Joni Mitchell and Bob Dylan are acclaimed singers and songwriters whose songs have moved audiences for decades. Since they rose to fame around the same time, it makes sense that they performed together. While this was probably pleasing to the audience, Mitchell did not like singing with Dylan. She criticized his personal hygiene.
Joni Mitchell once called Bob Dylan a ‘plagiarist’
While Mitchell and Dylan ran in the same circles and performed together, she was rather critical of him. Her attitude toward his work turned to outright dislike during a 2010 LA Times interview.
“Bob isn’t authentic at all: he’s a plagiarist, and his name and voice are fake,” she said. “Everything about Bob is a sham. We are like night and day, he and I.”
While Mitchell’s birth name is Roberta Joan Anderson, she clarified that she was nothing like Dylan, who was born Robert Zimmerman.
“As for my name, my parents wanted a boy, so they called me Robert John; When I turned out to be a girl, they just added two letters ‘A’ to that,” she said. “Then I married Chuck Mitchell; I wanted to keep my maiden name — I had a certain following as Joni Anderson — but it wouldn’t let me.”
She didn’t like singing with him because of his smell
In 1994 Dylan and Mitchell gave several joint concerts in Japan. One night she shared the microphone with him, an experience she doesn’t want to repeat.
“On the third night, they put Bob on the mic with me, and he never brushes his teeth, so his breath was like it was right in my face,” she said in the book Both sides… now by Brian Hinton, per Far Out Magazine.
While the comment may seem like a low blow, his former tour manager Victor Maymudes reportedly shared a similar sentiment.
“He’s a very rude, obnoxious guy,” Maymudes reportedly said. “He doesn’t undress when he goes to sleep and the guy doesn’t brush his teeth. Terrible breath.”
Joni Mitchell addressed some of her critical comments about Bob Dylan
Mitchell’s comments about Dylan, particularly her insults to his musical ability, were not well received by his fans. They pointed out their history of performing with him and covering his songs. Mitchell did not formally apologize, but she called the interviewer.
“I hate interviewing stupid people and this guy is an idiot,” she said, claiming the journalist misconstrued her words, per American Songwriter.
She clarified her comments about Dylan, although they still weren’t exactly flattering.
“I like a lot of Bob’s songs, even though he’s not very musically gifted,” she said. “He borrowed his voice from old hillbilly folks. He has a lot of borrowed things. He’s not a great guitarist. He invented a character to perform his songs. Sometimes I wish I could have that character – because you can do things with that character. It’s a kind of mask.”
TIED TOGETHER: Joni Mitchell taught himself to walk to avoid spending Christmas in a polio ward
https://www.cheatsheet.com/entertainment/joni-mitchell-said-bob-dylan-brushes-teeth.html/ Joni Mitchell once said Bob Dylan ‘never brushes his teeth’