Joni Mitchell is still ‘struggling’ to walk, five years after suffering a brain aneurysm.
The singer, 76, who battled polio when she was nine, was rushed to hospital in March 2015 after she was found unconscious at home, and while she’s thankful she regained her speech fairly quickly, she still has issues with her movement.
She said: ‘You know what? I came back from polio, so here I am, and struggling back. Just inching my way along. I’m showing slow improvement but moving forward.
‘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.
Out and about: Joni Mitchell is still ‘struggling’ to walk, five years after suffering a brain aneurysm (pictured in February)
‘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.’ ‘
The ‘Both Sides Now’ hitmaker has been so focused on her recovery, she hasn’t written music or even picked up an instrument for some time.
She told The Guardian: ‘I haven’t been writing recently. I haven’t been playing my guitar or the piano. No, I’m just concentrating on getting my health back.’
And though Joni is still interested in music, she admitted there aren’t many ‘contemporary’ artists that she listens to.
Way back when: The singer, 76, who battled polio when she was nine, was rushed to hospital in March 2015 after she was found unconscious at home, and while she’s thankful she regained her speech fairly quickly, she still has issues with her movement (pictured in 1968)
She said: ‘I have music. I don’t listen to too much contemporary music. Babyface I’m listening to – that’s about it. Babyface and Leela James.’
Mitchell’s start in music was due in part to her parents, Bill and Myrtle Anderson, who encouraged her to get involved because her father was playing the trumpet in marching bands.
Joni’s earliest instrument was a hurdy-gurdy, a stringed instrument that produces music when the handle is cranked.
When she was 15 years old, she bought a ukulele for $36 because that’s all she could afford. ‘It was no more ambitious that that’, Joni said. ‘I was planning all the time to go to art school’.
Back in the day: She rose to fame in the 1960s, writing and playing songs with the era’s biggest names – with whom she would love affairs with
She rose to fame in the 1960s, writing and playing songs with the era’s biggest names – with whom she would love affairs with.
In November, a book featuring her most illuminating interviews, spanning from 1966 to 2014, was published. Never one to hold back, Joni dissed Bob Dylan, ripping into the fellow folk singer by labeling him a ‘plagiarist’.
She said: ‘Musically, he’s not very gifted, he’s borrowed his voice from a lot of old hillbillies. He’s not a great guitar player. He’s invented a character to deliver his songs. It’s sort of a mask’.
Way back when: Joni is seen speaking to Janet Jackson’s at a pre Grammy bash in January
Mitchell also took aim at Taylor Swift, who was being eyed to play her in a biopic, dismissing any similarities between them, simply offering her a wry ‘good luck’ with portraying her.
She said of the country singer: ‘I’ve never heard Taylor’s music. I’ve seen her. Physically, she looks similarly small hipped and high cheekbones.
‘I don’t know what her music sounds like, but I do know this – that if she’s going to sing and play me, good luck.’