Canada almost lost one of its national treasures back in 2015 when iconic singer-songwriter par excellence Joni Mitchell suffered a brain aneurysm.
While Mitchell has kept a low profile ever since, that’s not the case in her upcoming book, in which the artist behind such classics as “Big Yellow Taxi” and “Free Man in Paris” proves to be as feisty as ever, sharing her views on artists ranging from Bob Dylan to Taylor Swift in a series of interviews conducted over the course of her career.
The interviews, which are excerpted in the Daily Mail, come from the upcoming book Joni on Joni: Interviews and Encounters with Joni Mitchell, which compiles some particularly illuminating interviews conducted with Mitchell throughout the years, ranging from 1966 to 2014.
In one excerpt, Mitchell commented on rumours that Taylor Swift would portray her in a biopic.
“I’ve never heard Taylor’s music,” she said of the “Reputation” singer. “I’ve seen her. Physically, she looks similarly small hipped and high cheekbones. I don’t know what her music sounds like but I do know this — that if she’s going to sing and play me, good luck.”
Mitchell also doesn’t hold back when asked about Bob Dylan, revealing a less-than-glowing review of the 77-year-old folk icon’s musical abilities.
“I like a lot of Bob’s songs,” she declared, while also dubbing Dylan a “plagiarist.”
“Musically, he’s not very gifted. He’s borrowed his voice from a lot of old hillbillies. He’s not a great guitar player. He’s invented a character to deliver his songs. It’s sort of a mask.”
In another more recent interview, Mitchell opens up about suffering from Morgellons disease, a little-understood psychological condition that convinces those afflicted that their bodies are crawling with worm-like parasites.
Describing Morgellons as “this weird, incurable disease that seems like it’s from outer space,” Mitchell described the disease in a 2010 interview with the Los Angeles Times. “Fibres in a variety of colours protrude out of my skin like mushrooms after a rainstorm: they cannot be forensically identified as animal, vegetable or mineral,’ she said.
In the 2017 biography Reckless Daughter: A Portrait of Joni Mitchell, she described the symptoms in more detail: “Sometimes it got so I’d have to crawl across the floor. My legs would cramp up, just like a polio spasm.”
Joni on Joni: Interviews and Encounters with Joni Mitchell will be released on Nov. 6.