Sixty-two-year-old actor Tom Hanks says he isn’t one who listens to every song that comes on the radio all the way through, but he makes an exception for Joni Mitchell. According to People, Hanks was one of many music fans that spoke out to pay tribute to 75-year-old singer Joni Mitchell on her birthday Wednesday.
Hank’s admits he doesn’t always follow popular music trends, but knows good music when he hears it. The first time he heard Mitchell’s “Big Yellow Taxi” he knew it was a classic. The song was one of many smash hits by the legendary Mitchell, who made her first public appearance at the JONI 75: A Birthday Celebration Live event in Los Angeles on Wednesday.
The star suffered a brain aneurysm in 2015 and stepped out of the spotlight for much of the past several years. Prior to her birthday bash, Mitchell made a rare public appearance at a James Taylor concert this past June.
Joni Mitchell Blows Out 75th Birthday Candles as Starry Tribute Cast Blows Kisses https://t.co/OkH9rvvfwk
— Variety (@Variety) November 8, 2018
Two-time Oscar winner Hanks now calls Mitchell one of the greatest musicians of all time and says there has always been an unspoken rule for when her music is playing, you don’t change the station.
“There was an unspoken rule that you didn’t change the station when Joni Mitchell stuff came on, whether you dug it or not. Whether you had a lot of house plants or not. Whether you wore a macrame belt or not, you did not change the station on Joni Mitchell.”
He later placed Mitchell on the same pedestal as musician Beethoven, saying that her music is simply something that will always survive time. Despite the changes in culture and music trends through the years, there is some music that will always be untouched.
“As long as Beethoven lasts, there’ll be Joni Mitchell,” he said. “I’m in awe of a great cultural power that I just bow down and humbly submit before because there is something of a huge, important magnitude there that is never gonna go away,” he said.
Big name musicians came together to pay tribute to Mitchell at her birthday bash, some even performing their own renditions to her most famous hits. Singer Rufus Wainwright performed her hits “Blue” and “All I Want,” while James Taylor tackled a moody cover of “Woodstock.”
Following the individual performances, all the musicians in attendance joined together at the end of the event to sing her classic hit, “Big Yellow Taxi.”