaigne

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  1. Both Joni and Bob are two of the preeminent songwriters of the last 50 years.What they say about each other is the all too human side of us all.Dylan has the most well hidden persona of any artist in my lifetime and Mitchell is “A painter first and songwriter by necessity”.Both artists continue to be benchmarks for skillful words and musical brilliance.The rest is gossip.

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