Tom Hanks admits he doesn't always have his finger on the pulse when it comes to music — but he knows Joni Mitchell is a classic.
The actor, 62, was among the many famous music lovers to pay tribute to the legendary singer/songwriter for her 75th birthday on Wednesday at the JONI 75: A Birthday Celebration Live event in Los Angeles. It was a rare public appearance for Mitchell, who suffered a brain aneurysm in 2015 and last stepped out at a James Taylor concert in June.
"I'm not the hippest dude in the world, but I knew great stuff when it came along," Hanks told PEOPLE about hearing songs like Big Yellow Taxi for the first time.
"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," the You Are My Friend star quipped.
Joining Hanks in the multi-generational audience were Mandy Moore, Jake Gyllenhaal, Lily Tomlin, Jon Hamm and Angela Bassett, who all watched and cheered on performers James Taylor, Rufus Wainwright, Norah Jones, Chaka Khan, Diana Krall and Graham Nash.
Among the performers, Seal was especially impressive, drawing the first big standing ovation of the night with his dramatic take on Mitchell’s classic Both Sides Now.
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