“I Am a Lonely Painter. I Live in a Box of Paints.”-Joni Mitchell

Happy 70th birthday to Joni Mitchell…one of the BEST. She has been a loner all of her life and as a  young child was sickly and unfortunately for over 10 years now, she has been quite ill and really can’t sing anymore. I was saddened to read that she has a disease I’ve never heard of before, Morgellons Syndrome that she herself has said, “Western medicine says this doesn’t even exist, it’s a psychotic disease. It’s not.”thestar.com music

My dad and my brother, in 1972, went to the Carnegie Hall Box Office…those were the days when you could just easily purchase concert tickets at the box office…and bought 2 Box seats for me to see Joni Mitchell. I must’ve been in college on that day and they did me a favor…my dad was always doing nice things for me!  Jackson Browne, a very young Jackson Browne, opened up the show. 

Of course, Blue remains my favorite album…it’s a favorite of many, that I know!!!!!  

Joni Mitchell, like Dylan, is an artist…she paints her poetry, her feelings, her surroundings and herself through both music and art.

”I sing my sorrow,” she likes to say, ”and I paint my joy.” ”When you are writing, you need to have a kind of chaotic mind for stimulation,” Ms. Mitchell said in a telephone interview after returning to her Bel Air mansion in Los Angeles from the opening here. ”Painting is a completely different mental process. It completely clears my mind until I get to the point where I have no thoughts. I get the same charge from juxtaposition of colors as I do from juxtaposition of chords.”James Brook, 8/2000, Arts Abroad, NY Times

An early influence on Mitchell was the great composer, Rachminoff and she describes in this wonderful interview with

Richard Ouzounian,Theatre Critic, just before a tribute concert this past June: “Rachmaninoff made a musician out of me. His ‘Rhapsody on a Theme by Paganini’ was the piece that sent me into raptures,” she said about the aching music the Russian composer created in 1934 as he entered the last decade of his life, reflecting on his past as Mitchell does today. “It spoke to me. To me, it was a tender entreaty for the misunderstood.

 “Why did that appeal to me? Because my mother never ‘got’ me. She wanted me to be something that I wasn’t and I always seemed to be pleading with her for understanding. I couldn’t be the sweet, obedient child she wanted. That wasn’t inside me anywhere.”

Well, Joni, your fans got you and you got them.

I would suggest you read the entire Ouzounian interview here and the James Brook interview here

8 thoughts on ““I Am a Lonely Painter. I Live in a Box of Paints.”-Joni Mitchell

  1. Cool post! It’s nice to be reminded all of the reasons Joni Mitchell is one of my favorites. Have you read Girls Like Us: Carole King, Joni Mitchell, Carly Simon–and the Journey of a Generation ?

    • Yes, read the book, read carole’s memoir…just took out the latest johnny cash bio since I saw good interview with the author the other day. Thanks for visiting and commenting!!!!!

  2. Many years ago Joni was on tour and had a gig in Chattanooga, TN in February. A snowstorm hit and she was stranded temporarily on her way to Nashville. Her manager called the college I attended which was about half way between Chatt and Nashville. They offered to play a concert for roughly travelling money ($300) and the head of the student activities center, never having heard of her, politely refused the offer. IDIOT!

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