Not only is it for real ...it happened at a Joni Mitchell show!
It was the night of November 7, 1995—Mitchell's 52nd birthday. The genteel folk rocker was playing a celebratory show at a tiny New York club. Among the audience members were Hynde, Simon and fellow estro-rocker Natalie Merchant. Things were going fine until about halfway through the 90-minute set, when, midsong, Hynde started clapping and shouting, "I love you, I love you!"
Simon, seated one booth over, asked the Pretenders frontwoman if she maybe, possibly, wouldn't mind keeping it down. Accounts differ as to what happened next. Some eyewitnesses said Hynde—who may or may not have been drunk—grabbed Simon around the neck and started punching her; a publicist, meanwhile, said, "[Hynde] was just hugging her," Simon, for her part, described it as "choking me in 'fun intoxication.'" Sounds like a catfight even Freddie Mercury would love.
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