Speaking with biographer David Yaffe, music legend gets honest and raw about Dylan, James Taylor, Leonard Cohen, jazz, classic recording sessions
Until David Yaffe's Reckless Daughter: A Portrait of Joni Mitchell, Mitchell had never before cooperated with previous biographers. And based on the interviews she gave Yaffe for his book, the legendary singer-songwriter seems eager to finally spew. One-time lover James Taylor was "broody and moody … incapable of a relationship." David Crosby, another ex, is called an "incompetent" producer of her first album. Bob Dylan's original recordings for Blood on the Tracks were "butchered up" for its eventual release. Her first husband, Chuck Mitchell, was guilty of "academic stupidity." Singing "Helpless" with Neil Young and Robbie Robertson at "The Last Waltz," she recalls they were "so high, and they were so out of tune."