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Folk Fight! Joni Mitchell Calls Bob Dylan a 'Fake'

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Joni Mitchell rarely gives interviews, but when she does, watch out rock legends! The singer-songwriter launched into an unprovoked 31-word take-down of fellow icon Bob Dylan in the LA Times this week, calling him the insult of all insults among songwriters: plagiarist.

The interview was well underway when Dylan's name came up during talk about the creation of personas in music. The banter set Mitchell off, and she said, "Bob is not authentic at all. He's a plagiarist, and his name and voice are fake."

Oh, but the 'Blue' singer wasn't finished with the real-life Robert Zimmerman: "Everything about Bob is a deception. We are like night and day, he and I."

Following this comment, the interviewer quickly moves on without asking Mitchell to expand on her distaste for Dylan. Of course, any follow-up chatter may have been halted by a publicist.

Mitchell and Dylan have toured together in the past, as part of the Rolling Thunder Revue back in the mid-1970s and again in 1998, when she co-headlined a tour with Dylan and Van Morrison.

It's unclear what has come between them in the 12 years since they last worked together.

Dylan wasn't the only singer to get a thwacking from Mitchell, though. She says Madonna's rise to stardom in the 1980s led to a negative turn in society. "Americans have decided to be stupid and shallow since 1980. Madonna is like Nero; she marks the turning point."

Copyright © 2010 nydailynews

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I've always liked Joni Mitchell...just musically...Now,I like her even more...She's got an opinion and she pretty much explained herself...Now I know why she rarely gives interviews

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If my Grandma Dorcas was still living, and if she ever heard Joni say that to Bob, here's my interpretation of what would happen. "Shame on you! Naughty girl!" (Smack! Smack! Smack! Smack! Smack! Smack!)

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Interesting she refers to Bob Dylan as a plagiarist when he himself has said to never really write his own tunes.

To quote:

"Well, you have to understand that I'm not a melodist... My songs are either based on old Protestant hymns or Carter Family songs or variations of the blues form. What happens is, I'll take a song I know and simply start playing it in my head. That's the way I meditate. A lot of people will look at a crack on the wall and meditate, or count sheep or angels or money or something, and it's a proven fact that it'll help them relax. I don't meditate on any of that stuff. I meditate on a song. I'll be playing Bob Nolan's "Tumbling Tumbleweeds," for instance, in my head constantly – while I'm driving a car or talking to a person or sitting around or whatever.

People will think they are talking to me and I'm talking back, but I'm not. I'm listening to a song in my head. At a certain point, some words will change and I'll start writing a song.

(Blowin' In The Wind) ... I wrote in 10 minutes, just put words to an old spiritual, probably something I learned from Carter Family records. That's the folk music tradition. You use what's been handed down. 'The Times They Are A-Changin'' is probably from an old Scottish folk song... ('Subterranean Homesick Blues')... it's from Chuck Berry, a bit of, and some of the scat songs of the '40s."

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When she said, "Fake" was she simply just paving paradise and putting up a parking lot?

I wonder what her current monthly fees run?

Her voice is her own worst enemy because if no one heard it but her, she'd still be happy. Well, who wouldn't, with more money that can be spent in a lifetime?

lol

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Interesting she refers to Bob Dylan as a plagiarist when he himself has said to never really write his own tunes.

To quote:

"Well, you have to understand that I'm not a melodist... My songs are either based on old Protestant hymns or Carter Family songs or variations of the blues form. What happens is, I'll take a song I know and simply start playing it in my head. That's the way I meditate. A lot of people will look at a crack on the wall and meditate, or count sheep or angels or money or something, and it's a proven fact that it'll help them relax. I don't meditate on any of that stuff. I meditate on a song. I'll be playing Bob Nolan's "Tumbling Tumbleweeds," for instance, in my head constantly – while I'm driving a car or talking to a person or sitting around or whatever.

People will think they are talking to me and I'm talking back, but I'm not. I'm listening to a song in my head. At a certain point, some words will change and I'll start writing a song.

(Blowin' In The Wind) ... I wrote in 10 minutes, just put words to an old spiritual, probably something I learned from Carter Family records. That's the folk music tradition. You use what's been handed down. 'The Times They Are A-Changin'' is probably from an old Scottish folk song... ('Subterranean Homesick Blues')... it's from Chuck Berry, a bit of, and some of the scat songs of the '40s."

I remember the last Bob Dylan concert I was at... I told my friend "He's been playing 'La Bamba' all night long..." :P

He uses those three chords a lot, just listen to "Like a rolling Stone". Youcan play lots of Dylan's songs with it...

I love Bob Dylan... he's :bow: I love him as much as I don't care about La Bamba :cool:

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I wonder if Joni is just fed up from hearing about Bob Dylan. I've seen this behavior before in golfers when they would sit down in interviews and get the inevitable question about Tiger Woods: Most of the time they gave a stock answer, but every now and then someone would snap and trash him just because they were sick of hearing his name.

Edna, you probably have some perspective on this, but I think some '60s icons get seriously peeved when they get asked over and over about other musicians from their era. For instance, when I spoke with Janis Ian I learned ahead of time that she didn't appreciate questions like "What was Janis Joplin like?"

Still, trashing Dylan takes some Chutzpah. I wonder if she can back up those plagiarism claims.

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Again,I've seen Bob Dylan a bunch of times...He's just Bob Dylan...or Zimmerman...or whatever...he's always good(if not a bit strange) but I still admire Joni Mitchell just for her (as someone said) chutzpah...I don't think Bob Dylans a fake at all...I'm sure he doesn't agree with Joni Mitchell said

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To compare Joni Mitchell to Bob Dylan is akin to comparing a polar bear to a desert.

Dylan's a master-living-poet.

Joni Mitchell is a lady that sings and plays guitar.

Fascinating that a lot cannot distinguish the difference.

Sometimes, the people that think they know music; don't.

Yay!

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BTW, Neil Young wrote a song called "Sweet Joni (From Saskatoon)" but it was never released. I owned it on a bootleg album since I was a teenager (many moons ago) and this version I found on Youtube is the same one.

It is classic Neil Young, just perfect...and written for Joni (by the guy that I think is the greatest folk/pop/rock artist...Neil Young.

Hearing it again just made my entire Sunday.

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