Two chances to catch Susan Whitall on Joni Mitchell
Susan Whitall will be presenting her new book Joni on Joni on Monday, December 3rd, 7 pm at the Baldwin Public LIbrary, 300 W. Merrill St. in Birmingham. Susan Whitall will be joined by Chuck Mitchell (Joni Mitchell’s first husband, who may be bringing a guitar!) in a special program: Joni Mitchell Interviews and Encounters. Please call 248-647-1700 for more information
Joni on Joni is a collection of some of the most illuminating and personal interviews with Joni Mitchell by a variety of writers, including former Creem colleagues Cameron Crowe (his 1979 Rolling Stone profile is included) and Dave DiMartino, as well as narrative about Joni’s life and career in between chapters, by Whitall.
“She’s one of the great legends of rock’s heroic era, a singer/songwriter of surprising depth who helped define what it meant to be young and alive in the 1960s and 70s.” — New book reveals unfiltered Joni Mitchell, Detroit News
“In a moment of great public interest in Joni Mitchell, one voice has been mostly absent—Mitchell’s own. Joni on Joni rectifies that, and offers a great songwriter in dialogue with pop music critics, cable access hosts, and, best of all, her prismatic self.” —RJ Smith, author of American Witness: The Art and Life of Robert Frank and The One: The Life and Music of James Brown
“Generations of young women—and men—found out who they were through Joni Mitchell’s naked lyricism, singular tunings, and her willingness to resist boundaries. Here, editor Susan Whitall shows us who the ever-evolving songwriter is through myriad interviews with some of the world’s smartest critics, and her own scene-setting/contextualizing introductions to each chapter. . . . For anyone who’s loved Blue, Mingus, Court and Spark, The Hissing of Summer Lawns, or Turbulent Indigo, Joni on Joni is a journey worth taking.” —Holly Gleason, editor, Woman Walk the Line: How the Women of Country Changed My Life
From the jacket:
“Few artists are as intriguing as Joni Mitchell. She was a solidly middle-class, buttoned-up bohemian; an anti-feminist who loved men but scorned free love; a female warrior taking on the male music establishment. She was both the party girl with torn stockings and the sensitive poet.
She often said she would be criticized for staying the same or changing, so why not take the less boring option? Her earthy, poetic lyrics (“the geese in chevron flight” in “Urge for Going”) the phrases that are now part of the culture (“They paved paradise, put up a parking lot”), and the unusual melodic intervals traced by that lissome voice earned her the status of a pop legend. Fearless experimentation ensured that she will also be seen as one of the most important musicians of the twentieth century.”
Susan Whitall is an award-winning journalist, and a former writer and editor at the iconic Creem Magazine, where she worked from 1975-’83. She is one of the few women to helm a rock magazine, in the ’70s, or now.
Whitall has produced three books, the most recent being Joni on Joni: Interviews and Encounters with Joni Mitchell (Chicago Review Press), released Nov. 7, 2018. Her previous books include Women of Motown, an oral history focusing on some of the Sound of Young America’s notable female personalities, and Fever: Little Willie John’s Fast Life, Mysterious Death and the Birth of Soul (Titan Books, 2011), a biography of the gifted, troubled R&B singer from Detroit.