Joni Mitchell: In Her Own Words

Happy 73rd birthday, Joni Mitchell! Here, the legendary Canadian troubadour discusses love, maturity and aging in the spotlight.

Pave paradise and put up a retirement home? Not quite, but in Joni Mitchell: In Her Own Words, a collection of interviews by journalist Malka Marom with the legendary Canadian troubadour beginning in the 1970s, Mitchell discusses love, maturity, and aging in the spotlight.

Our five favourite quotes:

1. “‘What do you talk about with an old lover?’ That’s what Leonard [Cohen] said to me (when) I went out to dinner with him one time. He was always hard to talk to. We were briefly romantically involved, but … there wasn’t much relationship other than the boudoir.”

2.  “I’m still searching for meaning and purpose. You know, people have a funny idea that success, (that) luxury is the end of the road. That’s not the end at all. As matter of fact many troubles begin there. They’re just of a different nature.”

3. “I see women with facelifts that are horrible and they’re delusional. They really think they look nice. Me, I have to think: I look awful, and rise above it and forget what I look like. (laughs) “I was always on the cusp of beauty. Some thought I was, some thought I wasn’t.”

4. “I think that in some cases, destiny has to be run out of you by hardship. If things are going smooth, in the spurts of health that I have, I just go out and enjoy, which is the right thing to do because it’s a respite. Little R&R before the next battle.”

5. “I wonder if it is not because I’m of the older generation that I see today’s performers, like Beyonce—a beautiful singer, so talented—and she’s singing while dancing all over the stage…and if that’s not enough to tantalize the audience, she’s wearing next to nothing…I don’t like the spirit of it. It’s decadent. It’s tragic really…I guess I have an appetite for grace, which is not in vogue.”

Excerpts from Joni Mitchell in Her Own Words: Conversations with Malka Marom © 2014 by ECW Press. Used with permission from the publisher.