Hear Joni Mitchell Talk About Her Search For A Promotion-minded Record Company, Differences In Audiences, & Engelbert Humperdinck (1967)

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Joni Mitchell Interview Unheard For 42 Years

In 1967, between sets at The Second Fret, a club in Philadelphia, Joni Mitchell recorded a 15 minute interview in which she is as earnest as always but much less defensive and  more vulnerable than she was to become later in her career. Forty-two years later, the interview was rediscovered and made available again.

She discusses technical issues involved in singing her songs, her departure from the folk genre into rock and roll with songs like “Both Sides Now,” cross-over hits, evolving lyrics, audiences in Philadelphia, Fayetteville, Detroit, and Flint, and more.

There are even passing references to her husband, Chuck, with whom she sang duets, the Johnny Preston hit, “Running Bear,” and the length of her hair (within three inches of her waist).

This delightful interview is available for download at JoniMitchell1967

Credit Due Department:  Adrian du Plessis, personable manager for Allison Crowe, alerted me to this interview and placed the download link at Allison Crowe’s web site.

Adrian discovered the interview via the JMDL (Joni Mitchell Discussion List):

Date: Sat, 26 Dec 2009 20:06:55 -0700
From: “Les Irvin”
Subject: Interview unheard for 42 years now available

On Friday evening, March 17, 1967, Ed Sciaky went to the 2nd Fret (operated by Manny “Money” Rubin) in downtown Philadelphia (on Sansom Street) and recorded an interview with Joni Mitchell. Recorded between sets, this recording was mastered at 7 and a half IPS on Shamrock recording tape, a cheap brand of audio tape but all that college student Ed Sciaky could afford. It was recorded on an Amex 354 mono tape recorder with an RCA 44 microphone. Ed Sciaky spoke into one side of the mic and Joni into the other. Since Joni spoke softly, her level was lower than Ed. The interview was engineered by Mike Biel, a student executive at the station at that time.

The Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia (of which Ed is now a member), an organization of 350 area broadcasters, has recently equalized and adjusted the levels of the interview and the complete audio interview is now available on their website. They are proud to make this priceless interview again available to the public. The entire interview has not been heard since it was aired the next evening, Saturday, March 18th on Ed’s folk music show called “Broadside,” which was broadcast Saturday evenings from 8 pm and 12 midnight over WRTI-FM, the campus radio station of Temple University in Philadelphia. The 1974 airing over WMMR was an excerpt.

http://broadcastpioneers.com/bp8/3-17-67.html

Credit Due Department: Photo by Matt Gibbonshttp://www.flickr.com/photos/ultomatt/3126812062/, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=8031501

Note: Originally posted Nov 18, 2010 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

The Leonard Cohen – Joni Mitchell Nexus Of Nakedness

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“Won’t you let me see your naked body?”

Adrian Du Plessis, Allison Crowe’s Personable Manager and a 1960s & 1970s music aficionado has observed a serendipitous confluence between

1. A DrHGuy.com Leonard Cohen quotation entry: Q: Is there anything greater in life than the sight of a naked beautiful woman? Leonard Cohen: “Not too many.”

and, appearing the same day,

2. A posting by another Facebook friend of a photo (displayed atop this post) of a naked Joni Mitchell from the inside cover of her 1972 album, For The Roses.

Is this concurrence a mere coincidence? Well, of course it is, but it’s an interesting coincidence. So, let’s add one more pertinent quote, this one from Joni Mitchell:

He [Leonard Cohen] owns the phrase “naked body,” for example; it appears in every one of his songs.1

Note: Originally posted February 9, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

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  1. Will You Take Me As I Am: Joni Mitchell’s Blue Period by Michelle Mercer. Free Press; 1st Edition, April 7, 2009 []

Bob Dylan’s “Tangled Up In Blue” Is On Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox

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Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox

Biggest Influence on My Music – The jukebox. I lived beside jukeboxes all through the fifties. … I never knew who was singing. I never followed things that way. I still don’t. I wasn’t a student of music; I was a student of the restaurant I was in — and the waitresses. The music was a part of it. I knew what number the song was.

– Leonard Cohen (Yakety Yak by Scott Cohen, 1994)

Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox: Over the years, Leonard Cohen has mentioned a number of specific songs he favors. Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox is a Cohencentric feature that began collecting these tunes for the edification and entertainment of viewers on April 4, 2009. All posts in the Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox series can be found at The Original Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox Page.

Bob Dylan Returns To Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox

 

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Already represented by “I And I” on the list of songs praised by Leonard Cohen,1 Bob Dylan scores again with “Tangled Up In Blue,” which was released in 1975 on Dylan’s Blood On The Tracks album,  “Tangled Up In Blue” was ranked #2 in the list of Leonard Cohen’s favorite songs in 1985.2

Interestingly, as a side note, Cohen’s one-time paramour, Joni Mitchell,3 is also associated with this song. According to Ron Rosenbaum, writing in The Best Joni Mitchell Song Ever (Slate, Dec. 14, 2007),

Bob Dylan once told me that he’d written “Tangled up in Blue,” the opening song of the much-celebrated Blood on the Tracks, after spending a weekend immersed in JM’s Blue (although I think he may have been talking about the whole album, not just the song).

Bob Dylan – Tangled Up In Blue
From the film, Renaldo and Clara

Note: Originally posted Apr 27, 2010 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

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  1. See Bob Dylan’s “I And I” Is On Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox []
  2. From Leonard Cohen – In Eigenen Worten (in his own words) by Jim Devlin, a listing found by Florian at LeonardCohenForum []
  3. See Leonard Cohen and Joni Mitchell: Just One Of Those Things []

Joni Mitchell’s “A Case Of You” Is – Intriguingly – On Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox

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Note: Originally posted May 4, 2010  at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

The Original Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox

Biggest Influence on My Music – The jukebox. I lived beside jukeboxes all through the fifties. … I never knew who was singing. I never followed things that way. I still don’t. I wasn’t a student of music; I was a student of the restaurant I was in — and the waitresses. The music was a part of it. I knew what number the song was.

– Leonard Cohen (Yakety Yak by Scott Cohen, 1994)

Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox: Over the years, Leonard Cohen has mentioned a number of specific Fsongs he favors. Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox is a Cohencentric feature that began collecting these tunes for the edification and entertainment of viewers on April 4, 2009. All posts in the Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox series can be found at The Original Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox Page.

Joni Mitchell And A Case Of Who?

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The formal documentation of Leonard Cohen’s approbation of “A Case Of You” by Joni Mitchell comes from “Leonard Cohen – In Eigenen Worten [In His Own Words]” by Jim Devlin,1 in which the song was ranked #2 in the list of Leonard Cohen’s favorite songs in 1988.

As one might infer from the above photo, however, there is more to the story than a personal hit parade listing. After all, #1 on that 1988 compilation was a tune by George Jones and #3 was by Bob Dylan, but I haven’t found a photo of George or Bob happily hugging Leonard like that.

As it turns out, Leonard Cohen and Joni Mitchell, both of whom are iconic Canadian singer-songwriters who came of age professionally in the late 1960s with roots in the folk movement of that era, also shared a short-lived romantic liaison which is summarized in this excerpt from  what has become one of the most-read Heck Of A Guy/Cohencentric posts, Leonard Cohen and Joni Mitchell: Just One Of Those Things:

For a few weeks in 1967 and 1968, Joni Mitchell and Leonard Cohen had a fling, the consequences of which continue to echo in their work.

Introduced to each other backstage at Judy Collins’s songwriter’s workshop2 at the 1967 Newport Folk Festival  by Judy Collins herself,3  who was, in large part,  responsible for jump-starting the musical careers of both singer-songwriters, Cohen and Mitchell were officially an item by the time the two of them co-hosted a workshop at the Mariposa Folk Festival.4 Their romance ignited, flared, and exhausted itself within weeks. Depending upon the source and the skew of ones perspective, preferences, and prejudices, Cohen either terminated the relationship himself for unspecified reasons or incited Mitchell to end it because of his interest in other women.

Also included in that post is a discussion of songs Mitchell wrote which have been identified by some as having been inspired by her relationship with Leonard Cohen: “Rainy Night House,” “That Song About The Midway,” “The Gallery,” and “A Case Of You.”5  It seems significant that, by my unofficial and unscientific count, the word most commonly used by politic writers to describe the mood of all these songs is “bittersweet.”

This commentary on the psychological provenance of “A Case Of You” is also from Leonard Cohen and Joni Mitchell: Just One Of Those Things:

In his 1996 biography, “Joni Mitchell,”  Brian Hinton offers his “own uninformed guess …  that ‘A Case Of You’  is also about Leonard Cohen.” Mitchell herself, according to Sheila Weller, told “a confidante in the mid-1990s that it was about Leonard Cohen” but told Estrella Berosini the song was about another lover, James Taylor.6 In any case, the chorus does have a Cohen sort of ring to it.7

Oh you are in my blood like holy wine
And you taste so bitter but you taste so sweet
Oh I could drink a case of you
I could drink a case of you darling
Still I’d be on my feet
And still be on my feet

Regardless of the origins, it is a wonderful song that evokes and resonates with the joys and vicissitudes of love once embraced and then lost. That Leonard Cohen lists it as one of his favorite songs 20 years after the romance that appears to have spawned it is – well, like most Leonard Cohen behaviors, it’s intriguing.

Joni Mitchell Performs “A Case Of You”

Joni Mitchell – A Case Of You
Video from

Credit Due Department: Photo  of Joni Mitchell by Matt Gibbonshttp://www.flickr.com/photos/ultomatt/3126812062/, CC BY 2.0, – Wikipedia

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  1. This invaluable reference was offered by Florian at LeonardCohenForum. []
  2. Will You Take Me As I Am: Joni Mitchell’s Blue Period by Michelle Mercer. Free Press; 1st Edition, April 7, 2009 []
  3. Girls Like Us: Carole King, Joni Mitchell, Carly Simon–And the Journey of a Generation by  Sheila Weller. Atria: April 8, 2008 []
  4. Will You Take Me As I Am: Joni Mitchell’s Blue Period by Michelle Mercer. Free Press; 1st Edition, April 7, 2009 []
  5. On a tangential note, both Cohen and Mitchell wrote songs called “Winter Lady.” A comparison of the two works can be found at “Winter Lady” By Leonard Cohen Meets “Winter Lady” By Joni Mitchell. []
  6. Girls Like Us: Carole King, Joni Mitchell, Carly Simon–And the Journey of a Generation by Sheila Weller. Atria: April 8, 2008. P 314 []
  7. The complete lyrics of “A Case Of You” can be found at http://www.lyricsfreak.com/j/joni+mitchell/a+case+of+you_20075257.html []

Video: Leonard Cohen Recites “Jungle Line” by Joni Mitchell (From Herbie Hancock’s River Album)

River-The-Joni-LettersRiver: The Joni Letters album is Herbie Hancock’s re-imagining of Joni Mitchell’s work. Leonard Cohen performs Mitchell’s “Jungle Line.”

Leonard Cohen – The Jungle Line
From River: The Joni Letters album by Herbie Hancock