Joni Mitchell Sets Us Straight: Bob Dylan “A Plagiarist,” Americans “Stupid and Shallow”

“What is the big deal about Bob Dylan?” Julia Schrenkler wondered on Gather.com three years ago. Well, according to fellow folkie Joni Mitchell, he’s a plagiarizing fraud.

“Bob is not authentic at all,” Mitchell tells the Los Angeles Times. “He’s a plagiarist, and his name and voice are fake. Everything about Bob is a deception. We are like night and day, he and I.”

True, Dylan’s name is a “fake” — he was born Robert … um, Zimmerman — but he’d have to be some kind of crazy to invent a voice like his current subterranean croak. Let’s assume she’s talking about his Woody Guthrie-isms of the ’60s, just to be on the safe side.

But Mitchell (birth name: Roberta Joan Anderson, btw) doesn’t restrict her remarks to male performers of her generation, letting us know that “Grace [Slick] and Janis Joplin were [sleeping with] their whole bands and falling down drunk.”

Well, yes, but what of the Canadian-born Mitchell’s own work? Time for a little self-examination, perhaps?

“My work is set against the stupid, destructive way we live on this planet,” she announces. “Americans have decided to be stupid and shallow since 1980. Madonna is like Nero; she marks the turning point.”

Ladies and gentlemen, Joni Mitchell: Special Ranting 2010 Edition. Approach her at your own risk…

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