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Rock 100: Joni Mitchell

David Dalton, Lenny Kaye, Cooper Square Books (reissue), 1999

I was born in Fort Macleod, Alberta, in the foothills of the Canadian Rockies – an area of extreme temperatures and mirages. When I was two feet off the ground I collected broken glass and cats. When I was three feet off the ground I made drawings of animals and forest fires. When I was four feet off the ground I discovered boys and bicycles. When I was five feet off the ground I began to dance to rock & roll and sing the Top Ten and bawdy service songs around campfires, and someone turned me on the Lambert, Hendricks & Ross and Miles Davis and later Bob Dylan. Through these vertical spurts there was, briefly, the church choir, grade one piano, bowling, art college, the Twist, marriage, runs in the nylons and always romance – extremes in temperature and mirages.

Total word count of piece: 730