Iconoclastic singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell made a rare public appearance at Wednesday’s Joni 75 concert in her honor at Los Angeles’s Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. The legend’s public appearances have been rare since she suffered a brain aneurysm in 2015. Previously, she was spotted at a James Taylor show in June, and at Clive Davis’s pre-Grammys party in 2017.
Mitchell didn’t perform, per se, at Wednesday’s show, which featured covers of Mitchell classics by the likes of Chaka Khan, Diana Krall, and Norah Jones, according to the Los Angeles Times. She did, though, take the stage to blow out candles on a cake after the crowd serenaded her with “Happy Birthday.”
She stood and swayed during the closing rendition of her biggest hits, “Big Yellow Taxi.”
And that’s about it. And that’s about all it had to be. “As fans waved and she did the same, Mitchell slowly exited stage right just as the final curtain fell,” writes the Times’ James Reed. “She never said a word—her songs had already spoken volumes.”
If you think about Joni Mitchell with any regularity these days, you probably worry a little bit about her, because of what appears to be reclusiveness, the aforementioned aneurysm, and her battle with the controversial Morgellons disease (which she says makes “fibers in a variety of colors protrude out of my skin like mushrooms after a rainstorm,” and which is largely seen by the medical community as a form of delusional parasitosis). She did so much to shape American popular music and crafted so many musical wonders, though, that it’s nice to be reminded that she’s still with us, even if it’s at this point sporadic.
Please let the woman eat, though.