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phishtaper

Dave Bidini on Joni Mitchell's darkness

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After reading the linked Macleans's interview he was referring to I just don't agree with his view at all. I'm not saying she doesn't sometimes say things people don't like (i.e. speaking her mind), but I didn't get a terrible vibe from this interview at all. I don't think she "besmirched" John Lennon at all, and I think he might have misinterpreted her saying she is "awed by her own genius", if it's this part of the interview he's talking about:

 

Q: Debussy and Duke Ellington are the gold standard you’ve always wanted to get to. Can you say you have reached this bar?

A: No, not at all. I would hate to reach that bar because I wouldn’t be able to listen to anything I’ve done. At least I have some things that I am in awe of.

 

I think she was saying she is in awe of Debussy and Duke Ellington, not herself.  What do you think?

 

He accuses her of "mean things, harsh things, angry, pretentious, unfeeling things" - this seems to describe his own letter!

 

I liked the interview so thank you for posting.

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Couldn't agree more phorbesie. Sure joni "could" be a little warmer and sometimes i wish she was...so she would fulfill "my expectations" of her and make the world a more certain place. But the fact that she's not and is full of human shades of grey and contradiction is what makes her interesting. To me bidini's "open" letter couldn't be a louder cry for attention...Preaching to The world from the back of another

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Bidini has always been like that, I just hate that I've come to know that side of him through Facebook etc.  Makes me respect him and his work so much less.  Was better when all we had was the music and not the preachy asshole side of him.

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Love both the Rheostatics, and Joni Mitchell, and respect them both immensely. 

 I don't think Joni's music requires her to be a politician. Unlike Bidini, and his every-man/every-fan union leader position in Can-Rock. Joni doesn't require the same nice-ness, or approachable enthusiasm, or the explicit artist-audience interaction that defines Bidini's career, because her songs are that good, and her career is that unique. Sometimes assholes make the best art, so I guess deal with it. He has no right to make suggestions about her personality, or opinions- and this piece definitely comes across as desperate, or something... Maybe this is an intentional error in judgement which will eventually act as the opening chapter in a new book about Joni Mitchell? One where after this article, a public feud, and eventual teary reconciliation at the Junos, Bidini is finally invited to meet her for an extensive retreat/interview at her B.C. home, and thoughtfully reflects on stories from her career, and his own, while driving his Chrysler LeBaron across Canada.

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The thing is, I think he's perpetuating the mistaken idea that Joni's unique honesty (read: that rare non-humility put forth by famous people) makes her an asshole.

 

It doesn't, but trying to lead us to that conclusion (again) is kinda asshole-like.

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