"The man seemed as puzzled as Kennedy at having somehow heard of the warbling Johnny."

PA_System

Senior Member
Polish
Hi,
The following excerpt comes from a book, "The Laikonik Express", by Nick Sweeney. I'm having trouble grasping the meaning of the sentence in bold. What is meant by "warbling Johnny", and virtually the whole subsequent passage?

The context is that a guy is coming back from Turkey to Cracow and he's on a train with some people.

[...] In the night, one of the Iranians asked him what he had on his Walkman. Kennedy told him Joni Mitchell, even though this was not the case. [...]. ‘Johnny Mitchell?’ The man seemed as puzzled as Kennedy at having somehow heard of the warbling Johnny. Kennedy bluffed the offer of a blast of the music, which got the man’s eyes going, Catch me on a train listening to your Johnny Frigging Mitchell, pal. [...]

[Quoted text reduced to the permitted maximum amount. DonnyB - moderator]
 
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  • The Newt

    Senior Member
    English - US
    "The warbling Johnny" evidently refers to the singer Johnny Mitchell; "warbling" is singing like a bird. "Kennedy bluffed the offer of a blast of the music" means that Kennedy offered to let the Iranian listen to the music, but with the expectation that the offer would be declined.
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    Joni Mitchell is a woman whose name would normally be spelled Joanie, not Johnny (usually a man's name). If you pretend to have heard of the singer Johnny Mitchell, that will be puzzling as there's no such person. :)
    A: I'm listening to Joni Mitchell.
    B: Yes, Johnny Mitchell - I know all about him.
    A: :confused:
     

    PA_System

    Senior Member
    Polish
    Oh, that's much clearer now. What about the part "which got the man’s eyes going, Catch me on a train listening to your Johnny Frigging Mitchell, pal."? What does that mean exactly?
     
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