Reckless Daughter : A Portrait of Joni Mitchell
by David Yaffe
Editor: Sarah Crichton Books
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“She was like a storm”–Leonard Cohen, Joni Mitchell, perhaps the most influential female artist and composer of the late twentieth centuryIn Reckless daughter, music critic David Yaffe tells the remarkable, heartbreaking story of how the blonde girl with guitar became a popular music superstar in the 1960s, a key figure in the Laurel Canyon music scene of the 1970s, and the songwriter who spoke resonant, and for audiences across the countryA prairie Canadian girl, a free spirit of the artist, Mitchell never wanted to be a pop starShe was nothing more than a “painter derailed by circumstances”, she would explainAnd yet, she went on to become a talented self-taught musician and a brilliant conductor, releasing from the album after album, each clearly experimental, difficult, and revealingHis words seduces listeners with their perception of language and naked emotion born of Mitchell’s life, loves, complaints, and propheciesAs an artist whose work skilfully balances narrative and musical complexity, she has been admired by such legendary lyricists as Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen and beloved by such revolutionary jazz musicians as Jaco Pastorius, Wayne Shorter and Herbie Hancock.His moves–from “Big Yellow Taxi” to “Deux Côtés, Maintenant,” to “Un Cas de Vous”–supporting timeless favorites, and his influence on the generations of singer-songwriters-who would follow, from his devoted fan Prince de Bjork, is undeniableIn this intimate biography, based on dozens of unprecedented in-person interviews with Mitchell, her childhood friends, and a cast of famous characters, Yaffe reveals the story behind Mitchell’s famous songs of youth in Canada, her fight against polio at the age of nine, and her early marriage and child she gave up for adoption, through love affairs
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