Mike Ragogna: You were so young when you had that hit, and apparently, your teachers at New York’s High School of Music & Art were belligerent towards you because of it. What was it like having to endure that as an adolescent?
Janis Ian: Going back over my journals at the time, it was really obvious. I understood that the teachers were failed musicians and performers, and this really angered them. I didn’t understand the jealousy…I still don’t understand jealousy on that level. I think I would have understood envy, but this was way past envy, this was into, “If I can’t have it, I don’t want you to have it.” I mean, I would love to have the career Joan Baez is having in Europe right now, but God knows I don’t begrudge her that career.
MR: When you perform live, what’s your mission?
JI: To be asked back! It’s the same as making a record, I mean, what’s the goal there? When you’re young, the goal is to have a hit. You get a little older and the goal becomes to get to make another record.