Joni Mitchell Gives Rare Interview To Elton John
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During the interview, Mitchell confirmed that she and her team are “trying to” release an album of the show, a collaborative performance with US Americana singer Brandi Carlile which featured guests including Blake Mills, Marcus Mumford, Wynonna Judd and more. “Yeah, we’re trying to put that out,” Mitchell said. When Elton asked whether there had been rehearsals for the show Joni laughed, Didn’t have any, We just winged it.”
It was Mitchell’s first full performance in more than 20 years. “I couldn’t sing the key, I’ve become an alto, I’m not a soprano any more,” Mitchell told John of her performance of Just Like This Train, during which she stood to play a guitar solo. “I thought people might feel lighted if I just played the guitar part… it was very well received, much to my delight.”
Elsewhere, Joni talks about the original reception to much of her work, which she says “made people nervous”: “People thought it was too intimate… I think it upset the male singer-songwriters. They’d go, ‘Oh no. Do we have to bare our souls like this now?… It was almost like Dylan going electric. It took to this generation, they seem to be able to face those emotions more easily than my generation.”
The singer also spoke out against war, saying “I guess it’s an old hippy thought like make love, not war… you’d think we’d wise up and take care of the ecology situation instead of starting wars.”
It is one of Joni Mitchell’s first full-length interviews since recovering from a brain aneurysm in 2015, which temporarily left her unable to walk and talk. “Music has helped you so much,” said Sir Elton, as he described her “incredible” recovery.