Joni Mitchell seems like the kind of woman any man would fall in love with at first glance.
She look fragile, delicate and very vulnerable with wedgewood-blue eyes.
When she talks she speaks softly and looks straight at you. And even when she says she never gives interviews anymore, she says it kindly and you like her for it.
JONI MADE her decision not to give interviews a year ago, and she has made few exceptions. She has some valid reasons for it.
"When you're a personality, people just walk all over you," she said. "Everyone wants a piece of your time. Everyone wants to talk to you even if they don't like you."
She has other reasons. She feels she has already revealed as much of herself as she can in her gentle folk music, much of which tells the melancholy stories of pas loves.
MISS MITCHELL arrived in Hawaii yesterday afternoon for a benefit concert Sunday night with rock star Jackson Browne at the Waikiki Shell. Proceeds will go to the Waikiki Drug Clinic.
"I haven't seen sun for so long," she said, taking off the jacket of her pink pantsuit and sipping coke from a plastic cup.
JONI DESCRIBES herself as "anti-social." She says she often seeks to be alone. Even her songs say this. In one she speaks of being "on a lonely street" and in another she says "I came to the city and live like old Crusoe."
She says her need for loneliness is "the Norwegian in me."
There's another part of Joni, the part that lives in Los Angeles, and runs on the beach and paints pictures of friends in laundromats late at night.
There's also the part of her that feels a debt of gratitude to the people who made her popular. For instance, yesterday she posed for a picture for a stranger who passed by at the airport, and sympathized with a young American girl seven-months pregnant who was forced to leave her Canadian husband behind when she came back to the United States.
JONI MITCHELL first became known for the exquisitely tender songs she writes and later for her own recordings of them. She says she writes most of her songs to cheer herself up when she is sad or lonely. She rarely writes when she is happy because, as she put it, "when I'm feeling joyous I'm usually too busy to write."
One of her most popular songs is a tune called "Big Yellow Taxi" which she wrote here. It's about what she calls the "corruption of paradise" - the encroachment on Hawaii of too many people and too much concrete.
"I always felt this place was sacred." She said.
As she said it, she unconsciously crumpled up an empty cigarette package and instead of dropping it onto the sidewalk, slipped it into her pocket.
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