Joni Mitchell “Struggling To Walk” After Brain Aneurysm
Joni Mitchell at the NAMM TEC Awards 2020 - TEC Awards / Youtube
Folk legend Joni Mitchell says she’s still struggling to walk five years since she suffered from a brain aneurysm, even comparing it with her bout against polio when she was nine.
Mitchell was interviewed by Cameron Crowe of The Guardian, where she shared that she has paused in writing music for a while now as she’s still focused on slowly recuperating. “I haven’t been playing my guitar or the piano or anything. You know what? I came back from polio, so here I am again, and struggling back,” she said.
She recounts her affliction back in 2015, saying: “Once again, I couldn’t walk. I had to learn how again. I couldn’t talk. Polio didn’t grab me like that, but the aneurysm took away a lot more, really. Took away my speech and my ability to walk. And, you know, I got my speech back quickly, but the walking I’m still struggling with. But, I mean, I’m a fighter. I’ve got Irish blood! So, you know, I knew, ‘Here I go again, another battle.’”
Mitchell has already released Archives Vol. 1: The Early Years (1963-1967) on October 30th and said that the box set gave her the chance to rethink how she viewed her body of work. “When I went to a Van Gogh exhibition, they had all his paintings arranged chronologically, and you’d watch the growth as you walk along,” she said. “Musically, I grow, and I grow as a lyricist, so there’s a lot of growth taking place. The early stuff – I shouldn’t be such a snob against it. A lot of these songs, I just lost them. They fell away. They only exist in these recordings.”
She also said that “for so long, I rebelled. … ‘I was never a folk singer.’ I would get pissed off if they put that label on me. I didn’t think it was a good description of what I was. And then I listened, and it was beautiful. It made me forgive my beginnings. And I had this realization … I was a folk singer!”