David Crosby: 'Joni Mitchell Is A Better Musician Than Bob Dylan'
David Crosby, who’s never been one to shy away from an unpopular opinion, says Joni Mitchell is a better musician than Bob Dylan. Last month Crosby, who kicked off Crosby, Stills, & Nash’s 2014 dates last night (March 4th) in Richmond, Virginia, underwent a cardiac catheterization and angiogram, based on the results of a routine cardiac stress test. The left anterior coronary artery was found to be 90 percent blocked, and two stents were placed to provide blood flow to his heart muscle. Crosby, who is expected to have a full recovery, was forced to postpone his current tour, with the first solo makeup dates set for later this month.
Crosby has a deep history with both Joni and Dylan. He was romantically linked to Joni Mitchell in 1967 and 1968 and produced her debut album, Song To A Seagull, and early on recorded several Dylan cuts during his time with the Byrds -- including their first chart-topper, 1965's "Mr. Tambourine Man." In 1970, he accompanied Dylan and his family to Princeton University when Dylan was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Music. The event was later chronicled by Dylan on the 1970 New Morning track, "Day Of The Locusts."
Crosby explained his reasons for choosing Joni over Dylan, telling The Guardian: "There are tons of people who disagree with me, but I think Joni is a better musician than Bob. I love Bob, and I think he's changed the course of musical history. I remember when he did it -- I was there. I learned from him and he changed my life. But in the long run I think Joni is the one who made the art that I'll remember even more than I'll remember Bob's songs, and there are probably 24 of Bob's songs in my head right now. I don't think you can touch Joni at her best. I don't know if I've ever heard a better singer-songwriter record than the album Blue. 20 years from now you'll hear ‘A Case Of You’ and still be moved."
In 1997, Graham Nash -- who was also romantically linked to Joni Mitchell -- accepted her induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, since Mitchell was not on hand. At the ceremony, he spoke about Joni's strength and vulnerability as a musician: "As delicate and as feminine as Joni is, she's a very tough lady, and she has always been a rock-and-roller at heart. She has always been, and wanted to be, one of the boys. And especially with me and David (Crosby) and Stephen (Stills), she was one of the boys for many years, in all of our lives."
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