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Joni Mitchell Print-ready version

Reuters
October 14, 2002

LOS ANGELES, Oct 14 (Reuters) - Hell hath no fury like Joni Mitchell on the subject of the music industry.

The veteran singer/songwriter, on the promotional trail for a new album, says she is "ashamed" to be part of the music business and may stop recording.

"I just think it's a cesspool," the 58-year-old folk-rock icon said in the latest issue of Rolling Stone magazine.

"I hope it all goes down the crapper. I would never take another deal in the record business, which means I may not record again, or I have to figure out a way to sell over the Net or do something else. But I'll be damned if I'll line their pockets."

Oddly, Mitchell just signed a new deal with Nonesuch Records, which will release her new album, "Travelogue" in November. Mitchell was previously based at Reprise Records where her last few albums sold poorly but won several Grammy Awards. Both labels are units of AOL Time Warner Inc (AOL.N).

Mitchell also lambasted MTV, complaining that her three-year-old granddaughter is already grabbing her crotch and dancing, imitating the video clips played on the music cable network.

"It's tragic what MTV has done to the world," opined Mitchell, who was voted the fifth greatest woman in rock 'n' roll by MTV's sister channel VH1. Both networks are owned by Viacom Inc (VIAb.N) (VIA.N).

Once described by her friend David Crosby as being "about as humble as Mussolini," Mitchell has previously described contemporary music as "appallingly sick ... boring chord movement and bad acting."

In holding up Bob Dylan and herself as the standard for songwriting, she has written off devotees like Sting, Alanis Morissette and Sheryl Crow.

Mitchell has also previously savaged her former label boss David Geffen for not paying her any royalties, although he has countered that her albums never sold enough copies to cover the advance payments that she received from him.

Born Roberta Joan Anderson in Canada, Mitchell has established herself as one of the most respected artists of her generation. Her eclectic career spans 35 years and includes such seminal albums as 1971's autobiographical "Blue" and the 1974 jazz-pop excursion "Court and Spark." She was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997.

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Added to Library on October 15, 2002. (1952)

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