a monthly look at the faces
that have made history


It's been 40 years since those three days of love and mud known as Woodstock, and it remains ironic that the anthem most associated with the epochal music festival was penned by someone who wasn't there. Holed up in a hotel room in New York City, Joni Mitchell watched the concert on TV and wrote her song "Woodstock"—including the famous line, "We are stardust, we are golden"—in tears.

Her wry, melancholy musical ways have been hugely influential, of course—Prince name-checked her on the back of an album; Annie Lennox gushed, "I pretty much doubt that I would have gone on to become a singer-songwriter if I hadn't encountered Joni Mitchell"—but genius lyrics and a gorgeous voice are only part of her charm. With looks one half California beach babe, the other half Norse goddess, Mitchell allegedly counted Graham Nash, Leonard Cohen, James Taylor, and Sam Shepard among her conquests—why should male rock stars have all the fun? The summer of love was four decades ago, but Mitchell will always be the era's reigning bohemian beauty queen.

—Alison Baenen

Subscribe to today!