January 19, 2008
Joni Mitchell and Joan Baez may have strummed their way through the
golden age of the peaceniks but it seems that, behind the scenes, the
sisterhood of the flower power era was riven by more base instincts.
Mitchell, 64, has revealed the extent of the ill-feeling between her
and Baez, the one-time muse and lover of Bob Dylan, as they competed
for primacy as the leading female balladeer of their generation.
Mitchell, who abandoned music in 2002 to pursue a life as a painter
before returning to songwriting last year and releasing an album,
told Mojo magazine Baez "would have broken my leg" if the pair had
fallen out while sharing a stage.
The two women performed together in several concerts in 1975 as part
of the Rolling Thunder Revue organised by Dylan and filmed by the
playwright and director Sam Shepard.
Mitchell and Baez, who has continued to perform for 50 years and
released more than 30 albums, were photographed laughing and hugging
each other on stage during the tour.
But Mitchell, who started her career busking in Toronto, said an
intense competitiveness was felt by many female artists of the era.
Mitchell said: "I always thought the women of song don't get along
and I don't know why that is. I never felt that same sense of
competition from men. [Joplin] was competitive with me, insecure. She
was the queen of rock'n' roll one year and then Rolling Stone made me
queen and she hated me after that."