Hear Joni Mitchell Talk About The “Deliciously Decadent” Leonard Cohen, A Fake Tim Buckley & Green Sunsets

Joni Mitchell 1988 Radio Broadcast

On September 6, 1988, Joni Mitchell appeared on “Hubert On The Air,” a one-hour show on Dutch radio hosted by Hubert van Hoof, to select and comment on her favorite songs, the ones that “thrilled her” or, alternatively, “knocked her socks off” from her childhood to the time of the broadcast.1 Mitchell, who can sometimes come off as defensive or even bitter about her musical influences, is generous, thoughtful, and charming in this instance.

Joni Mitchell Talks About Leonard Cohen’s “Suzanne,” Green Sunsets & Tim Buckley Impostor

The excerpt below from the show features her comments about “Suzanne” and a related incident about accompanying a man who claimed to be Tim Buckley (although Mitchell knew this was only a pose) on a cruise near Miami where she sighted a green sunset. The 7.5 minute clip also includes a recording of Leonard Cohen singing “Suzanne.”


Bonus: Green Flash Sunsets

As far as I can determine, the “green sunset” to which Joni Mitchell alludes is better known as a “green flash.” The description from Wikipedia follows:

Green flashes and green rays are optical phenomena that occur shortly after sunset or before sunrise, when a green spot is visible, usually for no more than a second or two, above the sun, or a green ray shoots up from the sunset point. Green flashes are actually a group of phenomena stemming from different causes … .

Credit Due Department: Monica (Amsterdam) alerted Bob Muller (North Carolina) to this show. Muller, who is webmaster of Joni Undercover (aka The Joni Mitchell Covers Project), posted it to the Joni Mitchell Discussion List, from which it was, in turn, forwarded to me.

Credit Due Department: Photo of Joni Mitchell by Matt Gibbonshttp://www.flickr.com/photos/ultomatt/3126812062/, CC BY 2.0, – Wikipedia. The photo of the green flash by Brocken Inaglory – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikipedia Commons

I am republishing selected posts from my former Leonard Cohen site, Cohencentric, here on AllanShowalter.com (these posts can be found at Leonard Cohen). This entry was originally posted Feb 15, 2010 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com.


  1. Joni’s song choices, most of which (though not the classical pieces), were part of the the broadcast, follow:

    • Stravinsky: Rites of Spring – Dance of the Adolescents
    • Rachmaninoff: Theme from Paganini
    • Miles Davis: It Never Entered My Mind
    • Louis Jordan: Saturday Night Fish Fry
    • Bill Haley: Rock Around the Clock
    • Chuck Berry: Maybelline
    • Bob Dylan: Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again
    • Edith Piaf with Les Companions de la Chanson: Trois Cloches (3 bells)
    • Billie Holiday: You’ve Changed
    • Leonard Cohen: Suzanne
    • Buffalo Springfield: Rock and Roll Woman, Broken Arrow
    • Jimi Hendrix: The Wind Cries Mary []

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