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Joni Mitchell Starts Some Beef With Bob Dylan

| Filed under: MadonnaMusic MinuteCelebrity FeudsSuper Seniors


Whoa! Where did this come from?!

The original queen of folk, Joni Mitchell - who as of late has mostly kept to herself - emerged out of whatever garden cottage in the canyon she's been hibernating in to ATTACK her male counterpart, Bob Dylan, and our beloved Madge!

She says:

"Bob is not authentic at all. 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.

Americans have decided to be stupid and shallow since 1980. Madonna is like Nero; she marks the turning point."

We'd tread lightly, bb, we seem to recall a departure in authenticity for you in the '80s where you traded in your guitar for some synth pop duets with Michael McDonald!


[Image via AP Images.]

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155 comments to “Joni Mitchell Starts Some Beef With Bob Dylan”

More comments: [1] 2 »

  1. 1


  2. 2

    Ummm… my dad, the Vietnam Vet, war protesting hippie from the 60s said Dylan has been mainsteam since about 63. Sorry, Joni, he said the Woodstock thing kicked ass but you lose. My dad RULES.

  3. 3

    I thought Joni Mitchell FUCKED Bob Dylan !! Oui / Non ?
    Anyway, that's a profound thought … Nero and Madonna … sort of brilliant in a brain-damaged sort of way.
    Joni was always light years ahead of everyone, actually, so who knows !!

  4. 4

    I can't wait to hear Madonna in the future when her menopausal warble kicks in !!

  5. 5

    LOL I Love Joni!
    "Americans have decided to be stupid and shallow since 1980. Madonna is like Nero; she marks the turning point." -I wouldn't blame Madonna, though, for the stupidity and shallowness. I blame the rise of Fox News and reality TV as the turning points for willful stupidity.

  6. 6

    she is absolutely right

  7. 7

    Bob Dylan is a Genius. So is Joni Mitchell. Bob Dylan's name and voice are part of his ACT, or PERSONA, but FAKE is a little harsh. And it's not Madonna's fault music started downhill after 1980. MTV killed the Radio Stars.

  8. 8

    Wow. I didn't think I could love Joni more…but, I do. The truth is real. Can't hide from it. Look at it. Live it. Radical. Thank you, Ms. Mitchell! :)

  9. 9

    She is right!

    Any of you kids seen "Idiocracy"? It's a hilarious glimpse into what the future will probably be like…..

    it's the most hilarious scary movie ever!

  10. mw says – reply to this


    Go Joni! Hey she's been around longer then us and probably has a MUCH better perspective…

  11. 11

    Joni didn't rely on sex or sensationalism to become an icon in the music industry, unlike today's crop of semi-talented forgettables. As an insider, she knows what she's talking about.

  12. 12

    I don't know who the hell this bitch is, but fuck her!

  13. 13

    Strange..she was on his Rolling Thunder tour, sang lots of his songs and they were friends back then …and probably they had an affair…people change!!!!!!! but she is not classy at all ..Show some respect woman!

  14. 14

    oh please Perez…she's speaking the truth!!! espcially about the queen…she said that Madonna buys her music and puts her name on it…you know that's the truth…alot of them do that!!!!

  15. 15

    Joni was the first recording artist ever to have a hit song that included the terminology 'son of a bitch' in it.

  16. 16

    Re: PENNSYLVANIA GIRL – i'm not sure i understand what you mean; if your father said dylan is and has been mainstream since '63, doesn't that prove joni mitchell's point?

    being "mainstream" means by definition that you appeal to the main part of the people, not necessarily that you are good in what you do, more likely that you blend in and not try anything individual people could dislike.

    i don't want to offend you, or what your dad said in any way. i'm just not certain that i understand the argument.

  17. 17

    And this Joni Mitchell bitch looks like a meth lab blew up in her face.

  18. 18

    OK, first thing, if you don't know who Joni Mitchell is, you should be ashamed of yourself. Secondly, Joni did not record with Michael McDonald. Lastly, I don't know what gives with Joni and Bob. They were pretty tight through the 60s and 70s. I wonder what happened? She's always had it out for Madonna, though. That's old news.

  19. 19

    I digress. Joni - too bitter a comment for someone as talented as yourself. Dylan is as original as you are. And Madonna? Another legend. Play nice, Joni. Play nice. PS ~ I prefer your music after the nicotine settled in your lungs and gave your voice that sultry sound. Circa "Don Juan's Reckless Daughter" ;)

  20. 20

    Re: edith23 – LOL, Joni Mitchell was voted "Old Lady of the Year" by Rolling Stone magazine a long ass time ago because of the volume of musicians she dated and slept with in a very short amount of time. She probably did ball Dylan.

  21. 21

    Attn: ShoeWhore: Madonna has already admitted she's entered menopause. Just sayin'

  22. 22

    All Art/Artists are fake… Get over it people..its just a business…

  23. 23

    wha!? the hell she's still around?! no nursin home entertainin?

  24. 24

    Joni, Joni you quit music and recording to concentrate on painting. Please quit painting like Georgie O'Keef and go back to Canada

  25. 25

    "Secondly, Joni did not record with Michael McDonald."

    Yeah, she did…a song called "Good Friends" back in 85. And although it does sound 80s sounding, it's not a departure in authenticity as PH claims. Lyrically, it's still a very Joni song.

  26. 26

    Re: I like turtles. – I know !! But when are we going to hear 'Like A Virgin' via Marianne Faithfull's vocal chords ? Next year perhaps ?!?

  27. 27

    Bob Dylan is boring as hell, and who knows what the hell he is singing about?!

    "Black crows in the meadow
    Across a broad highway
    Though its funny, honey
    I just don't feel much like a
    Scarecrow today."

    I find the people who typically like and tout Bob Dylan tend to be very unoriginal in their rebellious intention. These people also religiously read "On the road" and believe that they are the discoverers of some new ideology, when in fact, they are merely a re-run of the same ol' shit, and their modern incantation of this persona is usually sponsored by Gap or Abercrombie and Fitch.

  28. 28

    Re: miafrea – Oh no miafrea, it's all cool. My dad also said Dylan was the first rapper and honestly i was pretty much brought up on the Beatles and hippie music. Listening to Dylan's music .. "the motorcycle black madonna two wheeled gypsy queen" kind of demands that the listener pay attention. This I learned from my dad. Old hippies rule.

  29. 29

    Americans have decided to be stupid and shallow since 1980. Madonna is like Nero; she marks the turning point." lmao

  30. sanaa says – reply to this


    I've really only discovered Dylan and Joni's work, in depth, in the last few years and I can safely say they are both GENIUSES, gifts to humanity. I think Joni could be a bit ill right now and is also most likely envious of Dylan's continuing success and of how he still tours the world and plays huge venues. I think sexism
    has hampered her career after age 40 for sure, she has some right in being bitter. I love them both with all my heart. Anyway, Mitchell is some old boyfriends name, and Dylan had a cumbersome german-jewish name so he wanted something catchy BIG DEAL. Oh, Madonna…um i like early 90s high concept sex Mandonna that's it the rest is garbage. Bob and Joni I love you forever!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  31. 31

    i agree with everything stated - you go girl!

  32. 32

    Joni, my sentiments exactly. Just thinking the other day Bob Dylan cannot sing does not have a voice and the only deent thing he did was a remake of "knocking on heaven's door". Madonna is prefabricated like a shed, just like kesha.

  33. 33

    I can't comment but my daddy can. He said Dylan ruled but because of the time before "women's lib" (imagine that!!) Joni Mitchell was kind of second. No matter what, if you're talking about back in the day my daddy wins

  34. 34


  35. 35

    Re: VeganVal – better said ;)

  36. 36

    Re: miafrea – lol, she is probably really from pennssylvania and actually said her dad RULES… shes an obvious idiot with no real point to make on the true topic at hand :)

  37. 37

    Re: PENNSYLVANIA GIRL – Heya. Ask your dad if he thinks Bob sort of stayed the same … whilst Joni morphed, and morphed, and morphed … until there was no folk left in her, and the jazz tangent flung her way out there, where she morphed some more, and then did a capitalization and reconciled with her roots.
    Prince, of all people, thought she was the Einstein of music … she went where no one could even dream of going, and she did it without effort.
    Bob … he still sounds like he has a bunch of scorching hot mashed potatoes in his mouth … same as he did 45 years ago, and even worse today.

  38. 38

    She's rigtht!!

  39. 39

    Joni is correct on both counts.

  40. 40

    LOL She's right about Dylan. I love how this is filed under "Old People" by the way. :)

  41. 41

    Joni's 'You turn me on … I'm a radio' …. that is sooooooo fucking sexy. And she wrote it as a JOKE, in like 1 hour !!! CONTRACTUAL OBLIGATION, and she had the guts to broadcast her sentiments whilst it was getting airplay.
    She was one of a kind.
    No wonder Canada included her in the Vancouver Olympics opening ceremony, with her menopausal vocals re-doing her original tune.

  42. 42

    I love Joni Mitchell, I really do, but it angered me slightly when I read this. In the same interview, she also attacks Janis Joplin and grace slick. Her tone in the whole interview is very bitter, I wonder if she was having a bad day.
    Bob Dylan is also my god, he is not a plagarist, he started off as a FOLK singer, a singer of folk songs and folk songs are traditional songs. He's not a plagarist for recording or borrowing melodies from traditional songs that are hundreds of years old and are in the public domain, it's what folk singers do.

  43. 43

    Gee Joni, bitter much? Every artist copies from one person or another. It's called influence. I'm sure that there was someone that Ms. Mitchell is greatly influenced by as well. In that regard, no artist is totally authentic. Must be bitter that Bob left the hippies behind and constantly evolved. Even Joan Baez got over that, at least I think she did. Seems she was perfectly happy riding his coat tales in the 70's. When was the last time you heard Joni Mitchell on the radio? When the Counting Crows re-recorded big yellow taxi, and might I say it was much better than the original and that's not saying much!

    I don't care for Madonna, but it seems that Joni's beef really isn't with Madonna or Bob. Sounds like she forgot that in order to succeed, you have to adapt to the environment. There really isn't a big demand for hippie dippie music these days.

  44. 44

    Joni's right - the last time I saw Dylan was in the 80s and he looked and sounded like an aging drag queen.

  45. 45

    The last time I saw Joni Mitchell she sang in a phony high pitched squeak, while playing guitar in an open tunning. Bob Dylan is a unique song stylist who some like some don't, but nobody can deny his brilliant song writing and prose. Pete Seeger likes Dylan, Arlo(Woody Guthrie's son) likes Dylan, Joan Baez wanted to marry him, and Neal Young digs Dylan. Joni Mitchell sounds jealous of Bob's universal success. (I find it hard to believe that Joni Mitchell is not a fan of Dylan's music.) By the way, what does authentic mean in music? Woody Guthrie said when he made his recording of This Land Is Your Land, he got drunk and sang a few lines while playing chords from another song.

  46. 46

    P.S. ONE duet with Michael McDonald in 1985 on her album 'Dog Eat Dog'.
    And just because she tried something different, it does not make her 'inauthentic'.

  47. 47

    i don't know dylan personally to say his style is fake but Joni does no him and thats good enuf for me cuz she is joni mitchell and not a famewhore… she is spot on about that madonna shit tho… beginning of the end for quality music.. like i said the masses are the asses

  48. @v@ says – reply to this


    She's right, from Madonna on, give or take a few genuine and superior artists. Neil Young, anyone? You don't GET any more authentic than that. I don't know enough about Dylan's authenticity to comment on that. Sour grapes on Joni's behalf about something there, for sure. How long has she been holding THAT in?
    Maybe long past time to talk about things face to face.

  49. 49

    @Laura Palmer's Hooha:
    " Joni did not record with Michael McDonald."
    Actually, she did. On her album Dog Eat Dog from 1985, the first song (Good Friends) is indeed a duet between Joni and Michael McDonald.

  50. 50

    She must be off her medication again. Poor thing.

  51. @v@ says – reply to this


    Re: TangledUpInBlue2303 – No! Not Grace. I devoured her self written bio, and she wasn't at all who I thought she was. She was educated, pragmatic, and had a unique point of view that left me chuckling. When Slick sang she kicked ass and took names. She paints now, (again, unique works) and has a lovely website.

  52. 52

    Re: sanaa
    "Mitchell is some old boyfriends name"
    Where do the people on this site get their information?
    Chuck Mitchell was Joni's first HUSBAND - not 'some old boyfriend'..
    Mitchell was her legal name by 1965 and she kept it after her divorce as she became famous with that name

  53. 53

    Okay, so she's 50% correct.

  54. 54

    HA! the truth hurts dont it

  55. 55

    maybe she's right.

  56. 56

    Re: that1tallchick – LOL douche that's not his tune

  57. 57

    not sure about the Dylan qoute but she is spot on about the Maddona qoute.

  58. 58

    Re: coqauvin – Ummmm, you do know that Dylan WROTE and originally preformed Knocking on Heavens Door, it was the Guns N' Roses that did the HORRIBLE remake. Get your facts straight honey.

  59. 59

    Madonna ushered in the era performance art and used music as part of her overall performance. Mitchell is a jedi master of the art of music. Let her sing her crazies - she's earned it. She made it through the wilderness…

  60. rev3 says – reply to this


    mitchell is god

  61. 61

    hmmmmm…….dont know if shes right bout dylan, but shes right on bout madge.

  62. 62

    Re: coqauvin – REMAKE of "Knockin' on Heaven's Door"? You can't be serious? Dylan wrote that song, for the movie Pat Garret and Billy the Kid, in like 1973. What, did you think Clapton, or G'n'R, or AVRIL wrote it??

    Dylan is an acquired taste. His lyrics can be "out there", and he's definitely NOT the best singer in the world. Neither is Neil Young (a genius. saw him live last year and he tore the roof off right from the first note he played). Honestly, Joni isn't the greatest singer either. Seems to be a common theme amongst great song-writers :)

    It just sounds to me like something has sparked an old beef between Joni and Dylan. Lord knows what kinds of things have happened between them over so many years. Maybe she's bitter about something, maybe she has a good reason to be. Whatever it is, this is her opinion and she is entitled to say what she feels. I'd be interested to see if Dylan (or Madonna) responds.

  63. 63

    Love, love, love Joni. (At least in the past.)
    But….she done gone crazy!
    She TOTALLY & COMPLETELY trashed her voice by chain smoking cigarettes and still won't admit that cigarettes effected her.
    Genius? Yes, but, she has jumped the rails.
    Joni, please don't say anything ever again. And quit smoking.
    Your destroyed your voice through your own idiocy. So, be quiet and just keep slopping that paint around.
    Bitterness does NOT become you.

  64. 64

    My thought is…hey, don't hate on Michael McDonald. The man is the king of smooth. Just ask Grizzly Bear.

  65. rayna says – reply to this


    So we're stupid, eh, you old has-been? Why are you still living here?? Hypocrite. Where do you propose 'smart' people live? why aren't you there? You posed nude on one of your albums covers. A little jealous of those who can showcase their beauty still?

  66. 66

    Re: TasteMyRainbow – you dont know who she is? lol wow i'm 22 but i'm starting to feel old.

  67. 67

    Poor Joni, old and bitter. She needs a good **** to get off her high horse. You're not that talented, missy. Just overrated.

  68. 68

    She wrote a song for Beyonce and Shakira……..that pretty much says it all.

  69. 69

    Did you even read the interview, Perez? She only mentioned Madonna that one time in the whole interview, and someone asked her a question about someone named Bobby Zimmerman becoming Bob Dylan, and that was the answer she gave, and that was the only time he was mentioned as well. A good portion of that interview was about drag (the interview focused on a man who does a very stunning Joni Mitchell performance/impersonation), believe it or not…she wasn't attacking anyone, although you would wish it was. Joni and Dylan are out of your league…stick to reporting about the catfights between the Spencer Pratts and the Gosselins of the world.

  70. 70

    Joni Mitchell is completely right about Bob Dylan. In the beginning of his career he lied about every detail of his personal life. His name is Zimmerman from Hibbing Minnesota from a middle class family. He spun some crazy tarn about himself. All lies. It was quite a scandal when the truth came out. Even his so called motorcycle accident was a phony cover for the fact that he was too strung out on drugs to fulfill tour committments.

    He was a well known creative thief… Stealing songwriting ideas from Dave Van Ronk, Chris Smithers and Eric Andersen and others in the folk scene. His voice is a but on not his real singing voice.

    Even recently… critics acclaimed one of his albums and it turned out he had plagerized lyrics from a poet that lived during the Civil War era and forgot to mention it… crediting himself as the sole writer.
    He had a moment of greatness Joni Mitchell has had a lifetime.
    Can't agree with her about Madonna… Madonna may be a symbol of decline but she is not the sole cause of it. Madonna isn't really a musician she is more of a stuntwoman.

  71. 71

    Dylan doesn't deny the fact that he worshipped Woody Guthrie and did everything possible to emulate him…

    and Joni is right about music since 1980. Madonna cheapened it all… every last bit of it. everything went downhill after Madonna hit the scene.

    Perez, you dare to call TP a whore and then send a warning to Joni Mitchell in the same week? Slow down bubba; you are getting way too big for your britches.

  72. 72

    Joan Baez is the FIRST female folk artist……

  73. 73

    Well of course any fool would know, she's absolutely dead right about Madonna. The Dylan stuff I don't know, but Madonna surely is a line in the sand between real and fake.

  74. 74

    who cares… all three of them sold their souls for fame and fortune and have no talent just alotta hype, at least Dylan had the junk to admit it on camera.

  75. 75

    Re: BUTCH8844 – douche yourself, it IS a Dylan song ballbreath, I may hate Bob Dylan, but I know his shit. You can suck it, stupid. It's his song called "Black Crow Blues" from his album "Another Side of Bob Dylan" released in 1964…..

    Don't act smart when you're not.

  76. 76

    Joni Mitchell AND Madonna are vastly overrated as musicians. Dylan, though - don't f+ck with him, silly girls.

  77. 77

    Re: littlewitch – "Madonna isn't really a musician she is more of a stuntwoman." Can I quote you on that? Kinda brilliant.

  78. 78

    I've known Joni's manager for years… and she is notoriously moody… can be quite the bitch when she wants to be … nothing new.

  79. 79

    This bitch is just jealous

  80. 80

    Re: xman66 – oh shut up. ADONNA produces her own music ,her own shows. just watch her documentaries and ppl who work with her. she decides everything.thats why gaga says she is like that too. to try to be like madonna. now WHAT THIS WOMAN SAID IS RIDICULOUS BOB AND MADONNA ARE FRIENDS AND BOTH ARE GENIOUS. GO HOME WOMAN

  81. 81

    Re: Sadie-Say – fuk off man. madonna is brilliant,.even bod dylan said it. they are friends. for some reason all th young generation wants to be like her and copies her. just look at gaga, andd madonna changed an era,of course,but she didnt make american stupid.s they already were, and more madonna opened ppl minds. she shocked us. she already admited she doesnt have the best voices,but she defenily has the best shows, the best messages and for some reason shes the only one who at age of 51 performed every night for 8 thousand ppl and in some places even more- madonna is very very smart and she is doing her art. art is like that. like it or not noone cant denied how genious she is. madonna IQ is huge man.its incredible after 30 yers pl wants to know,to see her nd she broe beatles record

  82. 82

    jeez joni, talk about being late to the party. bobby was always a fraud. he was a woody guthrie copy and moulded by pete seeger and joan baez into being a protest singer. he went electric to get away from all of that. she's probably jealous that he slept with joan baez (her nemesis). she's also a bit late about madonna too. even the gays can't stand her anymore.

  83. 83

    I doubt Perez knows anything about real music. Perez is like 'who is Joni? duhhhh

  84. 84

    ::standing ovation::

  85. 85

    Re: VeganVal – Fox news?? lemme guess..youre a brain dead demoncrat! lmao!!

  86. 86

    what up with skagdonna wearing a cross?..bitch HATES the catholic church.

  87. 87

    the Queen is going to like this

  88. 88

    Joni is a bit of a scary old bat these days. She comes across as thinking she's so superior. And while her 70s thing was sweet & evocative and of the time, she's no bloody genius - I found her jazzy stuff tedious. And her painting is mediocre - like Bobs!

  89. 89

    Joni speaks the truth.

  90. 90

    Re: rayna – That was Judy Collins who posed nude on TWO of her albums, NOT Joni Mitchell. I'm not going to insult you for your ignorance, just correct you on it.

  91. 91

    I agree, she absolutely right Madonna marks the down fall of any authentic. It is so funny I never saw it so clearly but if you actually look back and when you are trying to figure out when Music/ Media and the rest of popular cultur turned to shit… shes right Madonna began it all. I always thought Madonna was a joke ( and her music SERIOUSLY BITES… from the day she opened her HAIRY WOP MOUTH)… interesting !

  92. 92

    I don't think Dylan fakes that voice. It always sounds like he's holding his nose while he's singing. He seems like more rapping than singing actually. A while back he went through a born again Christian phase that was really kind of creepy, him being Jewish and all. He returned to his usual self and kept on being Bob Dylan.

  93. 93

    In a way I can see her point but I just think it wasn't a very STYLISH comment.

  94. 94

    Joni Mitchell is looking more and more like the jackass that she is…

  95. 95

    Pennsylvania Girl - tell your Dad a big thanks from me for serving in Vietnam! Those men and women never get enough credit for their service!

    I also agree with him - Dylan has been mainstream where Joni has not really.

    As for Madonna - her earlier stuff (re: first album) was a turning point but the rest of this shit she's been putting out is ridiculous!

  96. 96

    WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama's health care overhaul law is getting a mixed verdict in the first comprehensive look by neutral experts: More Americans will be covered, but costs are also going up.

    Economic experts at the Health and Human Services Department concluded in a report issued Thursday that the health care remake will achieve Obama's aim of expanding health insurance — adding 34 million to the coverage rolls.

    But the analysis also found that the law falls short of the president's twin goal of controlling runaway costs, raising projected spending by about 1 percent over 10 years. That increase could get bigger, since Medicare cuts in the law may be unrealistic and unsustainable, the report warned.

    It's a worrisome assessment for Democrats.

  97. 97

    Re: MadonnaLive
    Funny, when the likes of Robbie Williams and Timbaland talk of Madonna's greatness, you're there quoting them, but when someone says something negative, they don't know what the hell they're talking about? And how come Lady Gaga's contemporaries can say negative things about Lady Gaga (who wasn't even mentioned), but Madonna's can't say anything bad about her?

  98. 98

    she is pretty much spot on re madonna. but her comments about dylan not so sure about.

  99. 99

    who is Nero? The burning disc software?

  100. 100

    Bitter much? Dylan and Madonna are 2 of the greatest artists in history. Joni Mitchell has what Blue and more success from the Counting Crows covering Big Yellow Taxi? Seriously she's not mentioned as "one of the greats" and needs to lose her f-ing ego if she thinks she's better then Dylan or Madonna when it comes to be a songwriter. Dylan and Madonna made songs that transcend to the masses and are still popular today, can't really say the same about Joni except for people that like folksy witchy chick singers.

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